The OPIC Blog

Archive for the 'Small business' Category

Featured Photo: Supporting entrepreneurs in India

A woman named Manjula, who owns a small dressmaking business in Bangalore, sends fabric to her shop. Manjula is one of the many entrepreneurs and small businesses that OPIC has supported through financing to the Indian microfinance institution Ujjivan alongside fellow lender Citi. Ujjivan offers a range of loans, from individual loans as small as $30, to group loans to Read more…

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Partnering with business as a force for good in the world: A conversation with Elizabeth L. Littlefield

The year 2015 has been a banner year for OPIC with the Agency’s total portfolio reaching a record-high of almost $20 billion, new finance and insurance commitments totaling $4.4 billion and 43 percent of that total going to low-income countries. At the same time, OPIC has placed a strong focus on internal operations, taking steps to improve efficiency, expand staff Read more…

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Partner spotlight: How OPIC outreach workshops connect small businesses with the global market

In 2010 Milind Tavshikar (pictured) was a recent graduate of MIT’s Sloan School of Business with a winning business plan built around a technology he’d developed to lower the cost and improve the efficiency of shipping cargo. SmartKargo is a cloud-based RFID technology that uses handheld devices to scan cargo before it is loaded onto aircraft. Because it is cloud-based, Read more…

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Featured photo: Malian woman supports family with restaurant business

In honor of Women’s Small Business Month, we’re featuring women in developing countries who have been able to start or grow a small business with the support of OPIC financing. The photo shows a mother of six in Mali preparing food to sell in her small restaurant that she has built with the help of microfinance loans from PAMIGA S.A., Read more…

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How OPIC supports American small businesses and American jobs

National Small Business Week recognizes the important contributions of America’s small businesses and entrepreneurs. At OPIC, it’s an occasion to remind small businesses that they can benefit from engaging in the global economy. OPIC recognizes that small businesses have a lot to gain from expanding into developing markets and they are often the ones most in need of financing or Read more…

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Featured photo: Logistics startup employs hundreds in Tanzania

A truck driver and operations manager are just two of the 248 full-time workers employed in by Alistair James Co., which built a logistics and trucking company with the support of OPIC financing. In a region where limited rail lines and shipping ports makes businesses and local aid operations heavily reliant on trucking, U.S. businessman Alistair James built the company Read more…

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The story behind acai: How one small business helped make the rainforest “too valuable to cut down.”

Fourteen years ago, a business idea was hatched during a surfing vacation to Brazil when a group of friends from southern California discovered the tasty and nutrient-rich acai (ah-sigh-ee) berry. They started Sambazon (short for “sustainable management of the Brazilian Amazon”) to process the berries for sale in juices. But as a small startup, Sambazon faced difficulty obtaining credit. In Read more…

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What urbanization means for development

Multiple OPIC projects address urban development challenges, often by supporting financing to small businesses that will create jobs. Nicholas Aoama Oyiek is a garage owner in Nairobi, Kenya, who employs 20 people and was able to obtain financing to build his business with the help of an OPIC backed private equity fund. Read more. In 1950, less than one-third of Read more…

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Featured photo: Support for small businesses in the Middle East

OPIC President and CEO Elizabeth Littlefield toured a water bottling company in Ramallah this week during her trip to the West Bank, Israel and Jordan. This company received financing through the nonprofit Middle East Investment Initiative, an OPIC partner that supports small businesses in the Middle East. These small enterprises are critical to the region’s economic growth and job creation, Read more…

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Committing to continued investment in Africa

OPIC President Elizabeth Littlefield signs a memorandum of understanding on August 4 with Mohamed El Kettani (right), Chairman and CEO of Morocco’s Attijariwafa Bank; and Thomas McCaffery (left), Wells Fargo executive vice president, expressing their interest in deepening cooperation to expand lending to small and medium enterprises in Morocco and other African countries. The MOU was one of multiple signed Read more…

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