In 1971, two businesspeople on two different continents asked similar questions in search of a long-term solution to the problem of poverty. What do poor people need? The poor answered, "Work. With jobs, we will solve our own problems."
Al Whittaker, former president of Bristol Myers International Corporation, founded the first Opportunity International program in Latin America. Australian entrepreneur David Bussau founded a similar program in Indonesia. Three years later, the two programs united.
Opportunity now serves over 1,000,000 clients annually and is making strides toward a new goal of serving 100 million people by 2015. By addressing and transforming poverty, Opportunity International continues to change the course of generations, communities and countries - person by person.
Our mission is to provide opportunities for people in chronic poverty to transform their lives. Our strategy is to create jobs, stimulate small businesses, and strengthen communities among the poor. Our method is to work through indigenous partner organizations that provide small business loans, other financial services, training, and counsel. Our commitment is motivated by Jesus Christ's call to serve the poor. Our core values are respect, commitment to the poor, integrity, and stewardship.
Opportunity International-U.S. strives to reach the world's poorest people through its microenterprise development programs. Recognizing that the large majority of the world's poorest people are women and that they contribute decisively to the well-being of their families, Opportunity makes it a priority to support programs that serve the particular needs of women.
Our commitment is motivated by Jesus Christ's call to serve the poor.