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Sydney NSW 2001 , Level 4, 220 George Street Sydney NSW 2000

Telephone: 1800 812 164

© 2017 Opportunity International AustraliaABN 83 003 805 043

News Blog

World news on the fight to alleviate poverty – follow innovations in microfinance, technology and community development that are changing lives in developing countries.

What the women of Buxar wanted and why

by Chris Murdoch

The women of Buxar, in the eastern part of the state of Uttar Pradesh in India, told us loud and clear when we visited them they wanted to be trained as health leaders so they could educate their families and neighbours about hygiene and prevention of common illnesses. Families in this part of India live in extreme poverty and the mortality rate of their children is very high because of preventable illnesses such as diarrhoea, malaria and malnutrition. Cashpor, one of Opportunity International Australia’s…

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Building your business as if your life depends on it

by John Hagerty

When I met some women in India who’d received loans from Opportunity International Australia to build businesses, what struck me most, was that these women were building their businesses as if their lives depended on it. And of course, their lives and the lives of their families did depend on the income they earned from the businesses for life’s basic necessities – food, clean water, safe shelter and medicine. And it’s why they’re so successful. One thing the women I met in India did extremely…

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World Entrepreneurs’ Day: Celebrating Entrepreneurs’ in Developing Countries

by Matt Hope

On World Entrepreneurs’ Day on 21 August, we celebrate entrepreneurs everywhere for their courage, resilience and creativity. Entrepreneurship is celebrated in Western culture more than it was twenty years ago, especially in areas such as Silicon Valley. In many places, business failure is seen as a rite of passage. Something you learn from so you don’t make the same mistakes in your next start-up. But in developing countries, entrepreneurs can’t afford to fail. Failure is not an option for…

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World Entrepreneurs’ Day: Celebrating the courage and resilience of entrepreneurs in developing countries

by Andy Jamieson

World Entrepreneurs’ Day on 21 August is a tremendous opportunity to celebrate the courage and resilience of entrepreneurs in Australia and developing countries - entrepreneurs who have much in common despite their vastly different circumstances and the differing scale of their businesses. On a trip to Indonesia with Opportunity International Australia, I was impressed with the way the entrepreneurs, who were mostly women, focused so relentlessly on their customers. They remembered their likes…

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Empowerment means you can make choices

by Mukti Bosco

The empowerment of women is a subject often discussed in the media and it’s uppermost in my mind as I manage a program in India to train women living in poverty to be health leaders in their communities. For me, empowerment occurs when a woman can make choices. When a woman can decide for herself. When she can choose what she wants to do with her life. What she wears. Where she goes. What she does. The health leaders are very receptive to what we teach them about hygiene, prevention of common illnesses,…

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How does anyone live on US$1.90 a day?

by Chris Murdoch

The World Bank uses benchmarks to define different levels of poverty - they use US$1.90 a day to identify people living in extreme poverty. But just how does a person live on US$1.90 a day or less? The simple answer is: “They don’t.” The US$1.90 a day figure is not an income that people living in extreme poverty can expect to receive each day. It’s a short-hand average for the amount of income they may receive over an extended period of time. The income of people living in extreme poverty…

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How important is education in breaking the cycle of poverty?

by Chris Murdoch

What is poverty? Twenty or thirty years ago, we thought of poverty in terms of a lack of income or lack of wealth. It was almost always considered through a financial lens. Since then however, we have come to understand that although lack of income or assets or wealth are important dimensions of poverty, this is a very partial understanding of it. Instead, these days we more holistically conceptualise poverty as a lack of choice. Or a lack of the ability to make decisions, allocate resources or undertake…

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Working with Heart and Head: Communication, Connection, Confidence

by Karyn Lisignoli

Living and working in the modern world requires many skills and competencies and one of the most important is communication. And to communicate effectively we need to know who we are and how to embrace the many aspects of ourselves. We all have, and can draw upon, our heart and head values and skills. Our head provides our knowledge, decisiveness, intellect; our heart provides our intuition, compassion, empathy. Neither are more important and both are essential. Both are required to build self-awareness;…

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Top 3 tips for women aspiring to be in leadership positions in Australia

by Annie Crawford

If you asked me to identify the top two challenges facing women in leadership positions in Australia today the two that immediately spring to mind are that there are not enough women holding formal leadership positions and the dialogue around women and work is tired - it hasn’t changed in 30 years! The statistics on the first issue are stark: Only 26 per cent of senior positions in Australia are held by women. These women are courageous, good listeners and they take risks. They have tough skins…

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Remarkable entrepreneurs who swim against the tide and flourish!

by Chris Murdoch

Over the years, I’ve been privileged to meet some remarkable entrepreneurs in developing countries who are swimming against the tide and succeeding, despite all odds. Like Australian entrepreneurs, those in developing countries are creative, courageous, tenacious, resilient, admit no doubt and are determined to build something. They need seed funding to start and grow businesses, just like Australian entrepreneurs, and they take big risks. While there are many similarities between Australian entrepreneurs…

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