The OPIC Blog

Archive for the 'Small business' Category

Celebrating the tenth anniversary of Expanding Horizons

This year marks the tenth anniversary of OPIC’s working with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) at our Expanding Horizons workshops. Expanding Horizons gives these small businesses valuable information about the finance and insurance tools we offer to help them expand into emerging markets. By partnering with OPIC, SMEs are better prepared to make a difference in the global market through Read more…

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OPIC’s Dia Martin speaks at conference for African entrepreneurs

Dia Martin, Director of OPIC Social Enterprise Finance, spoke at a panel, Building the Glocal Ecosystem: Bridging the Divide, at the Sankalp Africa Summit February 26th in Nairobi. Sankalp is a gathering of entrepreneurs, innovators, donors and investors, and Martin spoke at the event about OPIC’s commitment to impact investing in Africa, and the Portfolio for Impact program focused on Read more…

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Featured Photo: Empowering female farmers

A worker in Ghana prepares shea nuts for sale at a farm supported by OPIC partner Root Capital. Root is a Cambridge, Mass. nonprofit social investment fund that provides loans to rural farms in Latin America and Africa who cannot access traditional bank loans, and also provides additional education and training to help these farmers improve productivity and bring their Read more…

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Featured Photo: Supporting small business in India with microloans

Entrepreneur Neelam Devi, pictured with her husband, holds a sheet of silkscreened tags created in her small screen-printing business in Patna, India. Once only contracted with clients in their small neighborhood, now has contracts more than 100 miles away. With a microfinance loan from OPIC partner client Ujjivan, the Devis have expanded their business and have been able to earn Read more…

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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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