Nobel Prize winner Muhammad Yunus, founder of the successful Grameen Bank women’s microloan program in Bangladesh, has come to New York, the global center of capitalism, to do what American banks won’t do. He is lending money to poor women.
Perhaps Grameen deserves the deposits of Smart Sensuality women like us.
Yunus has leant $1.5 million to women living in Queen’s, with a repayment rate of more than 99 percent. Yunus confirms that there has been no slowdown in microlending to women globally from his bank. Repayment has not faltered either.
I did not know that President Obama recently announced the creation of a $100 million microfinance growth fund for small lenders in the Western Hemisphere to allow them to continue making loans despite the global recession. (via MSNBC)
$100 million is a drop in the micro-lending budget to Grameen’s Yunus, who lends that much every month. But it is a start and a reminder that the most successful programs for women around the world are not necessarily run by our banks.
Just now, I posted an article about President Obama meeting with the credit card companies, regarding several key issues that have arisen for customers, including rates rising on cards in excellent payment history and a host of other onerous revenue-stream opportunities that banks have imposed on customers.
In my case, my bank changes the due date on my card, from the date that’s existed for years. I never looked, but just assumed that it was status quo. Most people do not examine their statements with this kind of scrutiny with the arrival of every statement. Bingo. $40 late charge.
Just yesterday I was thinking that in today’s world, I could bank with a foreign bank, or at least spread my business around internationally. Perhaps Grameen America should be a consideration for Smart Sensuality women. With an exemplary track record of supporting women globally, perhaps they will get my banking business, too.