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News Blog

Bringing It All Home: The Challenges of Microfinance in the US

by Emily Riemer

At the Chicago Microfinance Conference last Friday (at University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business), a panel of experts from four domestic microfinance organizations discussed the ongoing challenges of offering financial solutions to underserved individuals in the United States. The panel “Microfinance in the US: Where Are We Now and How Far Can We Go?” was moderated by Robert Spich of the UCLA Anderson School of Management. The panelists explained their organizations’ unique challenges…

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Chicago Microfinance Conference: Can Technology Innovations Transform Microfinance?

by Sonja Egeland Kelly

At the 6th Annual Chicago Microfinance Conference on Friday, a panel of experts explored the possibilities and pitfalls of ever-changing technology in the microfinance industry. Moderator Preeth Gowdar, Kellogg School of Management, led the session entitled “Getting ‘Techy:’ Can Technology Innovations Transform Microfinance?” Gowdar started out with a story about when he was working in microfinance in India, and his institution was debating whether to move from a paper-based system to a…

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Happy Mother’s Day from Opportunity International!

by Opportunity International

Please be sure to visit our Global Opportunity Quilt at OptINnow.org/Mothers to see the beautiful patches purchased and read the inspiring messages supporters have dedicated to the important women in their lives. We at Opportunity have enjoyed sharing our own reflections on this important day. Below is a list of our blog entries in honor of Mother’s Day: 1. A Mother’s Inspiring Story from Uganda… 2. Let’s Celebrate Moms Everywhere 3. 5 Reasons to Honor Moms Everywhere To all women and mothers…

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One Hen Inspires Second Graders to Microfinance

by Emily Riemer

When Katie Smith Milway, author of One Hen, visited Lincoln Elementary School in River Forest, Ill. last Tuesday, she was confronted with the extraordinary work of the school’s second-graders. Up on a screen in the classroom was Opportunity International’s donation website, OptINnow.org, displaying that the children had raised $425 to help end global poverty. “Do you realize that you changed four people’s lives today?” Milway asked the class. One Hen is the story of a West African boy,…

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Please Join Us for the National Day of Prayer

by Opportunity International

Today, May 6th, is the National Day of Prayer. Please take a moment today to join Opportunity International in prayer… …For our clients that they would be empowered to transform their lives spiritually, socially and economically. …For their families and communities that there would be justice and peace in families and communities involved with Opportunity. …For our local staff that they would be protected as they travel through impoverished communities. …For our leadership that they would…

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Five Reasons to Honor Moms Everywhere This Mother’s Day

by Cynthia Greenwood

This Mother’s Day, Opportunity International celebrates moms around the world, especially our clients who work hard, most under challenging circumstances, to provide for their families. In this blog, we consider just a few of the reasons why moms are so special, as illustrated in the stories that follow. Feel free to add your own stories of special moms in the comment section below. You can also honor Mom or a special woman in your life – and help another mother in the developing world – by…

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One Hen Takes Microfinance to School

by Emily Riemer

On Tuesday, I got the chance to visit local elementary schools in Oak Park and River Forest, Ill., attending wonderful presentations by children’s author Katie Smith Milway. She wrote One Hen: How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference, a book about a Ghanaian boy named Kojo who receives a small loan to buy a hen and eventually builds his business into the largest poultry farm in West Africa. He moves from poverty to well-being to provider, creating opportunities for himself and for the rest of his…

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How Online Giving Connects You With Our Work

by Opportunity International

I recently had the opportunity to attend theNon-Profit Technology Network’s annual Nonprofit Technology Conference and present on two panels: one on the changing face of donations online and what that means to charities today, and the other on how to approach big issues (and unfortunately, last I checked, poverty is still a big issue). It was a great conference attended by over 1,400 people who work for various nonprofits from across the spectrum. They were all there to find out how they can:…

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Two Dollar Challenge

by Andrew Koehler

This year, Opportunity Internationalis proud to announce our partnership with the Two Dollar a Day Challenge (TDC). TDC is an initiative that began with Shawn Humphrey, assistant professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Mary Washington. Shawn charged his students with the very same challenge that people all over the world are faced with every day; to live on $2 or less a day. He has asked students at University of Mary Washington to reach out to their friends and other schools…

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#mifimon: Technology & Microfinance

by Ben Lyon

The following is a guest post from Ben Lyon from FrontlineSMS. You can stay connected and up to date with #mifimon by following @Mifimon on Twitter. Once every two weeks, the microfinance community comes together on Twitter for Microfinance Monday, or #mifimon. Last  #mifimon, the use and implications of technology in microfinance took center stage. Questions ranged from “How do we address risks?” to “How can technology increase transparency?” to “How can technology be used to build…

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