Development Crossing

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Sustainability

Muhammad Yunus' Grameen Bank, known for its microfinance lending schemes in Bangladesh, has recently entered the US market, perhaps good timing considering the recent mortgage meltdown and general distrust of mainstream banks. What may be surprising to some is the fact that while the US is the world's richest country, it still has 28 million people that have no bank accounts and 44.7 million with only limited access to financial institutions.

Grameen Bank has begun its US operations in New York City, lending $50,000 in the past month to groups of immigrant women in Jackson Heights in New York's borough of Queens. Over the next five years, it plans to offer $176m in loans within New York city, and then expand to the rest of the United States.

Muhammad Yunus told the Financial Times: "Now is a good time because of ... the subprime crisis and that highlights the issue that the financial system is not perfect."

Views: 58

Comment by Sally McNeal on February 18, 2008 at 10:37am
That's great news, I love the work of Grameen, and recently picked up Yunus' new book on microfinance. However, I'm curious why they are expanding to the US now? Surely Grameen's efforts are more needed and valued in the developing world?

I'm not saying that the US doesn't have poverty that needs to be tackled as well, but the gravity of the problem is far larger in other parts of the world. Although, at the end of the day I guess helping poor people lift themselves out of poverty is good regardless of what geography it's taking place in.
Comment by Abdullah Khan on April 21, 2008 at 7:14pm
That's great news that Grameen bank is expanding its operations not only in the villages and towns of LDCs , but also to address the urban poverty of developed countries such as USA. I agree that the problem of poverty is more grave in developing countrires than it is in industrialized countries.
However, poverty anywhere is a threat to plenty everywhere. In that sense, promoting urban entrepreneursip in US can supplement the overall goal of eradication of absolute poverty (lack of hasic food, health care, shelder, education etc.) from world.

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