Friday, November 2, 2007

Grameen America

From ABC News: Grameen America has opened in a small office in the Jackson Heights area of Queens, NYC. In following the Grameen tradition, the goal is to provide an effective, sustainable and measurable response to poverty in America, with a focus on entrepreneurial women and immigrants. And at Grameen America, if you don't have credit, you could be the perfect customer.

The concept behind the Grameen bank is simple: Charge affordable interest, encourage small, regular repayments, and provide ongoing support to every borrower. But there's another key ingredient -- the so called "secret sauce." Clients are organized into borrowing groups of five persons, and individual business loans are made to group members who are supported by the group. During regular group meetings, the members use peer pressure to encourage the other borrowers to repay their loans.

The bank itself is a profit-making business owned by the shareholders, who are the borrowers. So any profit goes back into making loans.

ABC recently aired two interviews with Muhammad Yunus: Yunus: Crediting America and Small Loan Revolution Comes to the U.S.

Read the full ABC News story here.

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