Alex Counts is president, CEO and founder of Grameen Foundation, and author of several books, including Small Loans, Big Dreams: How Nobel Prize Winner Muhammad Yunus and Microfinance are Changing the World.
Grameen Foundation Insights
You are here
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.
Kari Goebel is the Marketing and Communications Intern based out of Grameen Foundation's Technology Center in Seattle, WA.
As a full-time intern and volunteer, I have had a lot of time to reflect about life on a budget. I am constantly making decisions about how to keep my spending low and maintain a positive savings-account balance. Yes, I should start taking the bus to work so I do not have to pay for parking or gas. No, I should not go out to lunch, but pack some leftovers from home instead. Yes, maybe it is a good idea to move in with my parents, versus paying rent on an apartment. No, maybe I do not need a fancy espresso this morning.
Discussions of the microfinance crisis in Andhra Pradesh, India, have, so far, overlooked one area that might have a played a contributing role: human capital management practices.
Grameen Foundation’s Human Capital Center focuses on improving these “people practices” at microfinance institutions (MFIs). In this piece for CGAP’s Microfinance Blog, Peg Ross, director of the Human Capital Center, discusses the critical role frontline staff can play in improving MFIs’ overall social and financial impact.
Read more at the CGAP blog.
Jason Hahn is the Information and Communication Technology Innovation (ICTI) Development Manager at Grameen Foundation. The ICTI team develops, tests and advances mobile phone products and services in Uganda, Indonesia, and Ghana to improve healthcare, farming, banking, and more.
[caption id="attachment_1393" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Hosea Sempa from our training team holds a baby so the father (in picture) and mother (out of picture) can participate in the training."][/caption]
At Grameen Foundation, we’ve learned first-hand the importance of doing what it takes to strive for gender equity in our work. Ensuring that women have equal access to the actionable agricultural information we provide through our CKW network is not just a "feel good" action for us. It is also one of the most practical steps we can take to achieve our goal of improving farmers’ livelihoods through access to information.
In Uganda, women do 85% of the planting, 85% of the weeding, 55% of the land preparation, and 98% of all food processing. This may explain why 90% of rural women in Uganda work in agriculture, compared to 53% of men. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), women in rural areas produce at least 50% of the world’s food. While women are hard at work on farms, we also know that many women do not have access to mobile phones. According to the Women and Mobile Report by the GSMA and Cherie Blair Foundation, women are 24% less likely than men to own a mobile phone in sub-Saharan Africa, and women in rural areas and lower income brackets stand to benefit the most from closing the gender gap in mobile phone ownership.
Ayesha Abbasi was an intern on Grameen Foundation’s Marketing and Communications team from August through November of this year. A senior at American University's Kogod School of Business, Ayesha wrote this blog post as she was preparing to graduate in December.
As I walked into the Grameen Foundation office in Washington, DC on my first day back in August, I remember being captivated by the vibrant images of microfinance borrowers from around the globe. One by one, I closely examined the portraits hanging on the walls, trying to understand the relationship between the organization and these individuals with smiles of satisfaction on their faces. Now, having been at Grameen Foundation for more than three months, I am not only aware, but wholeheartedly passionate, about the organization’s noble influence in underprivileged communities around the world.