Grameen Bank

Bangladesh: Grameen-Danone Yogurt Factory, Bogra.
"Grameen Ladies" meet with representatives of Danone to learn about the product and possibly become sellers of this product. Bogra, Bangladesh. June 16, 2007.Courtesy of Danone

    Economist Muhammad Yunus had a theory: He believed that small, collateral-free loans could enable Bangladesh’s unbanked poor to start businesses and lift themselves out of poverty. Grameen Bank, chartered in 1983, proved him right, demonstrating that “microcredit” could be self-sustaining and even profitable. Since then, Grameen has loaned $17.4 billion to 8.7 million borrowers, most of them impoverished women; it reports a 98.3% repayment rate and has had only three money-losing years since 1990. Just as important is the movement for which Grameen paved the way. Globally, micro­finance accounts for at least $60 billion in loans annually and has reached 135 million people, according to the World Bank—one reason Yunus’s accolades include the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize.

    Company Info

    Revenues ($ millions)-
    Company typePrivate
    CEOMuhammad Yunus
    Impact SegmentEconomic Opportunity/Financial Inclusion

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