BANKERS WITHOUT BORDERS® ANNOUNCES FUNDING AVAILABLE TO EXPAND IN ASIA AND THE AMERICAS

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August 16, 2010 - Bankers without Borders®, Grameen Foundation’s initiative to expand volunteerism in the microfinance and technology-for-development sectors, announced today the availability of $150,000 in seed capital to microfinance associations and other pro-poor organizations interested in helping bring Bankers without Borders volunteer services to Asia and the Americas.

Presented by J.P. Morgan, the Bankers without Borders Alliance Program aims to establish a global network of local organizations who can help to identify and scope volunteer projects that can benefit from the pro bono services of the more than 4,500 skilled business professionals from around the world willing to donate their time and expertise to help microfinance and technology organizations improve their scale, sustainability, and impact.  This first round of competition will focus on identifying approximately 5-10 Alliance partners in Asia and the Americas.  Future rounds of funding will focus on expanding the program in Africa and the Middle East.

“As they expand their efforts, microfinance institutions and other organizations serving the world’s poor face a variety of infrastructure challenges similar to those faced by companies in rapid-growth industries,” said Shannon Maynard, the Director of Bankers without Borders.  “At the same time, there is an underutilized pool of expertise among companies and individuals who are willing to donate their time because they believe in the social missions of these organizations.  What we need is an effective pipeline for translating the needs of these organizations into discrete volunteer projects that can deliver strategic value – this is where the Alliance program steps in.”

Selected organizations will receive an initial investment of $10,000 to $30,000 along with operational support from Bankers without Borders in order to build their capacity to market the program locally and work with beneficiary organizations to identify their critical needs and structure ways for skilled volunteers to address them through training, technical assistance, and advisory services.

“We are proud to support Grameen Foundation's initiative to expand volunteerism in the microfinance sector,” said Christina Leijonhufvud, head of J.P. Morgan's Social Finance unit. "By helping microfinance organizations improve their operations, develop new products, and reach more clients, volunteers can ensure more of the world’s poor have the opportunity to progress out of poverty.”
 
A formal request for proposals can be found at http://www.bankerswithoutborders.com/mfis-networks
The deadline for submission is September 30, 2010.  Selected organizations will be announced in November 2010.

For those organizations interested in applying to join the Alliance program, Bankers without Borders will hold two technical assistance conference calls:

For Asia Applicants                     For LAC Applicants
Tuesday, August 24, 2010            Tuesday, August 24, 2010
8am-9am US EST                          2pm-3pm US EST

Call-in Details:
Conference Call in Number: 1-404-920-6650
Participant code: 21285456#

About Grameen Foundation

Grameen Foundation, a global nonprofit organization, helps the world’s poorest people access financial services and technology solutions by providing financing, technology support and management strategies to the local organizations that serve them. It also spearheads technology initiatives that create new microbusiness opportunities for the poor, provide telecommunications access for the world's rural poor, and improve their access to health and agriculture information and other services.  Founded in 1997, Grameen Foundation has offices in Washington, D.C., Seattle, Washington, Hong Kong, Ghana and the Philippines. Dr. Muhammad Yunus, the founder of Grameen Bank and the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, is a founding member of its board of directors, and now serves as director emeritus. For more information on Bankers without Borders, please visit  www.bankerswithoutborders.com.  For more information on Grameen Foundation, please visit www.grameenfoundation.org.
 

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