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News Blog

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

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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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Young Ambassador Reporting from Tanzania

by AJ Renold

On Sunday, Feb. 21, I flew from Chicago, Ill., to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. After almost two days of travel, I stepped out of the Julius Nyerere International Airport into humid, 90 degree weather. I knew I was in Tanzania. Thankfully, my luggage arrived with me and I went on to the Opportunity Tanzania head office.  Over the next year, I will be working with Opportunity to assist in its transition to a regulated microfinance bank, offering savings, loans and insurance products to the most impoverished…

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Celebrating the Board of Governors

by Sonja Egeland

With a common passion to help people in the developing world work their way out of poverty, the Opportunity International Board of Governors is a vital ingredient in the fight against global poverty. Numbering over 600 families nationwide, the governors believe that by joining together and supporting the work of Opportunity, they can leverage their resources to make a huge impact. This year, Opportunity’s governors have been busy. Hosting international visitors, holding fundraising events, educating…

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Opportunity LiveBlog: Banking on Africa

by Sonja Egeland Kelly

Over 75 percent of people in Africa lives on less than $2 per day. So when Opportunity looked at its expansion plan, Africa was the region that began to take priority. In 2008 Opportunity launched an ambitious campaign to make significant impact on the world’s poorest people in sub-Saharan Africa by 2015. Building upon its 38 years of providing financial services to the poor, Opportunity International is developing a network of banks to address the capital infrastructure needs of poor communities…

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Opportunity LiveBlog: “I cannot make my payment”

by Sonja Egeland Kelly

Today conference attendees gathered into groups of 10, and each took on a new identity. They became Opportunity International loan recipients, each with a unique situation. In the middle of the Trust Group simulation, they discovered something challenging: one of the members, Edif, could not pay her loan. The president of each Trust Groups alerted the group to the situation at hand: “The Trust Group acknowledges that Edif is unable to pay her portion of the group loan. Because it is her first default,…

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Opportunity LiveBlog: Celebrating YAO

by Sonja Egeland Kelly

The Young Ambassadors for Opportunity is a group of enthusiastic young leaders who are joining forces to help eradicate poverty around the world. YAO firmly believes ending poverty can be done in their lifetime. YAO members seek to inspire, educate and involve the next generation committed to transforming the lives of the poor through microfinance. The group was founded in March 2008 by Opportunity supporter Liesel Pritzker, who wanted to connect in a meaningful way beyond financial support. Liesel…

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