MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Credit Suisse to Fund Opportunity International’s “Empowering Generational Change Through Education” in Africa, Asia, Latin America

Credit Suisse, a Swiss global financial services company with operations in 50 countries, has agreed to donate an undisclosed sum to Opportunity International, a US-based nonprofit providing microfinance in 22 countries, to launch a three-year program entitled “Empowering Generational Change Through Education” that focuses on lending for education initiatives.

The new program is expected to help educate 530,000 children in 10 countries through new initiatives in Colombia and Tanzania as well as existing ones in the Dominican Republic, Ghana, India, Kenya, Malawi, the Philippines, Rwanda and Uganda. This is to include 2,200 loans to owners of private schools to improve access to and quality of education and 52,200 loans to parents for school fees. The effort will also entail other educational services, including teaching young people workplace skills and offering saving accounts and financial education for youth.

The new partnership will also test the feasibility of EduSave, a free insurance program covering the schooling costs of children whose parents or guardians die or become permanently disabled.

This program extends an existing six-year relationship between Opportunity International and Credit Suisse.

As of December 31, 2013, Credit Suisse reported total assets of CHF 873 billion (USD 900 billion), return on equity of 5.7 percent and return on assets of 0.3 percent. As of September 2013, Opportunity International reported a gross loan portfolio of USD 617 million, 2.9 million active borrowers and 1.5 million insurance policyholders.

By Simon Pfanner, Research Associate

About Credit Suisse

Credit Suisse is a financial services company that was founded in 1856 and has its headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland. Credit Suisse provides advisory services and financial products to institutions and individuals in 50 countries. As of December 31, 2013, Credit Suisse reported total assets of CHF 873 billion (USD 900 billion), return on equity of 5.7 percent and return on assets of 0.3 percent.

About Opportunity International

Based in the United States, Opportunity International is a nonprofit organization that was founded in 1971. Opportunity International provides small business loans, savings, insurance and training to approximately 5 million poor people in 22 countries in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and South America. As of September 2013, Opportunity International reported a gross loan portfolio of USD 617 million, 2.9 million active borrowers and 1.5 million insurance policyholders.

Sources and Additional Resources

[1] Business Wire, Opportunity International Partners with Credit Suisse to Expand Education Finance around the World

MicroCapital, June 13, 2014, MicroEnsure Raises $10m in Equity from International Finance Corporation, Omidyar Network, Opportunity International, Telenor Group; First-Time Investors AXA, Sanlam Emerging Markets

MicroCapital, May 29, 2014, Chinese Unit of Opportunity International (OI) Buys Mambu Cloud Banking Software to Support Lending to Small, Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs)

MicorCapital, April 29, 2014, responsAbility Investments Lends $4m to Opportunity International Bank of Malawi

MicroCapital, January 27, 2012, Opportunity International Receives Grant from Credit Suisse to Expand Electronic Financial Services, Train Personnel in Africa and Latin America

MicroCapital Universe Profile: Opportunity International

MicroCapital Universe Profile: Credit Suisse

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