Grameen Bank and it’s founder Professor Muhammad Yunus are an inspiration to the whole world. We are very proud to have helped Grameen Healthcare establish a new hospital that has already given over 12,000 people their sight back. Grameen Bank was born in the village of Jobra, Bangladesh. In 1976 a study by Professor Muhammad Yunus, head of the Rural Economics Program at the University of Chittagong, identified microcredit as an effective way of extending very small loans to the rural poor.
Professor Yunus discovered that a small amount of money could dramatically change the direction of somebody’s life. Giving a poor person ‘credit’ was a simple but revolutionary idea. The bank is owned by the seven million poor borrowers it currently serves, 97 percent of whom are women. It does not require any collateral against its micro–loans, and repayment responsibility rests solely on each individual borrower. The bank has a loan recovery rate of almost 99 percent.
Whole Planet Foundation was established by Whole Foods Market to help extend the reach of microcredit to poor women and support the developing world communities that supply their stores with product. We were lucky enough to travel to Costa Rica and Guatemala with the team from Whole Planet. They are doing incredible work and really making a difference. Whole Planet Foundation works closely with Grameen Trust in replicating their successful model.