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PO Box A524
Sydney South NSW 1235, Level 11, 227 Elizabeth Street Sydney NSW 2000

Telephone: 1800 812 164

© 2024 Opportunity International AustraliaABN 83 003 805 043

About Us Microfinance

Microfinance is about providing people living in poverty with a hand up. Learn how you can create sustainable transformation in developing communities.

What is microfinance? 

Poverty can affect every aspect of a family’s life. People living in poverty are likely to experience hunger and poor sanitation, are often unable to provide education for their children, and are vulnerable to preventable illnesses, diminishing their capacity to work.

Microfinance provides people living in poverty with access to small loans and financial services to grow their own businesses.  

Opportunity International Australia works in India and Indonesia to provide small loans to families living in poverty. A small loan can help a mother buy a sewing machine for her tailoring business or seeds to plant a vegetable farm, allowing her to grow her own business and earn a regular income. With a regular income, families can afford nutritious food, clean water, proper shelter and education for their children.

As businesses become established, families pay back their loans, allowing Opportunity’s partners to recycle the loan to other families in need. 

Many small business owners go on to employ other people, providing jobs and stimulating the local economy. Through microfinance, families are able to transform their lives, their children’s futures and their communities.

It's a smart, scalable and sustainable way to end poverty, once and for all.

But microfinance doesn’t just stop at small loans. Through Opportunity’s partners, we provide a range of financial tools and services: 

  • Small loans help families start their own small businesses and earn regular incomes
  • Savings accounts provide a secure way to save for the future
  • Microinsurance protects against emergencies
  • Micropensions provide a form of livelihood in old age.

Find out more about how microfinance helps women out of poverty

Learn more

Meet Marce

A women (middle) stand with her daughter and husband holding a fishing net on a beach with palm trees in the background.
Marce (middle) with her daughter and husband. © Sarah Gray 

Life is tough for Marce and her family on Rote Island, Indonesia. She worries constantly about how to afford education for her children. “I only wish my children could finish high school,” Marce said. “I want to have a better life.” 

Growing up, Marce wasn’t able to complete her education. Her parents passed away when she was in primary school, leaving her in the care of her cousins. After marrying, she began her family living under a roof made of leaves.  

But Marce is determined that life will be different for her children. With a small loan from Opportunity, Marce started her own business making and selling cakes. 

“This is a blessing, whether I make 100 or 200 cakes, it is always sold out. People even come to buy in the night,” she said.

Marce depends on this income to pay for food, fuel for transport, and most importantly, her children’s school fees. A small loan has been life-changing for Marce, empowering her to leave poverty behind and give her children a brighter future.

Read more stories like Marce's


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