End poverty in all its forms everywhere.”Sustainable Development Goal 1
For families living in extreme poverty, financial stability remains just out of reach. Without sufficient education, social capital, or geographic proximity, people cannot find jobs in the traditional economy. And without resources or training, entrepreneurs struggle to make their small businesses sustainable and successful. They work tirelessly to secure a reliable income, but their options are remarkably limited.
- 10% of the world lives on less than $1.90/day
- 1 in 3 people do not have a formal bank account
- 61% of the world's employed population works in the informal economy
Opportunity International pioneered micro banking for those living in extreme poverty. As one of the first microfinance organizations, Opportunity International developed innovative financial services, training, and support that continue to help entrepreneurs and small business owners grow their businesses, provide for themselves, and help their families thrive. Through a comprehensive, high-touch, high-tech approach, we connect families to the tools and training they need to build bright futures for their families.
About Micro Banking Services
Opportunity International pioneered microfinance by connecting hardworking entrepreneurs with the capital they need to build small businesses and sustainable livelihoods. We were among the first to expand financial offerings to a full suite of financial services, including savings accounts which equip clients to protect their hard-earned money and make plans for the future. These transformational financial services enable people to increase their incomes, plan for the future, provide for themselves, send their children to school, and help their families thrive.
Digital solutions, like agent banker networks and mobile banking, have allowed us to bring financial services and training to rural and marginalized people. Using mobile phones and digital technology, even the most remote communities can access loans and savings, make deposits, receive training, and connect with Opportunity International staff. Technology has opened doors for us to serve those who need it most.
For people who are accessing financial services, often for the first time, training helps them manage these new resources. Through financial literacy and business management training, entrepreneurs learn important skills like how to budget, make timely payments, save, plan for the future, and invest in business growth. These skills help them make their small businesses even more successful, increasing their income and giving them additional resources with which they can support their families.
Lending groups and local staff offer clients crucial support as they work their way out of poverty. Social and professional connections help clients learn and grow, reminding them that although they face incredibly difficult challenges, they are not alone.