News Media Coverage
Follow the latest media coverage on Opportunity International events, programs, partnerships and successes in alleviating poverty in the developing world.
Getting Children Back to School: Lessons Learned from Uganda as it Ends the World’s Longest COVID-19 Shutdown
On January 10, Uganda reopened schools across the country — ending the world’s longest COVID-19 shutdown. Students in Uganda have been out of the classroom since March 2020, and while some schools attempted virtual education, limited digital access means that the majority of young people have not been learning for nearly two years.
With over four decades of leadership, learn how Atul Tandon ended up in pursuit of humanitarian work and speaks to building others up.
Opportunity International Malawi has launched a project aimed at strengthening the supply and demand of financial services for marginalized and previously excluded rural populations in central and southern Malawi.
From economic slowdowns to travel restrictions to severe health risks, the pandemic has irrevocably changed our world. Over the past two years, we have lost jobs, opportunities, gatherings and loved ones. One of the greatest losses we have experienced—one whose implications we have yet to fully grasp—is education.
Ghana's worsening floods and droughts have made growing fruit and vegetables harder, and when the staple maize and rice crops are hit as well, families in the region are left with meager yields of grains that lack essential nutrients and vitamins. Through a pilot project run by social enterprise Roots of Change, crop insurance is helping farmers in Ghana who are increasingly hit by the effects of climate change.
For the first time in Africa, farmers in Ghana are using farm produce as collateral to get loans from lenders. Charities like Opportunity International under its Roots of Change program are working with farmers in Ghana and DRC to provide financial solutions to poor households through innovations like warehouse receipting.
In this episode of the Measure Success Podcast, Carl J. Cox talks with Randy Kurtz. He oversees Opportunity’s Finance, Accounting, Investment, Human Resources, IT, and Legal departments and joined Opportunity in November 2018.
In 2013, Randy traded in a three-decade career in investment banking to serve those in need – first by serving as CEO of the Cristo Rey Network, then as Deputy Directory and CFO of the Illinois Criminal Justice Authority. As COO of Opportunity International, Randy played a pivotal role in helping the organization reach 19.4 million people living in poverty in 2020 and remains excited to play a part in furthering Opportunity’s mission of ending extreme poverty for good.
Desperate Times, Desperate Measures: A Microfinance Network Responds to the Devastating Reality of COVID-19 in India - NextBillion
Opportunity International has built a robust network of microfinance partners throughout India. Our local teams know our clients — and our clients trust our teams. Now, in the face of disaster, we are using these trusted partners to help our clients survive and to deliver emergency relief to those being hit the hardest. In this insightful reflection for NextBillion, CEO Atul Tandon shares his thoughts about the COVID-19 crisis—and Opportunity International's rapid response—in his home country of India.
Opportunity International joins the SME Finance Forum as the newest member of the global membership network. Members are SME Financing experts from 80+ countries who share the common goal of expanding access to finance to small businesses worldwide through knowledge exchange and innovation.
To celebrate each decade that Opportunity has served people living in poverty, and to give you a better idea of what this work means to the people they serve, here are five stories from the people who can tell it best.
Watch Atul Tandon, CEO of Opportunity International as he is joined by Mukti Bosco, Founder & Secretary General at Healing Fields Foundation (India); Laura Hemrika, Global Head Corporate Citizenship & Foundations at Credit Suisse (Switzerland); and Katey Assem, Chairman of the Board at Opportunity Savings & Loan (Ghana), as part of the Ideagen Global Leadership Summit.
Over the course of the last year, COVID-19 forced many into extreme isolation, impossible work-life balances, and grieving over lost loved ones or altered life plans. That same struggle, for people living at the bottom of the economic pyramid, turned already-precarious lives into a catastrophe.
Atul Tandon reflects on his career and HKS Executive Education Experience. Atul attended the Mobilizing Your Nonprofit Board online executive education program in 2016.
Watch Atul Tandon: CEO of Opportunity International & Thuy Vu: Co-Founder and President of Global Mentor Network, as they sit down for a power chat to discuss "Resilience in the Midst of Catastrophe."
Opportunity CEO Atul Tandon joins Global Minnesota's International Day of Education event to discuss COVID-19’s impact on education and Opportunity's creative responses to help schools weather the pandemic.
