Saturday, September 02, 2006

Grameen: A Bank for the poor

The Grameen Bank is a Bangladeshi organization that makes small loans (known as microcredit) to the impoverished without requiring collateral. It provides financial services to clients who are excluded from the traditional financial system on account of their lower economic status.

The system is based on the idea that the poor have skills that are under-utilized. The bank also accepts deposits, provides other services, and runs several development-oriented businesses including fabric, telephone and energy companies.

Professor Muhammad Yunus, the founder of "Grameen Bank" and its Managing Director, says that if financial resources can be made available to the poor people on terms and conditions that are appropriate and reasonable, "these millions of small people with their millions of small pursuits can add up to create the biggest development wonder."

The World Bank which is responsible for providing financial assistance to developing countries to reduce poverty , create growth and development has not fully realised its objectives because the policies and their implimentation set in place by receiving governments have not matched the needs of the poor at the bottom.

Capitalism and the free market system have not yet solved the world's problems of eradicating poverty. It may be worth for social entrepreneurs or do-gooders as they are also called, to replicate Brameen Bank's experience and empower the poor people to help themselves out of poverty.

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