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The OPIC Blog


Meeting the global unemployment challenge

January 31, 2013

A report earlier this month from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) offered some staggering measures of worldwide unemployment. IFC said there are currently 200 million people unemployed around the world – a number roughly equivalent to the population of Brazil — and that the developing world will need to create some 600 million new jobs by the year 2020, just
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OPIC and the global microfinance industry

November 19, 2012

One of the core ways that OPIC carries out its mission to help channel private capital to address the world’s toughest development challenges is by working with microfinance institutions. In this guest post on the CGAP Microfinance Blog, Richard Greenberg and Loren Rodwin, Managing Directors, Micro and SME Finance at OPIC, outline some of the key ways OPIC is working
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It’s as simple as a stove

August 30, 2012

How one appliance can saves lives, empower women, and reduce pollution in the developing world. By Mimi Alemayehou Nearly every mother’s daily routine includes making meals for her children no matter where on this planet she happens to live. In the U.S., we have a range of easy, efficient appliances to choose from when preparing a meal – stovetop, oven,
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Kifaru Youth Group

August 03, 2012

Members of the Kifaru Youth Group, a microfinance loan group based in the Nairobi suburb of Kawangware, meets in June to update their finances. The group is supported with microloans from Equity Bank’s Kawangware branch, which opened in 2007 and has since seen its customer base grow from 5000 members to 80,000. “Kawangware is a slum that is becoming a
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Making education a community effort

July 26, 2012

Earlier this year, we featured some photos from our Netketabi project in the West Bank, which is supporting a program to sell laptop computers stocked with books and other educational materials, to families with school-age children. We recently checked in the project sponsors who report that 7,500 computers have been purchased through the program to date. Students are using the computers 
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Featured photo: Blessings hair salon in Kawangware, Nairobi

July 13, 2012

Jane Akoth, owner of Blessings Hair Salon in the Nairobi suburb of Kawangware, used a microloan from Musoni – a Kenyan microfinance institution that enables clients to manage their loans via mobile phones – to buy new dryers and other machines that have helped her business grow after theft almost ruined her a few years ago. Musoni’s technology enables Jane
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Extending the reach of microfinance

June 11, 2012

OPIC’s 2011 annual report takes a look back at the agency’s first 40 years and highlights some lending programs from the 1970s that delivered loans – sometimes in amounts less than $1,000 – to individuals and small businesses in developing countries. Decades before microfinance became widely recognized as an effective tool for supplying small loans to individuals and small businesses, OPIC was
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Microfinance support for small businesses in Israel

April 11, 2012

Small businesses are so universally recognized as a key “engine of the economy,” that that very phrase has become cliché. But the fact remains that banks prefer lending money to established organizations. This recent Times of Israel story explores that dilemma as well as the “magic of microfinance” in helping those small businesses make it big. It also shows how
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