Gorjana had to flee the besieged city of Sarajevo in 1992 facing an uncertain future. Almost 30 years later, she has received the 2020 award from the Association of Business Women of Serbia for her achievements as the owner of Wood Planet, a progressive carpentry business in Zrenjanin, in Serbia. Despite the challenges she has faced, Gorjana has maintained a passion for wood and the importance of “those who work with their hands”.
A lack of income typically goes hand in hand with a lack of access to education and opportunity, creating a vicious cycle that makes it hard for those in need to improve their situation. Recognizing these difficulties, charitable organizations of all kinds of work to empower struggling individuals and families and provide them with the tools they need to survive and thrive. This article profiled a number of dedicated groups, listed in no particular order, that offer help to those seeking to leave poverty behind.
Social Impact Heroes: Why & How Mukti Bosco of Healing Fields Foundation Is Helping To Change Our World
Healing Fields Foundation partners with global nonprofit Opportunity International, whose microfinance institution members are trained as Women Community Health Entrepreneurs (CHEs), which was launched by Healing Fields with the support of Opportunity International and other donors. They are trained in basic healthcare management and equipped with a basket of affordable health products. Aided by technology, they offer a spectrum of health solutions in resource-poor communities.
Social Impact Investors: How Atul Tandon and Opportunity International Are Helping To Address Some of the World’s Biggest Challenges
Authority Magazine featured Atul Tandon, Chief Executive Officer of Opportunity International, as part of their “Social Impact Investors" series.
Kimberly Inskeep is the CEO of cabi, a women’s fashion apparel company, which has been selling solely through Independent Personal Stylists for almost 19 years. cabi is a long-time partner of Opportunity International, committed to helping offer the tools and resources to help families work their way out of poverty.
Co-Founded by Silicon Valley Entrepreneur, Keith Krach, the Global Mentor Network is a pay-it-forward enterprise with a mission to solve one of the world's great challenges: building the next generation of principled, transformational leaders. In this series, host Thuy Vu interviews Opportunity International CEO Atul Tandon.
The Life and Mission of Atul Tandon, Recipient of Life & News’ Krach Transformational Leader of the Year Award
Opportunity International CEO Atul Tandon is the recipient of Life & News’ Krach Transformational Leader of the Year Award.
Andrew McCusker, Head of Opportunity EduFinance, interviewed with Through the Noise host Ernesto Gluecksmann to discuss the value of education when it comes to uplifting communities and improving school standards, both in quality and access.
Opportunity International partner cabi, the nation’s largest social selling apparel company, held its annual Heart of cabi Foundation Week this month. One America’s Stephanie Myers spoke with the foundation’s director, Amy Taylor, to talk about their efforts and how their partnership with Opportunity is supporting and empowering women living in poverty.
As we watch decades-long progress in the fight to end poverty possibly wiped out due to the result of the pandemic, where does that leave us in our collective goal to achieve SDG 1: Ending Poverty? Opportunity CEO Atul Tandon hosted a panel discussion with Opportunity's Africa Regional Director Tineyi Mawocha and Knowledge and Research Manager Mary Pat McVay for Ideagen's 17 Days of Sustainability to discuss the current standing and future of this critical goal.
Opportunity’s Agriculture Finance (AgFinance) model is structured to bring scalable, competitive, and high-impact loans and training to families living in poverty in hard-to-reach regions of the world. Today we work through local, vetted, and regulated financial institution partners, hand-in-hand with our program teams, to bring critical poverty solutions to agricultural communities in sub-Saharan Africa to break the cycle of generational rural poverty.
Even in normal circumstances, over 35,000 children of primary school age are out of school in Ghana. Over 40% of children are not enrolled in secondary school. Girls in Ghana are particularly affected by a lack of access to education with a school life expectancy of 11 years. According to Opportunity International, many girls face particular challenges in attending school due to poverty, early marriage, or pregnancy. As the founder of Solid Rock Foundation Schools in Accra, Ghana, Victoria Hazel knows how essential education is for unlocking a child’s potential, especially for girls.
Opportunity International Savings and Loans Limited (OISL), a leading savings and loans company in Ghana, has donated 10,000 pieces of face masks to its clients. The donation was part of OISL’s actions in combatting the spread of the novel coronavirus in various communities it serves.
