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Featured photo: Supporting small businesses in Africa

February 08, 2013

In Nairobi, Kenya, Equity Bank CEO Dr. James Mwangi (center) introduces OPIC President and CEO Elizabeth Littlefield to Equity Bank agent Maureen Wambugu (right). One of the bank’s community branches is surrounded by several local businesses, including a second hand shoe trader, whose owner used an Equity Bank micro loan to expand his business. OPIC is providing $8.45 million in
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Featured photo: OPIC President Elizabeth Littlefield speaks at the World Economic Forum

January 25, 2013

This image from a screen recapping events at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland captures a quote from OPIC President and CEO Elizabeth Littlefield. She is speaking on a panel about Scaling Social Innovation, and is participating in multiple events at the Forum exploring ways to address transformative social and environmental change.

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OPIC monitoring trip to Kenya: A revolution realized

January 16, 2013

An interdepartmental OPIC team traveled to Kenya last year to monitor the performance of three financial institutions whose microfinance lending is supported by the agency: Musoni, the Kenya Women’s Finance Trust DTM Ltd (KWFT), and Equity Bank. Over the course of three days, members of OPIC’s Office of Investment Policy, Portfolio Management Department, Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Finance Department, and
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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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Sustainability: The new normal for business

November 12, 2012

Today, the World Economic Forum will host what is billed as “the world’s largest brainstorming meeting” – the Summit on the Global Agenda. Eight hundred leaders from the world’s business, political and academic communities will discuss ways to foster sustainable business practices to help build a “greener and socially more inclusive world.” The topic of focus at this year’s forum
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Featured photo: Improving financial inclusion through microfinance

October 26, 2012

OPIC President & CEO Elizabeth Littlefield, Equity Bank founder James Mwangi (far left) and other bank representatives visit a branch in Nairobi, Kenya, to learn more about improving financial inclusion through microfinance and mobile banking technologies. The OPIC-supported Helios Sub-Saharan Africa Fund invested in Equity Bank, which has operations throughout East Africa.

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Featured photo: Students singing at Nairobi’s Ongata Pine Breeze Academy

October 12, 2012

Lillian Alwi, right, leads students in song at the Ongata Pine Breeze Academy outside Nairobi, Kenya. As school director, Alwi has used two loans from the Kenya Women’s Finance Trust (KWFT) to build Pine Breeze into a bustling source of hope for more than 500 children from a poor community in the Ngong Hills  – “my passion,” she says. OPIC
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OPIC monitoring trip to Kenya

October 09, 2012

By: Tim Harwood An interdepartmental OPIC team traveled to Kenya in June to monitor the performance of three financial institutions whose microfinance lending is supported by the agency:  Musoni, the Kenya Women’s Finance Trust, and Equity Bank. Over the course of three days, members of OPIC’s Office of Investment Policy, Portfolio Management Department, Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Finance Department, and
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Featured photo: Guaranties for small business lending in Paraguay

September 13, 2012

Paraguayan entrepreneur Mercedes Cabrera de Idiarte started a clothing manufacturing business with five sewing machines, and today has 25 machines, 36 employees and sells apparel across Paraguay, generating annual revenue of 200 million guarani (about USD $45,000).  Cabrera began working with the local Banco Familiar 19 years ago and her credit line with has risen to 15 million guarani. She used
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International Youth Day 2012

August 09, 2012

Sunday, August 12 is International Youth Day, an annual observance supported by the United Nations (UN) calling attention to youth issues worldwide. In both developing and developed countries, young people face pressing global challenges, such as high levels of unemployment and subpar working conditions. They are seemingly left out while their leaders make decisions on their future. The UN provides
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