Grameen Bank

From Academic Kids

The Grameen Bank is a microcredit organization that started in Bangladesh, which makes small loans to the impoverished without requiring collateral. The system is based on the idea that the poor have skills which are underutilized. Muhammad Yunus, the bank's founder and a graduate in economics from Vanderbilt University, was inspired during the terrible Bangladesh famine of 1974 to make a small loan to a group of families so that they could create small items for sale. It has been since adapted for use across the globe. The system incorporates a set of values into the banking system, embodied in Bangladesh by the Sixteen Decisions.

The system is the basis for the microcredit and the Self Help Group system now at work in over 43 countries. Each group of five individuals are loaned money, but the whole group is denied further credit if one person defaults. This creates economic incentives for the group to act responsibly, increasing Grameen's economic viability.

Most loan recipients are women. Grameen's track record has been astonishing, with very high payback rates—over 98 percent. More than half of Grameen borrowers in Bangladesh have all children of school age in school, all household members eating three meals a day, a sanitary toilet, a rainproof house, clean drinking water and the ability to repay a 300 takka-a-week (US$8) loan, which has brought them above the poverty level.

The Grameen Bank has grown into over two dozen enterprises represented by the Grameen Family of Enterprises including: Grameen Trust, Grameen Fund (http://www.grameen-info.org/grameen/gfund/), Grameen Communications (http://www.grameen-info.org/gc/), Grameen Shakti/Energy (http://www.grameen-info.org/grameen/gshakti/), Grameen Shikkha/Education (http://www.grameen-info.org/grameen/gshikkha/), Grameen Telecom, Grameen Knitwear Ltd and Grameen Cybernet Ltd (http://www.citechco.net/). As of November 2004 it had passed the mark of loaning over US$4.4bn to the poor. Along with bringing energy to rural residents and expanding employment, the Grameen family of enterprises has also branched out into rural pond management by Grameen Motsho or the Fisheries Foundation, seeking to preserve the broad diversity of fish in Bangladesh fisheries ponds.

External link

  • Official Site (http://www.grameen-info.org/)
  • Grameen Foundation USA (http://www.gfusa.org/), replicating the Grameen Bank model around the world
  • gramBangla (http://www.grambangla.com/), Grameen Support Group Australia
  • One World (http://www.oneworldonepeople.org/articles/World%20Poverty/Grameen.htm), author Paul Sinclair

Other Sources

  • "Banker to the Poor: The Story of the Grameen Bank". Professor Muhammad Yunus
  • Micro Loans for the Very Poor; "The New York Times"; Sunday, February 16, 1997Template:Econ-stub

de:Grameen Bank es:Banco Grameen

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