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550 West Van Buren Street
Chicago, IL 60607

Toll Free: 1-800-793-9455

© 2018 Opportunity Internationala 501(c)3 nonprofit.

2016 Annual ReportCreating Opportunities

"In July, I joined some future artists at the Girasoles Community School in Cartagena, Colombia, as they put finishing touches on their new classroom mural. Dipping a brush in fresh paint, placing a permanent mark on a wall—what a thrill for a 7-year-old!"

A Message from our CEO

When I first stepped into the role of Chief Executive Officer at Opportunity International, I was struck by the organization’s unwavering commitment to building sustainable livelihoods for the poor. For 46 years, Opportunity has helped millions of people break free from the bonds of poverty. This foundation will be what guides us in our next, and most exciting, chapter of collaboration and innovation. This is the time for our biggest goal yet: helping to end extreme poverty in our lifetimes.

Read his message

2016 Client Impact

Last year we empowered 9.7 million farmers, educators, and small business owners around the world with the financial tools and training that is helping them work their way out of poverty for good.

See our Impact

Creating Opportunities for Small Business Owners

Powering communities and spurring economic growth always starts by equipping local entrepreneurs with the financial tools and training to sustain and grow their businesses. Eighty-nine percent of our clients are women who are working hard to serve their children and families by taking out business loans, contributing to savings accounts, and becoming financially fluent through our training.

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Creating Opportunities for Children

Education Finance scaled in 2016, reaching nearly 2 million children since the program’s start and doubling—or even tripling—the number of loans in some regions. We increased our emphasis on education quality by launching a professional development program where peer groups of school owners and staff learn best-practice teaching methods, curriculums, and classroom management skills in Ghana, Uganda, and Rwanda.

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Creating Opportunities for Farmers

Last year, our Agriculture Finance program actively served more than 100,000 farmers through $14 million in loans, financial training, and customized support from experts who specialize in one of 42 product lines like dairy or cocoa. Nearly 9 out of 10 loan clients were either women who are providing for their families or youth apprentice farmers who are learning best practices so they can one day start their own farms.

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Creating Opportunities Through Digital Services

Financial inclusion has become increasingly connected to digital inclusion, a reality that guided our enhanced digital strategy in 2016. By year-end, we had harnessed the power of technology to arm 500,000 clients in Africa and 3.3 million in Asia with access to financial services, such as using their bank accounts through their mobile phones. These clients are empowered to take advantage of such technologies with supplemental training that targets underserved groups like women and low-literacy clients—the ones who need our services the most.

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Two members of the Los Mercados women’s group stand in front of the water tank that now serves 800 people in their community in Nicaragua. With assistance from Opportunity International, the group addressed infrastructure and electricity problems that were preventing hundreds of households from receiving fresh water.

Partners

Our corporate, government, and institutional partners are driving sustainable change for millions of people around the world by empowering them to work their way out of poverty.

See our Partners

Students at the Nueva Esperanza School in Colombia.

Supporters

Our generous supporters contribute their philanthropic talents and treasures to Opportunity to help further the organization's mission and give people everywhere the chance to lives their lives with dignity and purpose.

See our Supporters

When Rachna thinks about the future, all she wants is for her 2-year-old son to thrive. She invested an Opportunity loan into her family’s auto-repair shop in India, buying more tools so they could offer more services to more customers. Now, Rachna and her husband are saving for the very first time and making plans for their family’s future.

U.S. Board of Directors

Opportunity’s U.S. Board of Directors use their unparalleled passion and experience to guide the organization and ensure we achieve our mission, while striving for our vision, while staying true to our motivation.

See board list

Hanna Guazambera was one of the first people to bank at Opportunity when it opened in Malawi in 2003. She and her husband Elton have planned and saved money to provide for their five children and their own businesses.

Financials

Opportunity International raises funds from many sources and uses them to provide loans, training, and support services to our clients so they can build sustainable livelihoods. With these funds, we achieved significant growth in client impact across our global network in 2016.

View the financials


Title Photo: Hanna Guazambera was one of the first people to bank at Opportunity when it opened in Malawi in 2003.

As a small business owner selling maize flour, Hanna wanted one financial tool more than any other: a savings account. “It’s not secure to keep money in the house,” she says. “If people know that you are doing business, they know you have cash— it’s too risky.”

When she opened an account with Opportunity, she also received invaluable training that helped her learn how to better manage her finances.

Since then, she and her husband Elton have planned and saved money to provide for their five children and their own businesses. Because of the savings account, Hanna has been able to purchase three plots of land, build homes to rent, maintain her car, buy a small farm for growing maize, and sell up to 300 bags of maize per harvest. When Elton became extremely sick, they were able to keep growing their businesses while continuing to support their family.

Now, with her children successfully living on their own, Hanna is filled with pride over all that she and her husband have overcome and accomplished.


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