By Brendan Burke 
BELLEVILLE A non-profit organization that offers financial support to would-be entrepreneurs in developing countries is bringing its message of economic empowerment to Belleville.
Opportunity International Canada  – the Canadian branch of a global fundraising and distributing network founded in 1971 – will share its successes in fostering Third World growth and sustainability when it holds “A Story of Opportunity” Wednesday at the Brake Room  at the corner of Pinnacle and Dundas streets.
The event, which is open to the public, will feature a talk from Opportunity International Canada director of marketing Andrew MacDonald, who told QNet News he plans to outline how the organization provides a “sustainable solution to global poverty through microfinance.”
Microfinance  – the provision of financial services to low-income people who don’t have access to banking – is used by Opportunity International Canada, with the help of fundraising partners, to give loans and insurance to aspiring entrepreneurs and small-business owners in poorer countries. While food and cash donations to poor counties inevitably run out, financial training and education can establish lasting growth, the organization says. By providing financial infrastructure, the group hopes to “see a world in which all people are free from poverty, with dignity and purpose,” MacDonald said.
On a local level, MacDonald said, Wednesday’s Belleville meeting is about raising awareness.
“The goal for the evening is to get people in the Quinte area exposed to this unique and sustainable solution to poverty, and offer them a chance to support it financially so we can help more people,” he said.
“A Story of Opportunity” is free to attend, with donations encouraged. Doors open at 5 p.m.
More to come.