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Who gave you your first business opportunity?

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Have you ever felt the frustration of trying to prove yourself, but no one is offering you the opportunity you need? Or, have you got a story of a breakthrough moment when someone took your idea or suggestion seriously for the first time and gave you an opportunity to move forward?

People living in poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa aren’t the first to come to mind when thinking about entrepreneurs and investing in businesses. Yet, for more than 50 years Opportunity International have been investing in entrepreneurs across Africa to help people work their own way out of poverty.

Opportunity International believes that access to financial services is a sustainable way to alleviate poverty. It leads to lasting, whole-life development. Financial tools and training help entrepreneurs to build businesses, support their families and see whole communities transformed.

Caroline’s story proves that someone who on paper couldn’t receive a loan from a bank: no capital, insecure financial support and many dependents – can move from dependency to self-reliance.
Caroline owns a popular fruit and vegetable stall in Ggaba Market, Kampala, Uganda, she is the sole carer to her four grandchildren.

“My husband has no work. I am here to stand for my grandchildren. Eight years ago I took out a loan for my fruit and vegetable stall. A few years later we had a large fire in the market. All the things were spoilt and we were left with nothing. Opportunity helped me rebuild and now I own the stall, I no longer just rent it.
Recently, I took out a loan for school fees so my grandchildren can go to school. Before that I used to have to beg and borrow from different people for school fees. Without the loan, I’d have to choose which child could go to school. I don’t want to leave them like that.”

Caroline is one of thousands of clients we work with. If she hadn’t been given the opportunity to take out a loan, she wouldn’t have her business or a sustainable income, and her grandchildren wouldn’t have an education. One small opportunity can change many people’s lives.

Want to find out more? Connect with fellow Sterling member Damon Boughen, Opportunity International’s Philanthropy Manager at dboughen@opportunity.org

Read about our approach and hear more from our inspirational clients on our website www.opportunity.org.uk you can also follow us on Social Media: Opportunity International UK on Facebook, @oi_uk on Twitter and our new Instagram page @Opportunityintluk