Earlier this year, Grameen Foundation president Alex Counts invited several social enterprise professionals to participate in a wide-ranging discussion on career opportunities in the sector. We hope this conversation will provide instructive insights and advice for new college graduates and those who would like to make mid-career shifts. The staff at Grameen Foundation who worked on this would like to recognize the exceptional efforts of summer intern John Weiller in turning this idea into a reality that will benefit many idealistic job-seekers in the years to come.
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.
Cross-posted from NextBillion.net
Grameen Foundation just wrapped up a 4-year project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, in which we worked with CARD Bank in the Philippines to provide access to secure, accessible and convenient savings accounts targeted to the poor. There is lots of talk in the financial inclusion space about partnerships, innovation and getting to scale. By those measures, we feel like this project was a success on all counts – we opened 480,000 new active savings accounts and created the infrastructure for implementation of mobile financial services, while completing a holistic transformation with our partner to ensure a sustainable program.
Although the immediate need for water, food, shelter and medicine remains acute, especially in the province of Leyte, we will soon face the daunting challenge of rebuilding lost communities and displaced lives in the Philippines. Grameen Foundation has been involved in the rebuilding efforts in two of the worst disasters in recent history: the 2004 Tsunami in South and Southeast Asia and the 2010 earthquake in Haiti (PDF). While every disaster brings unique challenges, we believe there are lessons from these previous tragedies that can inform our rebuilding efforts in the Philippines:
It is still too soon to assess the full impact of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, especially on the country’s poorest citizens. It is clear, though, that microfinance institutions can play an integral role in the recovery. Two of our microfinance allies, CARD and NWTF, operate in the provinces that were hardest hit by the storm.
Grameen Foundation is a lot like the other 20,000 nonprofits that use Salesforce.com—it helps us be more efficient and effective in delivering on our mission. But Grameen Foundation is pretty unique. Not only do we use Salesforce.com for fundraising we’ve built a number of apps to support our programs. But I think most interestingly, we built four mobile apps, culminating in TaroWorks, our mobile field force management product based on 10 years of experience working with the very poor.