Opportunity International, a pioneer within the microfinance industry, has developed a scalable, technology-driven, low-cost approach to providing a full range of microfinance services to poor families living in rural areas. The project will further penetrate remote areas in the five countries and will dramatically increase access to capital and financial services for underserved populations and increase family income, food security, decision-making by women, and stimulate local economies. Opportunity International and its commitment partners will achieve the following outputs over the next three years:
- $30 million in total economic stimulus (about $400 per household)
- 18,750 agricultural and related businesses financed
- 50% of clients will be producers
- 50% of clients will be retailers and distributors
- 10,500 additional jobs created as the farmers and entrepreneurs hire employees
- Crop insurance products developed for all five countries
- 45,000+ active savers (initial average deposit of $10 growing to $100+)
- Approximately 75,000 households benefiting from enhanced food security (through increased income derived from enterprises and accumulated deposits)
- 70% of clients will be women
- Project will reach operational sustainability within the project timeframe
Through this initiative, thousands of informal sector enterprises, ranging from fresh produce stalls at a local market to processing cooperatives to small farmers growing maize, will have access to microfinance services for the first time. Opportunity International's banks in Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, and Uganda will enter rural areas through multiple deliver channels, which include satellite offices, mobile bank units, kiosks, and electronic banking technologies including ATMs and mobile phones.
The following implementation steps will be taken to begin on November 1, 2008:
- 45 additional loan officers and other support staff will be hired and trained to specifically serve those living in remote locations in the five countries.
- Multiple microfinance services will be offered, including loans, deposits, and insurance. Group loans are made to budding enterprises. Individual business loans are designed for growing enterprises with greater need for capita. Indexed loans with crop insurance are designed for farmers to purchase better seed, knowing that if the rains fail, a portion or all of the loan will be repaid by the crop insurance.
- Ten low-cost satellite branches or kiosks will be established in rural hubs, such as markets. Opportunity sets up secure branches inexpensively by utilizing 30-ft. shipping containers.
- Six new Mobile Service Centers will be deployed. These armored vehicles possess the capabilities of a branch, enabling customers to do banking within walking distance of their homes and businesses. Mobile banks can cover up to 25 service points on a weekly basis within a 100 kilometer radios.
- Interest-bearing savings accounts will be offered. The vast majority of rural families lack access to safe, interest-bearing savings account mechanisms. Technology innovation is crucial to unlocking the myriad deposits of poor households and managing the resulting transaction processing. Harnessing the vast amount of 'hidden capital' generated in the informal economy is one of the keys to rural expansion.
Examples of performance metrics include:
- $25.5 million cumulative value of loans made
- $4.5 million deposits mobilized (45,000 deposit accounts)
- 29,250 enterprises financed and jobs created.
- 70% female clients
SEEKING: Financial resources, implementing partners.
Opportunity is primarily seeking partnerships with donors or corporations that have the means to fund Opportunity's initiative. Monetary contributions are the most effective way to assist in the completion of Opportunity's commitment. Listed below are examples of how money is utilized:
- For every $192 mobilized for the initiative, Opportunity International is able to provide a job in Africa, which offers food security for a single family. Thus, for every $10,000, Opportunity can provide 50 jobs, enhancing food security for an entire village.
- For every $100,000 to $250,000 mobilized, Opportunity is able to open a kiosk or satellite branch in a new region.
- With an investment of $335,000, Opportunity is able to deploy an additional Mobile Service Center.
Additionally, Opportunity may benefit from partnerships with organizations that have expertise in small scale farming.
OFFERING: Implementing partners.