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The OPIC Blog


OPIC award-winning project highlights value of financial intermediaries in boosting small business lending

March 26, 2015

A milestone 2013 OPIC project to support lending to small businesses in Brazil was recognized earlier this month as Trade Finance Americas Deal of the Year by the international magazine, Trade Finance. OPIC committed a $400 million loan – alongside $80 million from Wells Fargo – in the project, which supports lending to underserved businesses, mostly in the lower-income parts of the country that
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Featured photo: Logistics startup employs hundreds in Tanzania

February 20, 2015

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

February 12, 2015

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
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OPIC at a glance

February 04, 2015

From a growing commitment to renewable resources to support for American small businesses, learn more about some of our major accomplishments in this cheat sheet.

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From mom-and-pop to job engine: How OPIC helped hundreds of small businesses in the West Bank

December 09, 2014

This post by James C. Polan, OPIC’s Vice President for Small and Medium Enterprise Finance, was originally featured on the U.S. State Department’s DipNote blog. The original post can be viewed here. Small businesses create jobs. It’s a widely accepted economic truth, but it’s not the whole story. The fact is, small businesses need money to grow, but they often
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Featured photo: Support for small businesses in the Middle East

October 31, 2014

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,
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Featured photo: Illuminating rural villages in India

October 10, 2014

A snack shop owner in a small town near Mangalore, India gets electricity to light the store from a simple pay-as-you-go solar system provided by Simpa Energy India Ltd., a subsidiary of Simpa Networks of Seattle. OPIC recently committed a $3 million loan to Simpa to support the introduction of up to 50,000 new solar systems in rural parts of
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Committing to continued investment in Africa

August 05, 2014

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
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Featured photo: A growing wool industry in Afghanistan

July 18, 2014

A livestock herder tends his flock in the foothills of the Hindu Kush mountains in Afghanistan. With the help of OPIC financing, Maryland-based American Wool & Cashmere has developed a regional infrastructure of centralized suppliers in western Afghanistan’s Herat Province who buy raw, unprocessed wool directly from herders like this. This infrastructure and new liquidity into this market for producers
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Featured photo: OPIC financing supports small businesses in Jordan

July 11, 2014

An employee of a small, family-owned chocolate manufacturer in Amman, Jordan prepares chocolates for packaging and sale throughout the country. The business is one of multiple small businesses that have received start-up loans from a Jordanian bank guaranteed through OPIC’s loan guaranty facility program, which is designed to promote lending to the small local businesses that are a critical part of
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