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News Blog

Emerging Market Risks and Rewards

by Cynthia Greenwood

Last night, Opportunity International Board Member Kadita “A.T.” Tshibaka spoke to a distinguished audience of almost 100 business leaders and students at an event hosted by the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management (watch the video here). Kadita offered up a few things he had learned during his life growing up in the Congo, his 30 years of international banking at Citibank, and his leadership at Opportunity. These included: Crises will happen, and we must therefore prepare…

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How to Measure the Positive Impact of Microfinance

by Opportunity International

When you work on poverty every day, you ask yourself if what you’re doing is having a lasting impact. Today, Opportunity International and five other leading microfinance organizations issued a position paper, which discusses our belief in the positive impact of microfinance. This paper is based on lessons learned from our combined work over the last four decades in more than 40 countries across five continents. It also affirms the industry’s increasing focus on and support of quantitative research…

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Malawi 2010

by Marisa Brown

Recently, Maria Largey, director of philanthropy at Opportunity UK  travelled to Malawi with Deborah Foy, director of programs. They went to meet with current clients, assess the situation in Nsanje (the region with one of the largest unbanked populations in Malawi), and to see firsthand the effectiveness and success of Opportunity Malawi’s POS devices, mobile banks, agriculturalist specialists and educational financial literacy program. She writes in her blog, Malawi 2010, about her experiences…

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YAO Launches San Diego Chapter

by Opportunity International

Young Ambassadors for Opportunity (YAO) launched its San Diego chapter kick-off event this past Friday, March 26, at the Caster home. Core members Anne Edwardson, Chris Tharp, Elise Caster and Troy Finnigan organized the event, which was attended by about 20 young adults. After mingling and munching on appetizers and cocktails, guests heard about the mission of YAO and Opportunity. Special guests included Opportunity VP Char Caldwell, Opportunity Uganda loan officer Frida Mungoma, and Rod Dammeyer,…

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Here’s a Meaningful Easter Gift Idea

by Cynthia Greenwood

Are you looking for a special gift to put in your child’s or grandchild’s Easter basket amidst the brightly colored eggs and chocolates? Consider an OptINnow gift card (starting at just $25) to help teach youngsters about the importance of giving back out of the many blessings your family has received. Later that day, spend a few special moments together on optinnow.org to choose an entrepreneur to support with a small business loan. Explain that once the loan is paid back, the money will…

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Outrage & Inspire – All Efforts Great and Small by Roger Thurow

by Opportunity International

Roger Thurow, a reporter for the Wall Street Journal for three decades, spoke at Opportunity International’s recent microfinance conference in Phoenix. His subsequent post, “All Efforts Great and Small,” on the Chicago Council on Global Affairs’ Global Food for Thought blog, discusses Opportunity’s agricultural finance program and its big impact on farmers in Africa. Read it here http://globalfoodforthought.typepad.com/global-food-for-thought/2010/03/roger-thurow-outrage-inspire-great-and-small.html.

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Providing Financial Services to Women Creates a Better World

by Cynthia Greenwood

Opportunity has long known what U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated in a video message to the “Women for a Better World” conference in Spain on Saturday—that empowering women is the key to global progress and prosperity. While Opportunity serves all people regardless of race, religion, ethnicity or gender, we place a special emphasis on providing financial services to women since they represent 70 percent of the world’s poor and have the fewest opportunities. Traditionally, 85…

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Join ONE, Melinda Gates, & Melanne Verveer

by Ruth-Anne Renaud

Here’s another opportunity to learn how you can become a more effective advocate in the fight against global poverty. Our friends at ONE are sponsoring an interactive conference next week with Melinda Gates and Melanne Verveer, the first-ever U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues. It’s easy to join in. Just RSVP with your telephone number and ONE will call you at 7:30 PM (EST) on Monday, March 29: Click Here to RSVP On this call, you’ll hear about how smart programs are transforming…

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An armchair tour of Tanzania at Opportunity’s Spring Conference

by Ed Kashmarek

Opportunity’s Spring Conference, hosted last weekend by the Board of Governors in Scottsdale, Ariz., included a breakout session on Tanzania. Attendees were immediately transported to the country by a giant image of majestic Mount Kilimanjaro towering over bright yellow giraffes, accompanied by the soulful, seductive sounds of Tanzanian music.  Young Ambassadors for Opportunity (YAO) founder Liesel Pritzker began the session with information on Tanzania, formerly known as Tanganyika. After…

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College Student Shares her Discovery of Microfinance

by Kelsey McGrath

In January, I spent a couple of hours with staff at Opportunity International’s Oak Brook office.  Although it was just a lunch break for them, it was a turning point for me.  This semester, I’ve decided to double major in Global Studies and Spanish.  And I am so incredibly happy and fulfilled with this decision.  I’m loving all of my classes for the first time in my college career, and I am actually incredibly interested in what I am studying.   In my Global Studies class, we focus primarily…

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