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Tailoring finance tools for impact investors

July 09, 2013

This is the second blog post in an occasional series By Mitchell L. Strauss, Special Advisor, Socially Responsible Finance In my earlier blog post I explored OPIC’s contributions to the evolving impact investing sector, mostly by providing financing and insurance products to help American companies working in emerging markets. In addition to these core products, OPIC continues to innovate and
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Sailing the Seven “Cs:” Unlocking bank financing for SMEs in the Middle East

June 25, 2013

By Arun Hsu, Chief of Party, Jordan Loan Guarantee Facility In this guest post, an OPIC partner outlines a system for determining creditworthiness of potential borrowers that lack collateral and a track record of working with banks. Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are the key to innovation and an engine of economic growth and job creation in the Middle East
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Featured photo: Finca International supports women entrepreneurs in Mexico with microfinance loans

June 21, 2013

Microfinance group members in Tlayacapan, Mexico meet to collect installments on a loan from Finca International, a U.S. microfinance institution with a global footprint in 21 countries.  This all-women group of entrepreneurs who sell food, clothing and crafts in local markets has been a client of Finca Mexico for 10 years.

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Helping SME’s invest in emerging markets: A conversation with James Polan, OPIC’s Vice President of Small and Medium Enterprise Finance

June 05, 2013

OPIC’s Small and Medium-Enterprise (SME) Financing is available for businesses with annual revenues of less than $400 million. In this interview, James Polan, Vice President, Small and Medium Enterprise Finance, explains the work that he and his colleagues do to provide counsel and financial products to these types of businesses looking to do business in emerging markets. Why does OPIC focus so
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Why the world’s poor are a good credit risk

May 28, 2013

By John Aldonas Deputy Vice President, OPIC Small and Medium Enterprise Finance Does it make business sense to invest in the world’s poorest people? Earlier this month, I joined some OPIC clients on a panel at the Society for International Development, where we discussed why private sector investments in some of the poorest and least developed parts of the world
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Inc. magazine highlights entrepreneurial opportunities in frontier markets

May 16, 2013

Countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, South Sudan and Haiti “have a long way to go before earning the optimistic label ‘emerging markets,’” note the authors of a recent Inc. magazine series, Entrepreneurship on the Frontier. Nonetheless, they say that these countries have become entrepreneurial hubs. The series, which explores entrepreneurial activity in some of these highly challenging and highly promising markets,
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OPIC celebrates innovation in 2012 annual report

May 07, 2013

OPIC’s newly-released 2012 annual report showcases several key projects and agency priorities of the past year and highlights the role of innovation in our work. Innovation has long been a guiding principal at OPIC, which has built creative deal structures and partnerships to address the challenges of investing in the developing world and worked with several innovative businesses that found
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Expanding Horizons Workshop heads to South Carolina on May 7

May 06, 2013

OPIC will take its popular Expanding Horizons workshop to Charleston, South Carolina on May 7 in an effort to educate more small businesses from the southeastern United States about the benefits of expanding into emerging markets, and the ways that OPIC finance and insurance tools can support their efforts. OPIC began its Expanding Horizons series in 2006 in recognition of
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Catalyzing support for impact investing

April 22, 2013

By Mitchell L. Strauss, Special Advisor, Socially Responsible Finance Throughout our 40+ year history as the U.S. government’s development finance institution, OPIC has been transforming private capital into solutions for social and environmental challenges around the world, while also generating a financial return, allowing us to make our own contributions to the impact investing sector. But in the last five
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Measuring and monitoring impact: A conversation with Margaret Kuhlow of OPIC’s Office of Investment Policy

April 09, 2013

Measuring and monitoring impact: A conversation with Margaret Kuhlow of OPIC’s Office of Investment Policy (Part one in a series) As the U.S. Government’s development finance institution, OPIC is focused on supporting projects that deliver real and measurable benefits in their host countries. The Agency is also mandated by Congress to hold all of its projects to high environmental, social,
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