Opportunity International, a global nonprofit organization that provides access to loans, savings programs, insurance and training to help millions of families around the world break the cycle of poverty, today announced it empowered 9.9 million women in 2017, to launch or expand businesses and earn a sustainable living to support their families.
The organization has set a goal of helping an additional 42,000 women and children during the holiday season and before December 31, 2017, through its “Opportunity Now” campaign. The campaign focuses on helping hardworking mothers, many of whom live on less than $2 a day, provide for their families, and pay tuition to keep their children in school and receive a quality education, which can change the destiny of the family for generations.
A gift of $360 can completely alter the life of a mother and her children living in poverty. Every donation made to Opportunity International through the “Opportunity Now” campaign, which runs until December 31, 2017, will be matched, up to $500,000, so donor dollars reach twice as far to help improve the lives of women and families living in poverty.
“Poverty impacts women and children disproportionately,” Atul Tandon, CEO, Opportunity International said. “We believe the best way to eradicate poverty is jobs. That’s what Opportunity International does—teaching a woman who is unskilled, illiterate and born on the wrong side of the ocean, to earn a living either by starting a business of her own or getting a job. We’ve been doing this for the past 46 years—providing people living in poverty, with an opportunity to build a sustainable livelihood—ensuring your support creates real, lasting change.”
Opportunity International has a loan repayment rate of 99 percent, showcasing that investing in people living in poverty can bring about responsible, lasting change worldwide.
“Economic poverty requires economic solutions that are sustainable and scalable,” Keith Krach, Chairman of DocuSign said. “Opportunity International uses financial tools, training and support to address some of the most pressing challenges and needs facing those living in extreme poverty. When a family is able to work and earn a living, they can send their children to school, provide a healthy home and build a better life for today, tomorrow and generations to come.”
Already, Opportunity International’s partnerships have reached 24 million people since 1971, with plans to reach another 160 million by 2020.
Actress and humanitarian Malin Akerman, who portrays Lara Axelrod on the Showtime hit series Billions, is a long-time supporter of Opportunity’s work in Latin America and Africa.
“Opportunity International is focused on smart solutions that provide options for people living in poverty and is an expert in creating long-term change,” Akerman said. “I was so honored to have been invited to spend time with Opportunity International and their clients, learning, listening, laughing and falling more and more in love with Africa and Latin America. I realized then that we all have a lot more work ahead of us.”
It is through partnerships like Keith’s and Malin’s, along with other individual philanthropists, and organizations such as Credit Suisse, Cisco, Caterpillar Foundation, Mastercard Foundation, Stanford Emergency Medicine, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that enable Opportunity International to strengthen its programs in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe.
“We couldn’t have achieved what we have without the support of our partners and supporters—corporations, foundations, individual philanthropists, local governments and academia,” Tandon said. “We are grateful for this collective impact on global development and are tremendously humbled by our clients’ achievements and what is to come in 2018.”
About Opportunity International
Opportunity International is a global nonprofit organization that helps people in developing countries work their way out of poverty. Since 1971, the organization has provided more than $12 billion in loans to help 24 million clients launch and expand businesses, feed and educate their children and create jobs in their communities. In 2017, more than 10 million clients in 20 countries across Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe, were using an Opportunity International loan, savings account, insurance policy or training to improve their lives. Through microfinance and complementary products and services in education, agriculture and health, the organization has helped clients create or sustain 17.3 million jobs on the way to achieving its goal of 20 million jobs by 2020. More than 92 percent of Opportunity’s loan clients are women who would otherwise likely not have access to financial services because of legal and cultural gender inequities. The global headquarters of Opportunity International are in Chicago, with other key offices in Australia, Canada, Germany, Singapore, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. The organization serves clients through a network of more than 23,000 people worldwide. Discover more at opportunity.org or join the conversation on facebook.com/opportunityintl and twitter.com/opportunityintl.