Country Reoport

Grameen Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation Launched

Professor Muhammad with Representatives from Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation Team

Credit Agricole, a leading French bank, has joined forces with Grameen Trust to support microfinance institutions (MFIs) around the world through the formation of the Grameen-Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation. The Foundation would receive an endowment of Euro 50 million (US$73 m) from the French banking group. This is the first time that a large global banking group has partnered with the Grameen group for an initiative of this scope.

The foundation, which will be based in Luxembourg, is expected to offer financial guarantees, equity investments, training and technological expertise to microlenders. It may also devote some of its resources to funding social enterprises, which seek to maximize social returns rather than profits. The Foundation is expected to be fully operational by 2009.

Grameen Fund and UBICO Sign Rural SME Financing Deal

Mr. Dipal Barua, Managing Director of Grameen Shakti, receiving
Ashden Award from Nobel Laureate Ms. Wangari Maathai

Grameen Fund (GF), a venture finance company of the Grameen Group and The UAE - Bangladesh Investment Company Limited (UBICO), a joint venture financial institution, have signed an agreement on June 23, 2008, through which UBICO provided a local currency loan facility of BDT 20 million to expand GF's Micro Enterprise Loan Scheme to benefit two hundred additional rural micro enterprises.

Grameen Fund's Micro Enterprise Loan Scheme started in 1997. Up till June, 2008, a total of 2,021 rural micro enterprises received loans totaling BDT 205.79 million, and generated employment for more than 8,000 persons.