Grameen America, Inc. is a nonprofit microfinance organization that provides loans, education and other financial services to the poorest of the poor in the United States. With no requirements of capital or credit history, our members enter our program struggling to make ends meet and to support their families, but willing to invest their time and trust in us in order to create a better life. They gradually transform into a community of entrepreneurs, focused on building their businesses and supporting one another. They learn to view themselves as business owners and to think in terms of the desired returns they need to help their families.

Through financial education and services, Grameen America provides a ladder through which our clients can pull themselves out of poverty. As many of our borrowers are single mothers, the financial empowerment fostered by Grameen America’s work impacts not only the women, but their children as well. Our clients’ new found financial literacy and financial independence will be passed on to their children to break the generational cycle of poverty.

We owe much of our success to the work of the Chairman of our Board, Professor Muhammad Yunus, who, alongside Grameen Bank received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006. Over thirty years ago, Professor Yunus, gave $27 to 42 poor villagers in Bangladesh who then repaid him in full. This experience inspired him to found the Grameen Bank, a microfinance organization that has improved the lives of over 8 million Bangladeshis living in poverty. The Grameen Bank's success is attributable not only to its innovative structure of lending, but also the beliefs that underlie that structure: that all people, no matter what their current income, have the innate creativity and skills to start businesses and generate income for themselves and when provided the opportunity, the poor can lift themselves out of poverty to create better lives for themselves and future generations.

Our Success to Date*

Since Grameen America first opened our doors in 2008, we have achieved the following:

$15,500,000 lent out in microloans
$700,000 deposited in borrower savings accounts
5,400 members supported
100% of borrowers establishing saving
50 hours of annual financial training/borrower
5 Grameen America neighborhoods created

*last updated March 15, 2011

Products & Services Offered

The core aspect of the Grameen microfinance program is our group-lending model perfected by Professor Yunus & Grameen Bank. Through our group-lending model, borrowers are required to self-form groups of five prior to receiving a loan, and meet weekly with our staff to repay principal, interest & deposit savings. While each borrower is individually responsible for her own loan; the size of future loans is dependent on successful repayment by all group members. This weekly group model promotes successful repayment, builds peer support networks, and provides a valuable forum for best-practice sharing and training on financial issues.

Grameen America’s success and high repayment rate are due to a holistic approach that supports financial empowerment and promotes economic self-sufficiency. Our program incorporates the following aspects:

Business Loan : We provide low-cost loans to those living in poverty in the United States. Our maximum first-time loan is $1,500. We do not require credit history or collateral and we charge no application or late fees.

Savings: Prior to receiving a loan, Grameen requires and helps all borrowers to open no-fee, no-minimum-balance personal savings accounts at local partner banks. Borrowers are required to make weekly deposits of at least $2.

Credit Establishment: Grameen America reports borrower repayments to Experian. For many of our borrowers, this is a significant first step towards building credit history and becoming integrated with the mainstream economy.

Financial Education: Prior to receiving a loan, borrowers are required to complete a five-day (1 hour session/day) group training program where they learn about interest rates, loan and savings products, and credit establishment. Borrowers receive further financial literacy training at their weekly group meetings on practical topics such as resources for business planning.

Learn More
Our Homepage: www.grameenamerica.org
Visit us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1133366249
Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/GrameenAmerica

Repayment Performance on Kiva

    This Field Partner All Kiva Partners
  Start Date On Kiva Mar 25, 2011 Oct 12, 2005
Total Loans $29,000 $615,937,900
Amount of raised Inactive loans $0 $394,100
Number of raised Inactive loans 0 550
Amount of Paying Back Loans $0 $121,474,500
Number of Paying Back Loans 0 130,987
Amount of Ended Loans $29,000 $494,069,300
Number of Ended Loans 10 624,052
Delinquency Rate 0.00% 4.36%
Amount in Arrears $0 $3,417,623
Outstanding Portfolio $0 $78,313,876
Number of loanDelinquent 0 16,120
Default Rate 0.00% 1.10%
Amount of Ended Loans Defaulted $0 $5,427,172
Amount of Ended Loans $29,000 $494,069,300
Number of Ended Loans Defaulted 0 16,892
Currency Exchange Loss Rate 0.00% 0.10%
Amount of Currency Exchange Loss $0 $614,667
Refund Rate 0.00% 0.74%
Amount of Refunded Loans $0 $4,567,000
Number of Refunded Loans 0 5,104

Loan Characteristics On Kiva

    This Field Partner All Kiva Partners
  Loans to Women Borrowers 100.00% 74.23%
Average Loan Size $2,900 $419
Average Individual Loan Size $2,900 $655
Average Group Loan Size $0 $1,835
Average number of borrowers per group 0 8
Average GDP per capita (PPP) in local country $47,000 $3,415
Average Loan Size / GDP per capita (PPP) 6.17% 12.26%
Average Time to Fund a Loan 2.36 days 5.75 days
Average Dollars Raised Per Day Per Loan $1,230.89 $72.86
  Average Loan Term 5.5 months 10.46 months

Journaling Performance on Kiva

    This Field Partner All Kiva Partners
  Total Journals 0 307,573
  Journaling Rate 0.00% 42.28%
  Average Number of Comments Per Journal 0.00 0.07
  Average Number of Recommendations Per Journal 0.00 1.80

Borrowing Cost Comparison (based on 2009 data)

    This Field Partner Median for MFI's in Country All Kiva Partners
  Average Cost to Borrower 11% PY N/A 33.15% PY
  Profitability (return on assets) N/A N/A -1.29%
  Average Loan Size (% of per capita income) N/A N/A 38.08%

Country Fast Facts

Field Partner Staff

Victoria Adkinson
Katherine Rosenberg