Initially founded in 1997 by World Relief as Urwego Community Banking, the bank joined the HOPE International network in 2005 shortly after Peter Greer joined HOPE, as the two organization joined arms with World Relief to serve clients better.
In 2007, the bank merged with Opportunity International Bank of Rwanda to become Urwego Opportunity Bank. Over the years, the bank has distributed nearly $290 million in loans to underserved Rwandan entrepreneurs to promote sustainability, social transformation and spiritual impact.
In 2017 – Opportunity International and its affiliates in Canada and Germany have completed a share purchase agreement to sell its 50 percent ownership of Urwego Opportunity Bank (“Urwego”) to HOPE International, a network of Christ-centered microenterprise development programs in 16 countries. HOPE International, which has been a partner of Opportunity International in Rwanda for the last 11 years, is now a 99 percent shareholder in the bank with World Relief continuing to own 1 percent. The transaction has been approved by the National Bank of Rwanda.
We are delighted to deepen our long-standing partnership with Urwego,” said HOPE International President Peter Greer. “We are confident in Urwego’s team and have seen their example of Christ-like servant leadership. Together, we will stay true to Urwego’s calling and do everything in our power to support continual operational excellence and significant impact throughout Rwanda.”
Over the past twenty years, financial inclusion has increased significantly in Rwanda, with the population excluded from financial products or services dropping from 28 to 11 percent between 2012 and 2016, yet only 26 percent of the population uses products or services from licensed commercial banks regulated by the National Bank of Rwanda. Together, HOPE International and Urwego staff will focus on further expanding and improving services for clients through Urwego’s 18 fully operational microfinance branch offices located in 11 districts across Rwanda.
HOPE International, partnered with Opportunity International in Rwanda for the last 11 years, is now a 99 percent shareholder in the bank with World Relief continuing to own 1 percent
To provide a ladder of opportunity to undeserved communities in Rwanda, as we proclaim and live the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
We share the hope of Christ as we provide financial services and biblically based training that restore dignity and break the cycle of poverty.
The love of Jesus Christ motivates us to identify with those living in poverty and be His hands and feet as we strive to glorify God.
Prayer: On your knees, please (Psalm 95:6)
Allegiance: We will serve the Lord (Joshua 24:15)
Service: We’ll wash feet (John 13:14)
Stewardship: To whom much is given ... (Luke 12:48)
Innovation: We find solutions (Genesis 1:27)
Optimism: Strength for today, bright hope for tomorrow (Lamentations 3:22-24)
Nurturing: Love one another as I have loved you (John 13:34)