Australian entrepreneurs like Melissa Haupt, CEO of Lily Anne Family Brands, are supporters of Opportunity International Australia, who are enabling Australians like Melissa 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.
Speaking about her involvement with the charity, Melissa said: “When women are empowered, so too are their families, their communities and the world.”
“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,” said Melissa.
Melissa believes that the education of women and girls, improved sanitation and the concept of a ‘hand up’ (not a hand out), are key to addressing poverty.
“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.”
Opportunity International Australia CEO, 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,” he said.
To invest in an entrepreneurial woman living in poverty visit the website: http://opportunity.org.au/in-action/
Video: #beboldforchange this International Women’s Day with Melissa Haupt