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© 2019 Opportunity Internationala 501(c)3 nonprofit. EIN: 540907624.

News Blog

International Women’s Day: What it is/why we celebrate…and more

by Ruth-Anne Renaud

Have you heard of International Women’s Day? Do you know much about the history or significance of this day?  Although the official date is Monday, March 8, we will be contributing posts this week on everything from the history of International Women’s Day to how it relates to the microfinance services that Opportunity International provides to clients worldwide (85% of whom are women). Let’s start with a brief history of International Women’s Day. It  first emerged at the turn of the…

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Opportunity Partners with Two Dollar Challenge: Student Program Makes Poverty a Reality

by Amy Carol Wolff

Opportunity International is pleased to announce our partnership withTwo Dollar Challenge (TDC), an organization based out of the University of Mary Washington (UMW) in Fredericksburg, Va. The program, where students live or eat on just $2 per day for one week, raises money for Opportunity Trust Groups in Kenya and Colombia through our peer-to-peer lending website,OptINnow. This initiative gives students the chance to make a personal connection with Opportunity’s clients, learning more about…

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Gates and Mastercard Foundations Partner with Opportunity International

by Opportunity International

In an effort to reach people living in poverty in rural areas, Opportunity International has researched and implemented new products and platforms such as mobile banking, savings services, agricultural finance, cell phone banking, education finance and much more. Because they believe in Opportunity International’s innovative model, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and The MasterCard Foundation are partnering with Opportunity in sub-Saharan Africa, where less than 10 percent have access…

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Ask a Microfinance Expert: Developing a Cost-Benefit Analysis Tool

by Sonja Egeland Kelly

Microfinance practitioners and microfinance enthusiasts alike agree that the sustainability of microfinance institutions hinges on the success of cost-benefit analysis. Opportunity’s Director of Knowledge Management Estelle Berger recently produced a report on this very topic. She worked with the SEEP Network and USAID to capture and record Opportunity’s experience with developing a cost-benefit analysis tool in both Mozambique and Malawi. Estelle took an in-depth look at the tool’s design…

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Opportunity International Provides Crucial Support to Microfinance Bank in Haiti

by Cynthia Greenwood

Fonkoze, the largest microfinance organization in Haiti, is being hailed for its distribution of cash more quickly than traditional banks after the earthquake destroyed the country’s banking infrastructure. Opportunity International has been playing a crucial supporting role to Fonkoze in getting the bank up and running after the disaster. After years of struggling to adapt traditional banking software to its microfinance operations, Fonkoze began working with Opportunity to implement the technology…

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Yes, We Care, Kenya

by Cynthia Greenwood

Capturing the stories of our field staff and clients during our time in Uganda and Kenya inspired us, and we hope it inspires you. While we were having dinner on our final night in Kenya, Ruth-Anne Renaud gave me the idea of starting up a fundraising group at OptINnow.org. It was easy to do, and now my friends and family are raising money to fund loans for two women clients at Opportunity Kenya. As of today, we’ve got 19 members in the “We Care, Kenya” group, but my goal is to have 30 by the…

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Ask a Microfinance Expert: M-Banking

by Sonja Egeland Kelly

The microfinance landscape has changed because of the advent of mobile phone banking technology. With the simple use of a cellular phone, Opportunity clients can check their account balances, transfer money between accounts, send money to other people, pay bills, receive salary or government payments, and buy airtime. If the people cannot come to the bank, Opportunity brings the bank to them through their phones. Rural clients in particular will hopefully be able to thrive under the mobile phone…

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Two Days of Discovery in Uganda

by Ruth-Anne Renaud

Cynthia Greenwood, Opportunity’s public relations specialist, and I recently traveled to Uganda and Kenya to capture the stories of Opportunity’s clients, programs, loan officers and services. We started our trip in Kampala, Uganda, where we spent two days discovering the intersections amongst our clients: a school proprietor, a Trust group, marketplace vendors, and children that all benefit from Opportunity’s small business loans, savings, insurance, training and school fee loans. We were…

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Melinda Gates Highlights Opportunity International

by Rob Meloche

Earlier this week, Opportunity International was honored to host Melinda Gates as she visited some of our clients and experienced our banking services in Malawi. With the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Opportunity is expanding access to savings accounts, loans, training and insurance to people struggling to work their way out of poverty in the developing world. In her blog post yesterday from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Melinda discusses the “important link between improving…

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Get Involved in Giving GROWTH a Chance

by Sonya Perez-Lauterbach

About the GROWTH Act Global Resources and Opportunities for Women to Thrive (GROWTH) Act (S.1425) is an innovative bill that is currently being discussed in Congress. It will give greater economic opportunities to women and families living in poverty. This bill was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Durbin, Richard (IL) on July 9, 2009. It was read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations. The GROWTH Act was put together after two years of study and the technical advice of Opportunity’s…

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