In 1976 when Professor Muhammad and his colleagues started giving out tiny loans under a system which later become known as the Grameen Bank, we never imagined that some day we would be reaching hundreds of thousands, let alone three million, borrowers. But the capabilities and commitment of our staff and borrowers gave us the courage to expand boldly. We hardly noticed when we reached milestones like 100,000 borrowers, $ 1 billion lent, 2 million borrowers and so forth. Everyone predicted that the quality of the services we provided would deteriorate when we reached large numbers; yet, in reality, in many ways it improved.?
In the late 1980s, we started to think of ways in which we could build on the network that our borrowers represented, in order to accelerate their progress towards a poverty-free world and also improve Bangladesh's overall economic performance. So, in the beginning, we got involved in leasing unutilized and underutilized fishing ponds and irrigation pumps such as deep tubewells. At about the same time, we also became involved in providing training and other support to people from other third world countries who wanted to adapt the Grameen methodology.?
After some initial successes in the fisheries and irrigation projects, we became interested in expanding our work by getting involved in other busines in various new sectors. By this time, carrying out all these initiatives under Grameen Bank became unwieldy, and from 1989 we began to establish new organizations. The fisheries project became the Grameen Fisheries Foundation. The irrigation project became the Grameen Krishi Foundation. The international replication and health program were put under the Grameen Trust.?
As we moved forward, we gained confidence and became more and more bold in our non-banking activities. Independently from Grameen Bank ,we became involved in venture capital, the textile industry, an Internet service provider and much more. Each new initiative was incorporated in an extending organization or spun off into a new one. This became what we call the Grameen Family of Organizations.
We welcome people and organizations from all over the world to contact us and let us know how they would like to work in partnership with our existing organizations and/or propose new ideas that may lead to new business ideas which fulfill the social development objectives and organizations in the Grameen Family.?