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

05/22/2009 by

[caption id="attachment_96" align="alignleft" width="160" caption="Yeardley Smith with Fonkoze client"]Yeardley Smith with microfinance client[/caption]

Hi. Yeardley Smith, here; actress, author, and generally good egg. I’m just back from a trip to Haiti with Alex Counts, Prez and CEO of Grameen Foundation, and his colleague, Kate Druschel. I’d say of all the things I’ve done in the past 5 years, (and I’ve been busy), this trip --three days in Haiti—seems to have piqued all my friends’ interest more than anything else.  So…

05/22/2009 by
Yeardley Smith

Yeardley Smith

Actress and television voice of Lisa Simpson, Yeardley Smith has teamed up with Grameen Foundation to fight poverty.

She has recently returned from a trip to Haiti to visit GF partner Fonkoze and learn first hand about the experiences of poor women whose lives have been transformed by microfinance.

She will be blogging here about this live-changing journey over the next few days.

04/28/2009 by

by Celeste Hamilton, Community Outreach Coordinator, Idealist.org

I know banks are getting a bad rap right now. But hear me out.

With my job, I come across a lot of stories of people reaching across borders, ideologies, issues and more to enact change. But one of my favorites from the past year is CheckSpring, a community bank that serves the predominantly immigrant population in the South Bronx. In an area where check cashers abound, CheckSpring instead focuses on helping the disadvantaged accumulate savings, and empowering them with financial knowledge.

"We’re not out to teach people anything that they don’t seek out, or wave a paternal finger, but provide access to knowledge and tools," says Charlie Wilcox, one of CheckSpring's founders. "We have a great deal of faith in people’s ability in making decisions. If we provide these tools, we have a good shot at making a difference."

02/23/2009 by

by Ging Ledesma, Manager, Monitoring and Administration Unit of Oikocredit’s Department of Credit Operations

Oikocredit has been in the field of social investment for 34 years with a mission to invest in people. Empowerment of the poor, the alleviation of poverty and the creation of a more just society are at our core and for those reasons, it’s essential we measure how our work impacts lives. It’s complicated, but it’s certainly not impossible.

02/18/2009 by

by Brian Weinberg, Director, Recycle to Eradicate Poverty

[caption id="attachment_68" align="alignleft" width="128" caption="Brian Weinberg (left)"]Brian visiting local water well[/caption]

Each of us has a unique set of convictions to pursue.  My own fell into place unexpectedly, after I read a Fortune Magazine article highlighting Dr. Muhammad Yunus's vision to "put poverty into the museums."

I had just arrived home, after studying Spanish in Buenos Aires and trekking 2,858 miles (4600km) alone throughout South America. Reading this article summoned the mental snapshots of several "Shanty Towns" from my recent trip, inspiring a personal call to action.

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