Microfinance in Manhattan

Earlier this month, Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank opened a branch in Manhattan, making it the third branch in the state of NY.  Microfinance has proven itself to work in third world countries, but there has been a lot of opposition to microfinance in the US.  Last year, Kiva opened its doors to lending in the US and was met by a lot of unhappy lenders.  However, over time, as the loans have proven to work, the anti-US lending arguments have started to subside.  Up until now, the Grameen branches in NY have been doing well, with a 99% repayment rate, which proves that it doesn’t matter what country you are from, or how big the city is that you are in, as long as you can get credit and are willing to work hard with the money you have received, you can make it anyhwere.  Dr Yunus was recently quoted as saying “I think 2008 has brought us back to that question again, the question of who is credit-worthy?” which I think is a great statement.  Lenders can choose who they lend to by using their own criteria, but it doesn’t mean they get the right to choose who is “poor” and who needs a loan.  I think that Grameen America (as well as Kiva and the other microfinance orgs) is making a great stride in microfinance in the US.

Here is a video of Dr Yunus speaking at the opening in Manhattan:

For more video about Grameen America check out their video files

About Jerry Ostradicky

I work in Advertising Operations at Zillow, but LOVE microfinance. I'm always interested in startups, especially non-profits, reach out to me if you're working on anything cool!