Grameen Foundation and YouChange Foundation Announce New Collaboration to Expand Microfinance Services in China
YouChange PuRong Is the First Social Business in China to Use Principles of Muhammad Yunus
September 22, 2010 - Grameen Foundation and the China Social Entrepreneurship Foundation (also known as YouChange Foundation) have formed a landmark collaboration designed to increase access to microfinance for millions of poor people in China. Beijing YouChange PuRong Information Advisory Co. Ltd. (YouChange PuRong) is a social business that represents a unique partnership between the development sector (YouChange Foundation, Grameen Foundation) and the business community (Jilifu Investment Consulting (Shanghai) Co. Ltd., Beijing Orienland Mortgage Co. Ltd., Fosun Venture Capital Investment Co. Ltd.).
The formal signing of the collaboration was held Wednesday, Sept. 15, during the Sub-Forum on Rural Finance session at the YouChange Foundation's Social Innovation Forum.
Though poverty rates among China's poorest citizens have fallen dramatically over the past quarter century, millions still face persistent poverty. Through this unique alliance, microfinance institutions across the country will be able to access products and services that will enable them to greatly expand their reach and impact on the rural poor. YouChange PuRong is the first social business in China based on the principles of microfinance pioneer Professor Muhammad Yunus (Grameen Bank founder and 2006 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate), which promote access to capital as a way to alleviate poverty. This new entity will serve as a platform for empowering tens of millions of poor people in rural China to transform their own lives through access to financial services, especially very small loans.
"We are pleased to join with the China Social Entrepreneurship Foundation in this unique partnership, which will help to bring new opportunities to millions of poor Chinese," said Alex Counts, president and CEO of Grameen Foundation. "Since Grameen Foundation first began supporting microfinance activities in China in 2003, I have had a dream of China becoming a world leader in microfinance, matching its performance in other fields and industries. With the launch of YouChange PuRong, combined with other positive developments in the country related to microfinance, I am more optimistic than ever that this vision is coming close to reality."
At the signing, Henry Yuan, CEO of YouChange PuRong, said, "This is a pioneering step for microfinance in China. However, as a social business, YouChange PuRong still needs help to achieve the goal of conquering poverty. Therefore, we urge more investors, social institutions, and individuals to join us in this cause to support, replicate, and especially help us innovate in our actions."
About Grameen Foundation
Grameen Foundation, a global nonprofit organization, helps the world's poorest people lift themselves out of poverty 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 and improve the poor's access to health and agriculture information and other services. Founded in 1997, Grameen Foundation has offices in Washington, DC; Seattle; Hong Kong; Ghana; Philippines; and Uganda. Microfinance pioneer Dr. Muhammad Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank and winner of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize, is a founding member of its board of directors, and now serves as director emeritus. For more information, please visit grameenfoundation.org.
About Youcheng PuRong
YouChange PuRong Information Advisory Co., Ltd. (YouChange PuRong) is a provider of comprehensive, inclusive financing that works to help rural microfinance institutions (MFIs) sharpen their capacity, solve their capital shortages, and achieve sustainability, with an overarching goal of helping the rural poor to permanently move out of poverty.