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.
Olga Morawczynski is Project Manager for Grameen Foundation's financial literacy project in Uganda.
When I started the financial literacy project at the Grameen Foundation in Uganda, I was faced with some very fundamental questions—what exactly is financial literacy? And do the poor really need it, or even want it? Aside from my own questions, I also faced some reservations from colleagues in the field. Many were very frank in their opinions. There is no need for financial literacy, they told me. What the industry needs is appropriate financial products. The learning bit will take care of itself.
Sabrina Quaraishi is Client Relations Manager for Grameen Foundation's Bankers Without Borders® program.
We are very excited to launch the Bankers without Borders Alliance Program as a way to utilize the increasing number of skilled volunteers who join our program to donate their time and skills in the space of microfinance and technology for the poor and at the same time serve the various needs of microfinance institutions and other organizations serving the world’s poor.
Harvard & Haas Business School students working on a BwB volunteer project.
Fred Graves is an intern at Grameen Foundation, working with our Mifos® Team in Seattle, WA. Fred’s passions include microfinance as well as music. To help Grameen Foundation win a $200,000 grant, Fred wrote, performed & filmed what we believe is the best rap video about microfinance. This post is also featured on the Huffington Post Impact website.
Grameen Foundation supporter and actress Yeardley Smith (voice of “Lisa Simpson” on the popular TV show The Simpsons) and President and CEO Alex Counts traveled to Bangladesh in late July 2010. They visited Grameen Bank and some of the other enterprises Professor Yunus has launched to accelerate poverty reduction. This is Alex’s fifth and final blog post chronicling their visit.
My trip to Bangladesh with Yeardley Smith and the rest of our delegation was a terrific learning experience. It proved to be a window into a possible future for microfinance, since Grameen Bank, its affiliated companies, and other groups in Bangladesh are far ahead of the rest of the movement in many ways.
On the morning of our sixth day, we were joined by three French interns with Grameen-Danone. The original social business focused on combating malnutrition and poverty, Grameen-Danone produces fortified yogurt and engages the poor in the production and sales processes. First stop was one of four collection points where Grameen-Danone contractors test and purchase milk from local farmers, including quite a few Grameen borrowers. They set up in a convenient location and guarantee a fixed price all year round—both of which, based on random interviews I conducted, are appreciated by the local people even if they can occasionally get a higher price in local markets miles away.
Then we went to a cooling station where the daily milk collections are stored for a few hours before being sent to the Grameen-Danone plant. (Everything is transported using local rickshaw pullers and “baby taxi”—three-wheelers—drivers on contract. The time from milk collection to yogurt in a cup ready to be sold or shipped is just 36 hours!)