Non-profit

Grameen America

Location:

New York, NY

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

President:

Andrea Jung

Financials (2019):

Revenue: $43,999,887

Expenses: $21,236,354

Assets: $146,277,303

Grameen America is a U.S.-based nonprofit organization that provides financial assistance and microloans to women under the federal poverty line. The organization was founded in 2008 as an offshoot of the Nobel Prize-winning Grameen Bank, which was founded in Bangladesh by Professor Muhammad Yunus, to provide micro-loans for poor Bangladeshi women to grow small businesses, such as selling handmade goods. Grameen America uses the same framework by enlisting corporate banking partners to provide small loans to members of the organization. The group also provides financial training and funds a subsidiary, Grameen Primacare, which provides healthcare services. [1]

Grameen America gained prominence in 2020 for being featured in Billionaire Mackenzie Scott’s “116 Organizations Driving Change.”  Scott, the billionaire ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, rose to prominence in 2020 by announcing that she would give away most of her vast fortune to left-leaning advocacy groups, many of which focused on race and gender issues. [2]

Background

Grameen America was founded in 2008 and inspired by Grameen Bank, a Bangladeshi project that was started by economics Professor Muhammad Yunus to provide micro-loans (small-dollar loans) to poor women in Bangladesh. He saw the need for such a product on a visit to a poor village with his students in 1974. He began his microlending in 1976 by helping a group of 42 basket weavers. He found success with these microloans and kept lending until he formed the Grameen Bank in 1983. [3]

Yunus’s bank grew substantially in popularity in Bangladesh and by the time the Bangladeshi organization was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2006, it had financed over seven million loans averaging just $100 with 95% going to women or groups of women. The success of the original organization has led to over one hundred unaffiliated Grameen organizations across the world, including Grameen America. [4]

Activity

Grameen America was founded in 2008 in Queens, New York, with the intent to specifically provide loans and services to women and groups of women in the U.S. below the federal poverty line. Loans are typically given to groups of five women who are set up with free bank accounts and have their loan payments reported to credit bureaus to build credit. Loans range from $2,000 to $15,000, and the organization reports that it has given over 500,000 loans totaling over $1.5 billion since 2008. [5]

Grameen America also supports Grameen PrimaCare, an affiliated nonprofit also based in New York that provides healthcare services to poor women with a goal of decreasing out of pocket payments for health services. [6]

Grameen America is headed by president and CEO Andrea Jung, a former CEO of Avon products. [7]

Funding and Partnerships

Grameen America is funded by several corporate financial institutions that provide cash funds as well as pro bono banking and technology services. These lending partners inclined the California Community Foundation, CapitalOne, Synchrony Bank, First National Bank, PNC, and Wells Fargo. [8]

The organization also receives funds from many prominent left-leaning funding organizations including the Annenberg Foundation, Dalio Philanthropies, Hearst Foundations, the Jennifer and Jonathan Allan Soros Foundation, and the Sara Blakely Foundation. [9]

In 2020, Grameen America received a $25 million gift from MacKenzie Scott, the richest woman in the world and ex-wife of Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos, as part of Scott donating a total of $1.7 billion to race- and gender-related nonprofits in 2020. [10]

References

  1. “One Pager” Grameen America. Accessed December 9, 2020. https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5aaac2c1d274cb7149773430/t/5f6b96b5e1ce4c51c4f805e4/1600886454199/990+Public+GAI.pdf ^
  2. Scott, MacKenzie. “116 Organizations Driving Change.” Medium. July 28, 2020. Accessed December 9, 2020. https://medium.com/@mackenzie_scott/116-organizations-driving-change-67354c6d733d ^
  3. Founder. Grameen Bank. Accessed January 26, 2021. http://www.grameen.com/founder-2/. ^
  4. “The Nobel Peace Prize 2006.” NobelPrize.org. Accessed January 26, 2021. https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/peace/2006/grameen/facts/. ^
  5. “One Pager” Grameen America. Accessed December 9, 2020. https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5aaac2c1d274cb7149773430/t/5f6b96b5e1ce4c51c4f805e4/1600886454199/990+Public+GAI.pdf ^
  6. “Who We Are” Grameen America. Accessed December 9, 2020. https://grameenprimacare.org/home/whoweare/ ^
  7. “Andrea Jung” Grameen America. Accessed December 9, 2020. https://www.grameenamerica.org/andrea-jung ^
  8. “Lending Partners” Grameen America. Accessed December 9, 2020. https://www.grameenamerica.org/lending-partners ^
  9. “Institutional Partners” Grameen America. Accessed December 9, 2020. https://www.grameenamerica.org/institutional-partners ^
  10. “Grameen America Receives $25 Million Grant From MacKenzie Scott.” PR Newswire. June 28, 2020. Accessed December 9, 2020. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/grameen-america-receives-25-million-grant-from-mackenzie-scott-301101706.html ^
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Grameen America


New York, NY