For more than a decade, the Caterpillar Foundation has supported Opportunity International China (OI China) programs in China to provide financial services and business training to the rural poor and disabled.
Since 2003, OI China has created and sustained nearly 127,000 jobs and provided nearly $35 million (USD) in loans. In 2012 alone, OI China distributed nearly $9 million (USD) in loans that created 35,000 jobs in China's rural areas. In addition, 2,904 people received more than 10,500 hours of training. The Caterpillar Foundation also partnered with OI China in 2012 in its "Move the Needle on Poverty Initiative" with a goal of creating and sustaining 150,000 jobs over the next three years.
"Caterpillar sees China as its home," said Qihua Chen, vice president of Caterpillar Inc. and chairman of Caterpillar (China) Investment Co., Ltd. "Over the past 40 years, Caterpillar has not only helped develop China's economy, but supported organizations like OI China that promote social responsibility and sustainable development. OI China's business model follows the successful adage 'teach a man to fish and he will feed himself forever.' Through this innovative approach, Opportunity International has demonstrated how we can help solve China's rural poverty challenges. Caterpillar is proud to support them."
OI China began work in China's Anhui Province in 2003 when it launched a microfinance loan guarantee program that created jobs for low income families. Based on its success in Anhui, OI China has expanded its activities into northern Jiangsu Province, a rural area populated by many low-income farmers and migrant workers. In addition to financial services and free business operations training, OI China provides residents with ongoing coaching and family support services. The organization also operates an intensive English language camp each summer for clients and their children.
"We're helping to break the cycle of poverty for many communities in rural China," said Aaron White, deputy chairman & CEO, OI China. "For more than 10 years, Caterpillar has been a valuable partner and has played an instrumental role in providing loans and training that enable people to work their way out of poverty and create better lives for their families."
After 10 years of working in China, OI China, with the support of the Caterpillar Foundation, now provides a range of special programs including: OI China's Business Partnership, OI China's Mobile Banking, OI China's Rural SME Program, OI China's Elisha Program -An Apprenticeship Support Plan for the Handicapped and Returned Migrant Farmers.
About the Caterpillar Foundation
Caterpillar supports the philanthropic efforts of the Caterpillar Foundation. Founded in 1952, the Caterpillar Foundation has contributed more than $550 million to help make sustainable progress possible around the world by providing program support in the areas of environmental sustainability, access to education and basic human needs. To learn more about the global impact of the Caterpillar Foundation, please visit us here.
About Opportunity International
Opportunity International provides access to savings, small business loans, insurance and training to over five million people working their way out of poverty in the developing world. Clients in over 20 countries use these financial services to start or expand a business, provide for their families, create jobs for their neighbours and build a safety net for the future. For more information, visit opportunity.org or join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.