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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.

Entrepreneurs are the engine room of the global economy

by Allan English

Entrepreneurs play a critical role in the engine room of the global economy. They drive innovation and create new ways of solving problems. They generate jobs and new sources of income. And they are increasingly playing a crucial role in tackling global poverty. Allan English There’s a movement across the business sector – in Australia and overseas - for entrepreneurs to drive measurable social outcomes as well as profitability.  To maximise social impact through their creativity and business…

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Will Stephanie Rice win a gold medal at the Great Australian Curry Cook-off?

by Opportunity International Australia

Stephanie Rice, the world record breaking Olympic gold medallist, entrepreneur and businesswoman, is determined to help families in India rise to success. For the second consecutive year, Stephanie is competing in Opportunity International Australia’s curry cook-off to launch the charity’s annual fundraising campaign, the Great Australian Curry. The Great Australian Curry will help raise funds so families in India can receive small loans to build businesses, earn regular incomes, put food on…

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Cooking up an exotic curry to help families break the cycle of poverty

by Annie Crawford

“Indian food is incredibly exotic,” says Annie Crawford, an Opportunity International Australia Council Member and Can Too charity founder. With butter chicken curry being a favourite, Annie believes Opportunity’s Great Australian Curry fundraising campaign will raise awareness about poverty in India and the way Australian families can help families on their doorstep. Annie says: “Hosting a Great Australian Curry dinner is very simple and a great way to build awareness of Opportunity. Having…

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Aussie Test Cricketer determined to retain his crown in Great Australian Curry Cook-off!

by Michael Kasprowicz

Former Australian Test Cricketer and Opportunity International Australia Council member, Michael Kasprowicz, has travelled extensively in India for sport and business during the last 19 years. He loves the country and its people and is committed to helping families in India break the cycle of poverty themselves by receiving small loans from Opportunity to build businesses and earn regular incomes. Michael reflects on the circumstances facing many children in India who live in poverty. “Children…

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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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