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© 2017 Opportunity InternationalOpportunity International United Kingdom is registered as a charity in England and Wales (1107713) and in Scotland (SCO39692).

News Blog

Opportunity's Education programme creates new jobs too

by Opportunity International

Schools, parents, and children are not the only ones to benefit from Opportunity International’s education microfinance programmes, new research has confirmed. Opportunity EduFinance’s investments into affordable schooling also generate jobs, boost local economies, and slow the exodus of a community’s professionals to big cities somewhere else.  “We have always maintained that investment into education is one of the best routes out of poverty,” said Nathan Byrd, who manages Opportunity’s…

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A bumper harvest

by Opportunity International

Three years ago we launched a Seeds of Opportunity Appeal – highlighting both the huge needs and potential of farmers in Africa.   We were overwhelmed by your generosity.  In just three months, with the UK government’s match funding, we raised £6million! That money has been put to work and is changing lives.  YOUR generosity has provided much needed loans, savings accounts and training to thousands of women and men across Africa.  One of the projects funded by the appeal specifically supported…

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Impact Investors face $39bn Opportunity in Education Microfinance

by Faye Ruck-Nightingale

Education offers impact investors some of the best opportunities for financial and social returns, with the market for education microloans worth US$39 billion across 33 countries, according to recent analysis by Opportunity International's Education Finance (Opportunity EduFinance).  Building on studies with partner organisations, Opportunity EduFinance worked with a strategy consultant, using desktop research and the latest available data from UNESCO, the Economist, and Mix Market. “Education…

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Sharing big data so others can invest in Education

by Faye Ruck-Nightingale

Millions more children could end up getting an education, when Opportunity International's EduFinance Group shares its experience and data on education microfinance, enabling others to invest in education. With 263 million children out of school, banks and other financial institutions have been reluctant to lend into developing countries’ education because – in their view – of the small margins and high risks. But with backing from philanthropists, donors, and impact investors, Opportunity’s…

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Rwanda: A land of Opportunity

by Opportunity International

Twenty-three years have passed since Rwanda’s genocide in which an estimated 20% of the population were killed. It is a country that has been defined by its horrific history. But, this is changing. Rwanda is now experiencing fast economic growth and many of the people and communities we work with are moving forward with peaceful ambition and determination. Opportunity International has been in Rwanda since 2007, equipping and empowering men and women to create stable and secure livelihoods.…

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G7 Statement: Education needs more resources, microfinance can help

by Opportunity International

Ahead of this week’s G7 summit 2017, which is expected to focus on sustainability and reducing inequality, including on education, Nathan Byrd, Global Head of Opportunity International EduFinance, said: “We welcome the G7’s second pillar: their discussions on economic, environmental and social sustainability, and the reduction of inequalities (G7 Priorities). Complete and equal access to education will be a major contributor to poverty reduction and to socio-economic stability. National governments…

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Opportunity Edufinance rolls out its Education Quality model, boosting financial sustainability

by Opportunity International

Opportunity EduFinance is rolling out its Education Quality (EdQ) programme from 250 schools in 2016 to reach 675 schools this year in Colombia, Ghana, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda. Besides education quality, the EdQ programme improves financial sustainability too, helping schools to manage their finances better. A pilot project in 105 Ghanaian schools reduced loan default rates to save nearly 5 percent of total programme cost. “Our Ghana pilot demonstrates that, with our EdQ work, schools are…

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Mentoring Malawi's Business Women

by Opportunity International

In January 2017 we launched a 'Woman in business' mentoring scheme as part of a three-year Scottish government funded programme to promote the economic empowerment of women.  The programme addresses the key constraints faced by many small business owners in Malawi -  a lack of access to financial services, entrepreneurship training and businesses growth. The mentoring scheme will focus on encouraging female entrepreneurs as they plan to grow their businesses from small-scale to large - taking on…

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Ambitious for the Future

by Cliff Hampton

In February this year I went to Uganda and Rwanda to see some of our projects on the ground. I visited schools supported by our education programmes, Trust Groups providing job creation and farmers who are part of our agriculture programmes. In each case I saw for myself and heard from many people that loans provided by us have not only transformed their lives but were impacting their children through help with their education. It was a humbling experience to see how, despite many challenges…

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Opportunity International And Finca Combine Forces To Improve Education In Nigeria

by Opportunity International

Opportunity International EduFinance and FINCA Microfinance Bank Nigeria have partnered to expand access to education loans in South East of Nigeria.  The partnership, via Opportunity’s EduFinance Technical Assistance Facility (ETAF), will introduce a School Fee Loan product for parents of students in public and private sector education, as well as a School Improvement Loan product for affordable private schools to expand and improve their schools.  The partnership aims to reach at least 118,000…

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