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Sydney South NSW 1235, Level 11, 227 Elizabeth Street Sydney NSW 2000

Telephone: 1800 812 164

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International Women's Day: Celebrating the Economic Empowerment of Entrepreneurial Women

By Opportunity International Australia

6 March 2017 – Opportunity International Australia said International Women’s Day on 8 March 2017 is a time to celebrate and honour the millions of entrepreneurial women in developing countries who are using a small loan to start a business, earn a regular income and free themselves from poverty.

Opportunity Chief Executive Officer, Robert Dunn, said: “International Women’s Day is an important catalyst and vehicle for driving transformational change for women, their families and local communities. The theme this year, #BeBoldForChange, inspires us to take ground-breaking action that truly drives bold change.

“Despite significant progress in recent years, women in developing countries are more likely than men to be illiterate, they earn lower amounts than men, and are less likely to have a bank account.  

“This is unacceptable and drives Opportunity’s efforts to help women free themselves from poverty – whether it is through small loans to start and build income producing businesses; training them as health leaders in their local community, or providing educational loans so their children can go to school.

“It’s so inspiring to witness the bold actions women take to improve the life of their family and local community when they are given the opportunity to become more personally and economically empowered,” he added.

According to Opportunity Supporter, Melissa Haupt, CEO of Lily Anne Family Brands, “When women are empowered, so too are their families, their communities and the world.”

Melissa believes education of women and girls, improved sanitation and the concept of a ‘hand up’ are key to addressing poverty.  

“We are lucky enough to live in a country where we have access to life’s simple things, like running water, education and finance. But that’s not the case for women and girls who live in developing nations.

“Two out of every three women in Africa cannot read nor write and 2.4 billion people in developing countries still do not have basic sanitation facilities. And millions of women in developing countries don’t have access to their own bank account, let alone finance. Without these basics women are stuck in a vicious cycle of poverty from one generation to the next.

“That’s why Lily Anne Family Brands is investing in education, sanitation and micro loans and has set goals for social initiatives in each of these areas.” 

To invest in an entrepreneurial woman living in poverty click here.

About Opportunity International Australia

Opportunity International Australia enables you to invest in a mother living in poverty so that she can use a small loan to buy an item like a sewing machine and start a small business. For a family in a developing country who can’t afford the basics, a gift as small as $70 can be life changing. With this hand up, a mother can put food on the table, send her children to school and transform her family’s future for generations. Mothers want what is best for their children, and as businesses become successful (98% of Opportunity’s loans are repaid), your help means they can make their dreams for their children come true. For more information, visit www.opportunity.org.au


Marie Kelly-Davies
Media and Communications Manager
Opportunity International Australia
0408 256 381

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