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© 2020 Opportunity Internationala 501(c)3 nonprofit. EIN: 540907624.

Press for ProgressEmpowering women and girls to succeed on International Women's Day—and every day.

March 8 is International Women’s Day, a day to celebrate and champion women in the developing world who are working their way out of poverty.

Dedicate a Gift Card

Why We Love
International Women's Day

Opportunity International was founded with a vision that everyone should have the chance to live a life free from poverty, with dignity and purpose. Everyone. This ambitious goal requires dedicated attention to one of the most marginalized groups in the developing world—women. It is our collective responsibility to address the inequalities that currently prevent women from triggering positive generational changes and contributing billions of dollars to the economy. We believe that increasing opportunities for women and girls is our essential response to this global challenge—and one that creates health, security and prosperity for families and society as a whole.

We empower women entrepreneurs with critical financial services that they otherwise would not receive. Things like loans to build their businesses, savings accounts to protect their hard-earned income, and financial skills training so they have the confidence and knowledge to effectively manage their money. With access to these services, a voiceless mother can bloom into a confident leader in her family and her community. Together we are empowering women to fulfill their potential, lift themselves and their families out of poverty, educate their children, and transform their lives.

Action #1: Honor an Incredible Woman

We all know someone who’s doing an awesome job of championing gender equality, whether she is leading, raising, advocating for, or celebrating other women. Show her how inspiring she is by dedicating an Opportunity gift card to her, which will let her fund a loan for a hardworking person living in poverty.

Dedicate a Gift Card

ACTION #2: Get Inspired

Every 3 seconds we give a woman an opportunity, whether that means helping her open her very first savings account or get a loan to buy much-needed inventory for her business. None of this would be possible without our incredible partners, who are empowering women in so many different ways across the world. Read below for a glimpse of how they’re each tackling gender barriers in a unique way that’s driving sustainable social impact.

Once a technology novice, Bindu has since worked with Opportunity partners in India to learn how to do business on her phone, make weekly digital loan payments, and use biometric scanning to protect her identity so only she can access her accounts. These digital tools have made it possible for her to grow her broom business, and she now employs nine of her neighbors.

Get Inspired

Creating Jobs Through Technology

Cisco Foundation

The Cisco Foundation has been working with Opportunity to bring digital solutions to the developing world that will make it easier for women to use financial services, many for the first time in their lives. We’ve used technology to simplify and tailor our services for underserved groups like women and low-literacy clients, which is helping them grow their businesses and even hire neighbors. In fact, through our partnership, Cisco has helped create or sustain more than 1 million jobs in 2017 alone.

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Students at the Busy Bee Foundation School in Rwanda are now able to wash their hands with clean water at least once every day, thanks to their new hand-washing stations, which were financed through an Opportunity loan. They also installed gender-separated bathrooms, which will help girls stay in school.

Get Inspired

Getting Girls Access to Water at School

Caterpillar Foundation

The Caterpillar Foundation strongly believes in the power of women and girls and the importance of breaking down gender barriers, especially in an effort to alleviate poverty. In their latest drive to spark economic growth and empower 50 million people to rise out of poverty by 2020, Caterpillar is partnering with Opportunity to provide financial services that are making clean water accessible to students—a critical foundation to building a healthy future.

A group of cabi Stylists visited their Sister Entrepreneurs in Rwanda, which included a stop by the Kabeza Nursery School to see how the school has improved its infrastructure to allow more students in the community to enroll thanks to the loans and financial training they have received.

Get Inspired

Making Dreams Come True with Sister Entrepreneurs

Heart of cabi Foundation

The Heart of cabi Foundation is powered by more than 3,400 cabi Stylists who bring uniquely styled clothing to women around the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. Every time a new cabi Stylist begins her business, cabi funds a loan on her behalf for a woman starting another business in a developing country—creating Sister Entrepreneurs who are on the same journey, just in a different place. Their unique partnership with Opportunity has empowered 3,750 women to get business loans and start their path out of poverty.

The Seven Bar team with Opportunity clients Shirley, Emiledis, and Elsa in Colombia. The three women all live in the same community outside of Cartagena, where they have each overcome incredible challenges by growing their businesses—along with their self-esteems and independence—thanks to receiving loans and financial training.

Get Inspired

Powering Women with Business

Seven Bar Foundation

Seven Bar Foundation is using business in the U.S. to power business in the developing world. Ten percent of net sales from EBY, a women’s intimates company, go to Seven Bar to lift women out of poverty through Opportunity's microfinance programs. Helping fearless women fund their own businesses is part of their mantra, because they know that when women thrive in the economy, the paradigm shifts—not just for them, but also for women everywhere.

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Action #3: Stay Up To Date