The organisers of the European Microfinance Award have announced that Opportunity Bank of Uganda (OBUL) is among its three finalists for the award, which highlights the work of Microfinance Institutions in enabling access to education for children and/or skill-training for youth and adults to enhance their employment and self-employment opportunities.
The Selection Committee for the 7th European Microfinance Award, composed of members of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP) and Inclusive Finance Network Luxembourg (InFiNe.lu), chose the three finalists who will go on to compete for the €100,000 prize. The announcement of a winner will take place on 17th November during a ceremony at the European Investment Bank in Luxembourg.
OBUL's EduFinance programme has been in existence for nearly a decade, moving to scale in 2012 and serving more than 315,000 children over the past four years. In addition to lending, savings and insurance products to support children's access to an education, OBUL's programme includes an innovative School Leadership Professional Development programme and a school cluster model, grouping teachers into joint practice development networks for mutual support and growth in pedagogy and practice. Since 2012, OBUL's EduFinance programme has injected more than US$20 million into the education sector through lending alone.
Nathan Bryd, Opportunity International's Head of Education Finance, comments: "This is an exciting day for Opportunity Bank of Uganda and for all of Opportunity EduFinance. Opportunity Bank of Uganda's EduFinance programme champions a market-driven approach to confronting the education gap, where teachers are in the driver's seat, where proprietors take responsibility for quality provision, and where the market demand for high-quality products drives substantial growth in outreach. And with more than 315,000 children served in the past four years alone, the numbers speak for themselves. This announcement is a wonderful affirmation of this impact, and will bring with it a higher profile for replication elsewhere."
Click here to see the full press release from the European Microfinance Award.