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Better Together: Tackling Poverty in Partnership

By Sam Bickersteth, Chief Executive

Al Whittaker and David Bussau came together in 1971 to launch what we now know as Opportunity International. They were pioneers in recognising the benefits of financial services for people living in poverty in developing countries. Nearly 50 years later Opportunity International is a thriving network focussed around the continuing need to bring banking to the poor.  The network of Opportunity International Support Members from the UK, US, Australia, Germany and Canada continues to work as one, serving the poor and fulfilling the legacy of Whittaker and Bussau. 

In this spirit, the Opportunity International leadership team of CEOs and Board Chairs (working pro-bono) recently met in India where Opportunity International is currently providing micro-finance loans to over 5 million low income households, mostly women.  

While one billion fewer people are living in poverty than when Opportunity was formed, globally 30% of adults still have no bank account with this proportion being greater than 60% in most Sub-Saharan African countries.  

The expansion of global financial services and the digital financial revolution pose vast opportunities for our clients, yet the impact of climate change is one of the biggest challenges they face. Our network is working together in partnership to address these issues and maximise the impact of our programmes in agriculture, small enterprise and education finance to those we serve. 

We are excited by all we can do in the years to come. 

Thank you for joining us on the journey. 


Opportunity International CEOs and Board Chairs in India (February 2020)



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