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Opportunity Microcredit Romania is one of the first microfinance institutions in Romania, founded as such in the year 2000. The Institution is in partnership with the Opportunity International Network, a globally recognised leader in the microfinance sector.
The Network supports its implementing partners in different regions of the world by providing them with funds for loans, technical assistance and links to the financial system, including relations with the banking sector as well as helping them to maintain the direction of their mission development. With this mission Opportunity Microcredit Romania has taken part in shaping a new field of activity in the Romanian economy, that of microfinance.
The history of Opportunity Microcredit Romania has began in 1995, when Izvor Foundation, a non-profit organization was founded. Izvor started implementing a new method of financing through loans, with the mission to help small entrepreneurs in developing their businesses and thereby create new jobs. The microfinance activity, being a solution in developing the economic environment, found its place on the market in no time, a market, where many small entrepreneurs were in need of development and financial resources. These new players on the market showed their need for financing from the start, but encountered difficulties, as the existing financial institutions offered their services to bigger and more experienced players.
With the increasing demand for microfinance services, the foundation sought to find the appropriate legal form which would authorize them to grant loans to entrepreneurs. Since the ‘90s exclusively commercial banks and credit unions were allowed to engage in this activity. In December 2000, Opportunity International and the Izvor Foundation registered a Ltd. by the name of Opportunity Microcredit Romania in order to fully comply with the legislation in force and that Opportunity International would be able to channel other organisations’ investments more effectively. In July 2005, as the number of investors increased, and new capital was brought in the Company, the Ltd. became a Joint Stock Company. In 2007 the Institution underwent a new series of changes, and in the first quarter of 2008 it became a non-banking financial institution, regulated by the National Bank of Romania.