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News Blog

"Building Social Business" with Muhammad Yunus

by Andrew Koehler

Last Friday, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs brought Dr. Muhammad Yunus to Chicago for a talk entitled “Building Social Business.” Dr. Yunus, often called the grandfather of microfinance, is the founder and managing director of Grameen Bank and the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize Winner. Friday’s talk was attended by an audience that consisted of local professionals, business leaders, students and educators, who were all interested in learning more about the principles and impact of building…

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Why we’re excited about the Tanzania launch on OptINnow…

by Opportunity International

Now that Opportunity has launched Tanzanian clients on OptINnow, participants from last September’s YAO Insight Trip to Tanzania want to share the good news. Here, they tell us what excites them most about the launch of Tanzania on OptINnow.   “I’m excited to tell my family and friends, because they all know how much Tanzania means to me. Tanzania will always hold a special place in my heart, and I’m just so excited to see what God is going to be doing in the country!” -Suzie Hofert…

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Credit Suisse Microfinance Advocates Partner with Opportunity

by John Shon

Thank you to John Shon, Reference Data Group, Credit Suisse, for this guest blog post. The Credit Suisse Microfinance Advocates Network is an employee global network with the mission to promote microfinance to the rest of the bank. It is our goal to educate employees on current issues faced by the microfinance industry and to create opportunities to give back and become involved. Credit Suisse partners with four microfinance institutions, one of which is Opportunity International, and we are hoping…

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Opportunity International Tanzania Opens New Branch in Arusha

by AJ Renold

This week, Opportunity announces the launch of  its Tanzanian clients on OptINnow.org. AJ Renold, our multimedia YAO reporter on the ground with Opportunity Tanzania, had the opportunity to travel to Arusha in March to attend the opening ceremony for its flagship bank branch, and he shares with us the story of this significant event… Thursday, March 25th was the opening ceremony of Opportunity Tanzania’s flagship Arusha branch. Opportunity Tanzania chairman of the board and the Arusha regional…

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USAID: "Agriculture Development is Springboard for Economic Development"

by Opportunity International

Opportunity International is attending today’s Symposium on Global Agriculture and Food Security in Washington, D.C., sponsored by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. Keynote speaker Rajiv Shah, administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, unveiled the Feed the Future Guide, which details the implementation strategy for the U.S. government’s new global hunger and food security initiative. Shah called for a major focus on women farmers, who can make the difference between…

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The Memorable Microfinance Clients of Opportunity Tanzania

by Opportunity International

After visiting Tanzania on last September’s Insight Trip, YAO members share their experiences meeting the hard-working microfinance clients of Opportunity Tanzania. Question: What clients did you meet in Tanzania that impacted you most and have stayed on your mind in the months following your Insight Trip? “One of the days we went to this very large market. As we were walking along we met a client who sold avocados in a little alley. Her little stand was not much, but she had dreams of expanding…

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Is access to financial services a human right or not?

by Opportunity International

Opportunity International’s April DuBois opened her presentation today at the 7th International Human Rights Forum in Lucerne, Switzerland, with this question. She and Opportunity’s Daryl Skoog  partnered with Fabian Huwyler of Credit Suisse to present a special workshop on “Electronic Wallets – Reaching More of the World’s Poor with Financial Access.” And back in the States, at the same exact time, Opportunity International was issuing a press release about a Credit Suisse grant that…

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Cell Phone Banking Technology Comes to Opportunity Malawi

by Opportunity International

Opportunity International is excited to announce that, after several years and many challenges, Opportunity Malawi launched its cell phone banking product, Banki Mmanja, on May 7 in the rural district of Dowa. In 2007, Opportunity started work on a project that could tap into the country’s huge network of cell phone users and bring the bank directly to them, especially the 60% of current clients who own a cell phone. We hope to finalize agreements with both cell phone service providers in the…

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Serving the People of Malawi with a New Satellite Bank Branch

by Opportunity International

Exciting news from Malawi… Opportunity Malawi has now opened a satellite bank branch in Ndirande Township, an informal settlement located three miles south of Blantyre and six miles from Limbe, and the largest community in the Blantyre area. The roads in the densely populated township are unpaved and the central marketplace is crowded with the precariously perched stalls of entrepreneurs selling their wares.  Though the main branch of Opportunity Malawi is in Blantyre, many of its clients live…

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YAO Insight Trip Participants Reflect on the Microfinance Clients of Tanzania

by Opportunity International

In September 2009, 21 people traveled on a nine-day YAO Insight Trip to Tanzania. The diverse group included students, business-owners, financiers, and other globally-minded young people interested in seeing microfinance at work in Tanzania. Now, in honor of Opportunity International‘s launch of Tanzanian clients on OptINnow, in the first of a series of blog posts, YAO members reflect back on the people they met and the experiences they had while on their Insight Trip. Read their reflections below,…

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