Grameen America, a non-profit microfinance organization founded by Dr. Muhammad Yunus, recently held the grand opening of a new Manhattan, New York, branch . This grand opening brings the total number of branches of Grameen America to four, with branches in Queens and Brooklyn, New York, and a third in Omaha, Nebraska. The ceremony took place at City College of New York and was hosted by the Colin Powell Center for Policy Studies. The event featured previous Grameen America borrowers who had used their loans develop retail and culinary businesses . According to Dr. Yunus, who was present at the grand opening, “If it can be done in New York City, it can be done anywhere. Just because we don’t take collateral doesn’t make us vulnerable. Just because you do take collateral doesn’t make you invincible.” Then he spoke directly to the 50 Grameen America borrowers in attendance, “your enterprise is small, your loan size is small, but the dream is big. We will make the dream come true” .
By Conner Brannen, Research Assistant
About Grameen America:
Grameen America is a non-profit microfinance organization based in New York City and founded by Muhammad Yunus to replicate the model of the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh. Its mission is to provide affordable microloans to financially empower low-income entrepreneurs. Grameen America launched its first branch in Queens, New York in January 2008. As of February 28th, 2010, Grameen America had disbursed over USD 5 million in loans to 2,500 borrowers. Grameen America currently maintains a repayment rate of over 99 percent.
Sources and Additional Resources:
 The New Nation: “Dr. Yunus opens new branch of Grameen America in Manhattan,” May 24, 2010: http://nation.ittefaq.com/issues/2010/05/24/news0732.htm
 Grameen America: “Grameen America Upper Manhattan Grand Opening”: http://www.grameenamerica.com/Other/Grameen-America-Upper-Manhattan-Grand-Opening.html
 Grameen America: http://www.grameenamerica.com/
 MicroCapital Universe Profile: Grameen Bank: https://www.microcapital.org/microfinanceuniverse/tiki-index.php?page=Grameen+Bank
 MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Mohammed Yunus, Founder of Grameen Bank, Calls for Standardized Interest Rate for Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) and Strict Definition of Microcredit in Bangladesh, March 22, 2010: https://www.microcapital.org/microcapital-brief-mohammed-yunus-founder-of-grameen-bank-calls-for-standardized-interest-rate-for-microfinance-institutions-mfis-and-strict-definition-of-microcredit-in-bangladesh/
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