More than 100,000 low-income women entrepreneurs in the United States (US) received around $1 billion in microloans from Grameen America, a fast-growing micro-finance organisation in the US, since its inception 10 years ago.
The organisation now has 20 branches in 13 American cities and plans to open a branch in Houston next month, expand to other cities, and deepen its footprint, reports UNB.
These results were shared in a board meeting held in the New York city, on September 26, chaired by Professor Muhammad Yunus, said a press release.
"This record $1 billion achievement is proof that the model can scale successfully, and we are excited to see where the next decade takes us," said Prof Yunus. "Many had doubts whether micro-finance would be effective as a poverty alleviation tool in the United States, but we have clearly proved them wrong."
"By investing $1 billion in the entrepreneurial businesses of low-income women, Grameen America has helped over 106,000 women in the United States break out of the cycle of poverty," said Andrea Jung, President and CEO of the organisation.
Grameen America serves women who are usually not eligible for loans from traditional banks and largely excluded from the mainstream US financial system. Start-up loan is under $2,000.
The organisation has successfully adapted its small-group, trust-based micro-finance model in different markets across the United States. Currently, the organisation has seven branches in the New York city, a significant and growing presence in northern and southern California, and branches in cities throughout the country, including San Juan, Puerto Rico.