Grameen Foundation Insights

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At Grameen Foundation, our goal is to spur innovation in the global movement to eliminate extreme poverty. Part of that work is to develop better solutions and share them with people like you.

On GF Insights, we share lessons learned from our leaders in the field, news about efforts to expand access to financial and information services for the poor, and how poverty-focused organizations are using data to improve the way they work.

Latest Posts

05/13/2014 by Alex Counts

I have watched many people set out to start something completely new as a way to increase social impact. I have even started a few such ventures – such as Grameen Foundation – myself. It takes a lot to launch a successful start-up, including courage and, dare I say, cojones. There is significant risk involved, and with the upside of transformation comes the often looming downside of humiliating failure. 

05/08/2014 by

Grameen Foundation and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) have released a new policy brief on ICT in agriculture for the upcoming World Summit of the Information Society review and conference (WSIS+10) to be held in June 2014. Titled "e-Agriculture: Looking back and moving forward", the brief provides recommendations for governments and project implementers on the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in agriculture and rural development. Some of the key points focus on measuring the impact of ICT interventions and the challenges facing women and youth.

The recommendations are based on discussions from an online forum the two organizations hosted to gather different perspectives from practitioners about the major achievements and challenges of using ICTs in agriculture. In the forum, which was held November 25 to December 6, 2013, participants shared their successes and failures and gave examples of possible models to emulate and upscale. 

04/29/2014 by

By Nicole Herman, Communications Officer, Bankers without Borders

Randy Coutts and his wife, Cathy, helped a women’s cooperative in India to develop a business plan for its spice company
Randy Coutts and his wife, Cathy, helped a women’s cooperative in India to develop a business plan for its spice company

Over the past six years, the image of the typical international development volunteer has been changing. The bright-eyed, young college graduate eager to change the world is now giving way to more seasoned professionals.

04/25/2014 by Alex Counts

Margaret CrowThe movement to end poverty lost a great friend and champion earlier this month when Margaret Crow passed away in Dallas, Texas. Mrs. Crow was a generous donor, warm host and fearless traveler when it came to poverty reduction through microfinance, especially in Latin America, and most memorably in Chiapas, Mexico. She believed deeply in Grameen Foundation’s work to advance the elimination of poverty, and actively supported Chiapas International, our long-time partner in the Dallas area, during the last decade of her life.

I met Mrs. Crow through her daughter, our former board member Lucy Billingsley. Mrs. Crow took part in a memorable trip to Chiapas in 2003, leading a delegation of 30 female business leaders, professionals and philanthropists to spend a long weekend with the leaders, staff and loan clients of AlSol, a Grameen Foundation partner based in the charming colonial town of San Cristobal de las Casas.

03/24/2014 by

By Kimberly Davies, Program Officer, Financial Services


You’ve finally gotten that new savings product off the ground and into people’s hands. They sign up in droves—and then they go silent.

Dormant accounts can be a huge problem for financial service providers.  It puts a huge dent in their bottom line and could jeopardize their sustainability. Their clients also suffer because they don’t gain the experience needed to better manage their assets.

During Grameen Foundation’s Microsavings work with CARD Bank, we found that 58 percent of its new Matapat savings accounts were never used. People wanted to save, signed up for the account, thinking it would be a good fit for their needs. But, they never made transactions.

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