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News Blog

Opportunity International Gives Thanks for Dedicated Supporters

by Cynthia Greenwood

Opportunity International gives thanks for dedicated supporters like Bob and Polly McCrea, who are highlighted in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune article For retired Lake Minnetonka couple, giving has no season.  The story is about the couple’s lifestyle of giving, including their longtime service to Opportunity International. Polly is a former board chair, and she and Bob are members of our Board of Governors. The couple is passing on this wonderful legacy to their children, who each found ways…

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Rabia Mwakasaka’s New Beginning

by Sonja Egeland Kelly

As we jump into 2010 with both feet, I am reminded of Rabia Mwakasaka’s story. Rabia is a widow with three children. Before she came to Opportunity Tanzania, she worked out of her home, but could not seem to make ends meet. She didn’t have the capital to buy large quantities of raw materials, so business was difficult. She lamented that she was unable to send her children to school or to properly feed them. Upon her introduction to Opportunity, however, she discovered a new beginning for herself…

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Top 5 Reasons Urbana Rocks!

by Amy Carol Wolff

I just spent a week with 16,000 amazing people, sharing about microfinance, listening to countless stories, and enjoying the energy that comes with being around people who want to make an impact. I’d like to share a few of the highlights as we enter into the new year:  1. The Students. Seriously, every day I got to see energy and life and drive in the eyes of these students from across the world. Yesterday, I spoke with a girl from Zambia who is interested in working with us when she goes home…

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Opportunity International at Urbana 2009

by Amy Carol Wolff

Hello from St. Louis! To create some context, on Sunday, the downtown area of St. Louis nearly doubled in size. And a couple of us from Opportunity International are spending this week with over 16,000 university and high school students from over 100 countries at Intervarsity’s conference- Urbana 2009. You can feel the energy when you walk the streets of downtown. It’s pretty radical. As one of the exhibiting organizations, we have the awesome opportunity to interact with students interested…

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Creating New Traditions

by Marisa Brown

We are always encouraged when we hear stories about Opportunity International’s initiatives that are becoming part of families’ traditions, such as OptINnow holiday gift cards and the One Hen book and website. In addition to empowering aspiring entrepreneurs to start businesses so that they can work their way out of poverty, OptINnow gift cards also influence families’ gift exchange traditions during the holiday season. Ruth-Anne Renaud is particularly thrilled for her family’s gift exchange…

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#Mifimon: Microfinance and Technology

by Amy Carol Wolff

The following is a collaborative post from Grameen Foundation’s Edward Cable and Opportunity International’s Amy Carol Wolff. Moderators: @amycarolwolff @mifos Panelists: @bhalchander @creditsms @GrameenAppLab @msftcitizenship Participants: @aaspire @hanacaraka @microempowering @HoracioCoutino @laurakummer @licorous @zyozyfounder @mongkolroek @RealizedWorth @CIPEglobal @CFI_ACCION @digitalkulcha @AJRenold @Optinnow The topic from this past #Mifimon: strategic use of technology for microfinance. …

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Guest Post: Believe in Sheela

by Desiree Adaway

The following is a guest post by  Desiree Adaway, Sr. Director of Volunteer Mobilization at Habitat for Humanity. It was first posted on her personal blog. I want you to believe in Sheela.  She is  a leader of  Opportunity International’s Baba Trust Group meeting in Chennai, India. Nineteen women have joined together to repay loans, learn accounting skills and socialize They are doin it for themselves.  One powerful way that women are doing it for themselves  and helping to make sure…

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The Gift of Health

by Sonja Egeland Kelly

Very often, we take health for granted. While the healthcare debate rages in Washington D.C. and around the U.S., the majority of us have health insurance, or at least have access to medical care in the case of an emergency. People in the developing world, however, do not often have the luxury of health insurance or even quality medical care. MicroEnsure, Opportunity’s Micro Insurance subsidiary, is changing this reality for millions of people around the globe, including the Ramtekke family in…

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Opportunity’s new start-up in Tanzania to become a regulated financial institution?

by Ian Haisley

Opportunity Tanzania has begun the transition to become a regulated deposit-taking institution.  With the help and guidance of Opportunity’s Bank Building Team, Tanzania’s CEO, Peter Olivier expects to secure a license from the Bank of Tanzania to operate as a regulated deposit-taking entity during the first half of 2010. This Micro Finance Institutionlicense will allow Opportunity Tanzania to provide most of the same financial products and services to hard-working poor families as a commercial…

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Microfinance Movie Night: Indiana University

by Amy Carol Wolff

Last night I had the pleasure of spending a couple of hours with Indiana U’s Trockman Microfinance Initiative (TMI) at an event where they reported on their recent trip to Opportunity International’s office in Oak Brook and then we enjoyed an hour-long movie highlighting the microfinance industry. I have to say, I was impressed with the turn-out! Almost 30 students showed up in the middle of the week before finals to watch a movie about the global impact of this economic development tool. First,…

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