Opportunity EduFinance partnered with the University of Chicago’s Center for RISC to measure the effectiveness of School Improvement Loans in Uganda related to increasing learning outcomes for students.
Opportunity International Savings and Loans in Ghana celebrated the second graduation ceremony for 54 street porters (Kayaye) under its flagship Youth Development Program.
During these uncertain times, how are leaders adapting and changing course? Opportunity International CEO Atul Tandon joined Through the Noise host Ernesto Gluecksmann to discuss how the organization is supporting families during COVID-19, the critical data that helps guide strategic decisions, and what motivates him to serve the most marginalized.
COVID-19 has presented not only a health crisis but a burgeoning economic catastrophe as well. A recent McKinsey report notes that in 2020, African economies could experience a catastrophic loss from $90 billion to $200 billion, a 3–8% drop in GDP growth, and delayed or reduced foreign direct investment. Such a massive hit will require immense resources and focus at a continental level, as well as data-driven, gender-sensitive solutions at the local level. Emerging evidence suggests that women will disproportionately suffer the economic impacts of COVID-19.
Opportunity CEO Atul Tandon and Opporunity EduQuality Manager Renee McAlpin joined the annual Ideagen Global Innovation Summit to discuss the impact COVID-19 has had on education thus far, the challenges ahead, and the importance of coming together during a critical time in human history. Ideagen is a thought-leadership organization based in Washington, D.C. that focuses on building and enhancing cross-sector collaboration between nonprofit, corporate, and public sector entities for collective impact.
Founder of Soul of Finance Larry Reed interviewed Opportunity CEO Atul Tandon to discuss how Opportunity is pivoting during the COVID-19 pandemic. Soul of Finance explores how the financial industry and philanthropic values intersect.
"Over the past couple of months, we have seen unprecedented coordination among investors, donors, and other industry actors all seeking to support the [base of the economic pyramid] and the institutions that serve them. We are building a coalition so that these institutions that serve the poor with financial services also have a voice in the COVID-19 response." - Center for Financial Inclusion
We had the great honor to meet Her Royal Highness, the Princess Royal, Princess Anne this past November in Chicago and experience her palpable enthusiasm for Opportunity International’s work. We’re so grateful for her long-time patronage of Opportunity International UK, which was mentioned in the cover story of Vanity Fair's May 2020 issue about the Princess. As she looks towards her 70th birthday this year, the article explores an in-depth look at her life as a Royal, and her commitment as a philanthropist to serve the most marginalized people—especially women and children.
Opportunity’s CEO Atul Tandon and Deputy Director of Cisco Foundation Charu Adesnik were featured on LinkedIn Live with Ideagen to discuss updates from the field, maintaining hope during COVID-19, and how technology is helping us support and prepare the most marginalized. Host George Sifakis, Global CEO of Ideagen, led the conversation. Ideagen is a thought-leadership organization based in Washington, D.C., that focuses on building and enhancing cross-sector collaboration between nonprofit, corporate, and public sector entities for collective impact.
Opportunity's Head of Education Finance, Andrew McCusker, joined Ideagen® President George Sifakis to discuss the global education crisis, how Opportunity's Education Finance team is designing and scaling solutions, and the top three lessons he's learned that have the potential to change the world.
Host Kerby Anderson discusses Opportunity International's mission with Opportunity CEO Atul Tandon.
Opportunity International Joins Akropong School For The Blind To Celebrate International Day Of Persons With Disability
The Management and staff of Opportunity International Savings and Loans (OISL) organised a 5 kilometer health walk and spent the rest of the day with students and staff of Akropong School for the Blind to celebrate the International Day for Persons with Disability.
Young people make up 35% of the world's unemployed, and it's a global problem. Pulitzer prize-winning reporter Amy Goldstein, author of Janesville: An American Story, tells us how retraining doesn't always work when it comes to finding people new jobs in the rust belt of America. Rahul Tandon reports on India's unemployed youth contending with a slowing economy. And John Magnay from Opportunity International, a network of banks and micro-finance institutions, tells us why farming can still be the solution for Africa's unemployment problem.
CGTN's Rachelle Akuffo spoke with Atul Tandon, Opportunity International CEO, about why online donations are increasing.