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Opportunity International

Program

OPIN loans are repaid and recycled reaching out again and again to more poor entrepreneurs. Charging clients interest at local market rates allows OPIN programs to become self-sustainable.

OPIN's best practice model for microfinance is its innovative group-lending methodology: the Trust Bank. Developed by OPIN's Women's Opportunity Fund, a Trust Bank is a group of 15-40 poor entrepreneurs who receive small business loans and meet weekly to make loan repayments, address community concerns and receive business and personal development training.

The average first-time loan for a Trust Bank member is $84 for a typical term of four to six months. After repaying one group loan, Trust Bank members are eligible to qualify for increasing loan amounts. Because Trust Bank members guarantee each other's loans, the repayment rate stands at 98 percent.

OPIN builds formal financial institutions (FFIs) to broaden its financial services to poor entrepreneurs. FFIs take the form of commercial banks, development banks or credit unions and can accept deposits, borrow money and accept investments. FFIs can borrow against their equity and sell equity shares, releasing more money for loans and operations. These FFIs are "microfinance banks for the poor" and are often regulated by the country's Central Bank.

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