In addition to financial resources and training, Opportunity International helps clients build social and professional connections to facilitate networking, learning, and growth. This relational support is essential for families living in poverty because it connects them to peers and mentors who offer advice, lend a listening ear, and serve as an interconnected safety net.
Through lending communities like Trust Groups or learning communities like School Clusters, Opportunity International clients and their families learn that they are not alone. As they work tirelessly to thrive, they are surrounded by a robust network of support.
Opportunity International's robust partner network includes thousands of local staff who serve on the front lines and connect with clients every day. Because our highly skilled staff is local, they are familiar with the communities they serve, understand the challenges that clients face, and are personally available to lend encouragement and support.
In addition to providing financial literacy training, loan officers help clients choose appropriate financial services, learn to invest those resources wisely, and discover how they can best support their families and children. Loan officers and other local staff are at the heart of our work. They often serve as mentors and act as catalysts for the lifelong stability of clients and their families.
Clients often receive their first loan through a Trust Group — a group of 10 to 30 entrepreneurs who meet to share personal and business advice, receive financial training, and vote on loan-related topics.
Trust Groups ensure one another's loans, which builds a safety net through peer guarantees and creates a community based on collective success. As a result, Trust Group members encourage and support one another as they build their businesses and support their families.