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Opportunity International honors Credit Suisse and the Cisco Foundation with prestigious awards for ongoing commitment to serve the world's poor

CHICAGO, April 8, 2022 – Opportunity International today announced two awards to longstanding partners, Credit Suisse and Cisco Foundation, for the organizations’ ongoing commitment to expand financial and educational opportunities for millions of women and children through access to financial services and training. The awards will be officially presented at Opportunity International’s 50th Anniversary Summit on April 9.

“Our partnerships with Credit Suisse and Cisco are enabling people living in poverty to start microbusinesses and educate their children around the world,” said Atul Tandon, CEO of Opportunity International. “The critical advancements we’ve made together are combining technology-powered access, innovative financial solutions, and the power of local financial markets to lift up millions of families at the bottom of the economic pyramid.”

Opportunity International is honoring Credit Suisse with the Catalyst Award in recognition of their contributions to Sustainable Development Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. Through the partnership with Credit Suisse, Opportunity’s Education Finance initiative has catalyzed investments and unlocked capital for affordable private schools and parents across 27 low-income countries and provided leadership trainings to school staff and administrators to improve learning conditions, impacting more than 10 million children globally.

“We see financial inclusion as a key enabler of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and an important part of accessing other essential services,” said Laura Hemrika, Global Head of Corporate Citizenship & Foundations at Credit Suisse. “Over the course of our 14-year partnership, we’ve worked together to bring financial services innovations to the un- and underserved globally, ensuring, among other things, that children have equal opportunities to learn and grow, and that communities can thrive in the long term.”

Opportunity International is recognizing the Cisco Foundation with the Global Innovations Award for building digital pathways for women economic empowerment. Since 2017, the Cisco Foundation’s partnership with Opportunity has impacted more than 36 million lives through digital financial services programming including closing the gender gap with mobile banking in Africa. In India, Opportunity has focused on leveraging female agents to reach marginalized groups in sustainable ways, leading community-based financial and digital skills training to effect long-term change.

 “At Cisco, we believe digitization can accelerate global problem solving and transform lives,” said Tae Yoo, Senior Vice President of Cisco Corporate Affairs. “We are excited to deepen our partnership with Opportunity International to harness the power of digitization and tackle the gender divide."


Opportunity International is a global non-profit celebrating 50 years of equipping people to work their way out of poverty. Opportunity provides 18.7 million families with innovative financial resources, training, and support to grow their small businesses and send their children to school. In 2021, Opportunity International and its partners released $2 billion in capital across 30 countries and helped fund 8,400 schools that reached 2 million children.                    

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