This Man is a Rock Star

Grameen America Founder and Nobel Laureate, Professor Muhammad Yunus, inspires action at the The Global Citizen Festival in Central Park, NYC. More »

Business blooms for Sabina

With disciplined savings into an account set up at a commercial bank through Grameen America, Sabina had the capital to invest. More »

Professor Yunus Cuts the Rope

Professor Yunus launched Grameen America in 2008 in the wake of the financial crisis. Four years later, we have reached 12,000 families and counting... More »

 

Official Grameen America Launch In Los Angeles

Bertha always had an entrepreneurial spirit. But with no credit history or collateral, she was unable to access a traditional bank loan that would allow her to fulfill her dream of expanding her family bakery in Los Angeles. After joining Grameen America and receiving her first microloan of $1,500, Bertha was able to buy baking ingredients in bulk. Now she and her husband travel across the state to meet popular demand for their pan dulce (sweet bread). Bertha has been given the tools to become an accomplished entrepreneur and create a better life for herself and her family.

Grameen America President & CEO Andrea Jung with Bertha, a baker in Los Angeles who is growing her business thanks to a microloan from Grameen America.

Grameen America President & CEO Andrea Jung with Bertha, a baker in Los Angeles who is growing her business thanks to a microloan from Grameen America.

To help more women like Bertha realize their dreams, the innovative microfinance model aimed at creating jobs, strengthening economies and alleviating poverty has officially arrived in Los Angeles County. The California Community Foundation, keeping with its mission to help improve the lives of the most vulnerable in Los Angeles County, partnered with Grameen America to bring this groundbreaking model to our community.

Grameen America’s Los Angeles program has already invested more than $4.2 million in more than 2,000 women-owned small businesses. These women repay their loans at a staggering rate of 98 percent. Together, Grameen America, the California Community Foundation and other partners will:

  • Support low-income women who are not able to obtain traditional bank loans to grow their businesses;
  • Create and sustain jobs in the Los Angeles area;
  • Generate additional income for borrowers and their families;
  • Help borrowers build and establish credit history;
  • Build capacity for Los Angeles to serve as a regional base;
  • Expand to 13 branches within Los Angeles County, which in total will invest more than $650 million in 91,000 businesses; and
  • Provide more than 10 percent of all women living in poverty in Los Angeles County with the chance to build a small business.

While Los Angeles County is home to 300,000 women-owned businesses and more than one-third of its population is foreign born, there is also a high poverty rate among our 10 million residents. This unique landscape makes Los Angeles County a logical next step in Grameen America’s expansion to regions that express the greatest need, but also the greatest opportunity for impact.

“Los Angeles County is the world. We have the highest concentration of immigrants, entrepreneurial individuals who come here to pursue a better life. There is no better laboratory than Los Angeles County for a program like Grameen microlending,” said California Community Foundation President & CEO Antonia Hernandez. “California Community Foundation’s partnership with Grameen America aims to unlock the economic potential that lies within our incredibly diverse communities, put women entrepreneurs on the path to success and improve the quality of life of Angelenos.”

Grameen America combines financial training that teaches borrowers about loans, savings and credit building with weekly peer support meetings to keep borrowers on track for repayment. Women are empowered to take control of their finances and invest wisely in their businesses. They are given the opportunity to learn from other women who are going through the microloan process and share best practices.

“With its rich diversity and entrepreneurial spirit, Los Angeles is a priority market for us,” said Grameen America President & CEO Andrea Jung. “What I’ve seen our members do with a $1,500 loan to totally transform their lives, to transform the lives of their families and to be such productive entrepreneurs in American society: it’s the American dream. We look forward to expanding that opportunity to the women of Los Angeles.”

Read the press release here.

New Findings Published in Global Microfinance Index

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) of The Economist Group recently released a report analyzing the microfinance business environment in 55 countries around the globe. The study was based on evaluations of each nation’s regulatory, investment and institutional environment for microfinance. Among other things, factors taken into consideration are official legal recognition, interest rate restrictions, accounting standards, transparency, and the range of services provided beyond credit.

Peru, followed by Bolivia and the Philippines, topped the Global Microfinance Index. All three countries have governments that refrain from implementing subsidy programs and instead focus on poverty reduction through microfinance development and expansion. Therefore, market competition and the range of products and services offered by MFIs in these countries is very robust. North America was not included in the study. Latin American countries in general performed very well in the index, with six countries occupying the top ten spots.

Read more about the study here.

Grameen America

GIS Helps Grameen America Identify Microlending Markets

Esri, a geographic information systems company, recently published an article about how Grameen America uses its Business Analyst software to identify ideal target markets and prioritize metropolitan areas for program expansion.

In six years, Grameen America has expanded to 11 cities across the United States including New York, Boston, Indianapolis, Omaha, Charlotte, Austin, Union City, Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, San Jose, and San Juan. Branches are located in areas with high concentrations of people living below the federal poverty line who are in need of Grameen America’s financial products and services.

Read more about Grameen America and Esri’s program here.

Map of pawnshops and check-cashing services in Los Angeles Metropolitan Service Area

Map of pawnshops and check-cashing services in Los Angeles Metropolitan Service Area

WATCH: Secretary Clinton and Andrea Jung on Women’s Economic Participation

Tune in Thursday at 12:45 p.m. EST to watch Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton speak on the power of women’s economic participation at an event sponsored by the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security. The talk will be part of the institute’s relaunch of the International Council on Women’s Business Leadership at Georgetown.

The council will examine the most pressing issues in international business and economic policy as they pertain to women’s economic participation and advancement.

Melanne Verveer, executive director of GIWPS and former U.S. Ambassador for Global Women’s Issues, will moderate a panel discussion following Clinton’s remarks.

Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream

Grameen America President & CEO Andrea Jung, Secretary Clinton, and Grameen America Chair Muhammad Yunus at the Clinton Global Initiative 2014 Annual Meeting

Grameen America President & CEO Andrea Jung, Secretary Clinton, and Grameen America Chair Muhammad Yunus at the Clinton Global Initiative 2014 Annual Meeting