So, for example, if the closing balance of owners equity for 2010 was $25,800, this would also be the opening balance of equity for 2011.
This $25,800 would be inserted as the opening balance of equity in the statement of changes in equity for the year ended 2011.
If you're studying accounting and come across a question or exercise about the statement of changes in equity, then the opening balance of equity is usually provided either as a note in the question itself or by providing the previous year's balance sheet.
Hope that makes it a bit clearer.
Best, Michael C.
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