Grameen Bank

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Grameen Bank

A bank in Bangladesh that pioneered modern microfinance. Grameen Bank makes very small loans to extremely impoverished persons to help them achieve self-employment so they are able to lift themselves out of poverty. Borrowers belong to five member groups; members encourage each other to repay the loan. Borrowers must agree to abide by 16 rules for social betterment. While critics contend that too many of Grameen's loans extract high interest rates, some are interest-free. Historically, Grameen has had very low default rates, though many borrowers pay late. It was founded in 1983 by Muhammad Yunus.
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