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Opportunity EduFinance is a group within Opportunity International, a non-profit organisation offering microfinance to poor and marginalised people since 1971. Today, Opportunity International serves 12 million entrepreneurs in 24 countries around the world.
This work has traditionally focused on entrepreneurs in the broadest sense of the word, including individual farmers or traders. To maximise its social impact, Opportunity International established Opportunity EduFinance to focus expertise on the education sector and scale up operations with donors, impact investors and financial institutions. Today, OI has EduFinance projects in Africa, Central America, and populous Asian countries such as India and the Philippines.
Opportunity EduFinance is pioneering new solutions by lending small amounts of money to large numbers of schools and parents, while designing savings and insurance solutions specially tailored to plug the gaps in the pathway to educational access, quality and completion. Demand for these services is high and 99% of loans are repaid. Because the loans are repaid, the money can be used again and again, so it is extremely cost effective both in terms of a development intervention and as financial product. In selected territories Edufinance also offers the education quality programme which seeks to ensure that the quality of education is the best that it can be. The approach involves working with schools in clusters and offering both leadership and teacher professional development. The conditions for learning are improved by supporting whole school development planning through the use of a self-assessment tool known as ‘Pathways to Excellence’.