SOURCE: Opportunity International

Opportunity International

December 14, 2011 09:00 ET

Opportunity International Encourages Shoppers to Gift Well and Do Good With "Spread the Joy" Gift Card

Holiday Gift Card Campaign Connects Entrepreneurs in the Developing World With Consumers Who Want to Make a Difference; Free Gifts Cards Are Offered via Facebook

OAK BROOK, IL--(Marketwire - Dec 14, 2011) - This holiday season, Opportunity International offers gift-givers everywhere a chance to "Spread the Joy" by supporting entrepreneurs in the developing world who are working their way out of poverty. The global nonprofit organization provides access to savings accounts, small business loans and financial tools to more than three million people across the world. Opportunity International invites shoppers to purchase the small but enormously impactful "Spread the Joy" gift cards throughout the holidays and all year round.

Perfect as a stocking stuffer or a gift for a hostess, boss or family member, the "Spread the Joy" card is a socially responsible way to express gratitude. By providing the gift of opportunity, consumers can participate in the global efforts to eradicate poverty.

"The Spread the Joy holiday campaign is a great way for anyone to give a gift that makes a real difference. Each gift card represents a chance for hard-working people, the majority of whom are working mothers, to lift themselves out of poverty and create long-term growth opportunities for their children and their communities," said Ruth-Anne Renaud, vice president of Women's Philanthropy, Opportunity International. "With as little as $10, you can be part of making small-scale entrepreneurs change agents in the fight against global poverty."

Here's how it works: Gift givers simply visit There, they can purchase a tax-deductible gift card for the special folks in their lives. Once purchased, the gift card can be printed, e-mailed or mailed. Gift recipients visit the same site to redeem the card and fund a loan to an entrepreneur profiled on the site whose business they'd like to invest in. Users can select from hundreds of entrepreneurs around the world, operating a wide variety of businesses. Once the gift card is redeemed, the card recipient can receive updates on the entrepreneur whose loan they funded.

This year, several generous donors have made it possible for Opportunity International to offer 5,000 gift cards for free, during a limited time, to users who register at its Facebook page. Users simply need to register online and they will receive their gift card via e-mail or mail, which they can redeem at

The business loans provided through Opportunity International make it possible for entrepreneurs -- 85% of whom are women -- to work their way out of poverty by expanding their small businesses. As a result, market vendors can fill their stalls with goods, educators can expand schools, artisans can make a profit and farmers can move beyond subsistence.

The significance of investing in the growth and advancement of more women-owned businesses in the developing world is not to be underestimated. Recent studies point to the fact that women's empowerment can raise economic productivity, and in families where women have an income, they also have a voice in financial decision-making, which can result in improved nutrition, health and education for their children.

Opportunity International encourages women and men -- as well as families and businesses -- to reach their arms across the globe this holiday season and "Spread the Joy" in the developing world.

For more information, please visit

About Opportunity International
Opportunity International is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that provides access to savings accounts, small business loans, insurance and training to more than three million people working their way out of poverty in the developing world. Clients in more than 20 countries use these financial tools to start or expand a business, provide for their families, create jobs for their neighbors and build a safety net for the future. For more information, visit or join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

Contact Information

  • Media Contacts:
    Suzanne Collier
    iD8 Marketing/Opportunity International
    (714) 572-1498
    Email Contact

    Jennifer Anaya
    iD8 Marketing/Opportunity International
    (714) 335-5344
    Email Contact