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 »

 

Benefits of Women’s Economic Participation

Women and investmentsFinancial advisers are scurrying to attract women as impact investing becomes increasingly popular. Pax World Investments published a study showing that over the past 40 years, women’s participation in the world economy has generated more than $3.5 trillion. By 2030, it is projected that women will hold two thirds of America’s wealth. This is a plus for financial advisers because women are twice as likely to be loyal to advisers and are 20% more interested in environmentally responsible investments than men.

Higher female participation in the economy not only benefits environment and social causes through impact investing, but also would cause GDP to rise. A UN Women study found that if women’s paid employment rates rose to the same level as men’s, the United States’ GDP would rise by 9%. The study also found that increasing the share of household income controlled by women changes spending in ways that benefit children. Additionally, Fortune 500 companies with more women in management positions delivered a total return to shareholders that was 34 per cent higher than for companies with the lowest representation.

The financial and social benefits of female economic participation are hard to ignore. For the sake of society at large, men and women alike need to work together to empower women to increase their involvement in the financial world.

Grameen’s Macro Impact in Los Angeles

LA Ladies

Do we need to “rethink our image of the entrepreneur”? In a Huffington Post article published today, John Kobara of the California Community Foundation writes about how Grameen America is supporting a new wave of entrepreneurs in Los Angeles.

“…there is another entrepreneurial movement in our midst. It may not be as sexy, but the socioeconomic return on investment is boundless — and felt in our neighborhoods and communities every day. It starts with $1,500.”

Read the full post here.

Invest in Women this Giving Tuesday

Giving TuesdayFollowing Thanksgiving, Grameen America wants to give thanks to all of our friends and supporters who enable us to offer financial tools, training and support to women living in poverty in the U.S. These women are engines of economic growth, building small businesses and lifting up their communities.

We have already invested over $200 million in more than 40,000 women. This holiday season, please help us by making a gift so that together we can double our reach and impact next year.

Button Giving Tuesday

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.