Grameen Family: Grameen Trust, Grameen Fund, Grameen Solutions, Grameen Kalyan, Grameen Telecom
8. Grameen Family
8.1 Grameen Trust
Grameen Trust is committed to the cause of poverty alleviation. It uses microcredit as a tool for fighting poverty and follows Grameen Bank Approach for the purpose. It was established by Professor Muhammad Yunus in 1989. It is a non-profit and non-government organisation.
Under its Grameen Bank Replication Program (GBRP) program, Grameen Trust (GT) supports and promotes poverty focused microcredit programs all over the world. It organises Dialogue Programs for potential replicators and provides training and technical assistance to replication projects. It provides funding to selected projects and monitors their performance. Till date it has provided support to 149 replication partners in 39 countries of the world.
- To support and promote GB type programs to reduce poverty.
- To offer training and technical assistance to national and international organizations to support GB replication initiatives.
- To publish materials aimed at disseminating information about Grameen Bank Replication Programs (GBRP) and drawing the attention of all concerned to the deep rooted problems of poverty.
- To build an international network of concerned people and institutions working in the field of poverty alleviation.
- To conduct research and undertake and/or encourage experimentation to find ways to bring about socio-economic changes in the lives of the poor.
- To promote and operate health and sanitation services for the benefit of the poor.
- To organize and operate any project or enterprise that will help increase employment, income and management skills of the poor.
8.2 Grameen Fund
Grameen Bank?s highly successful and Nobel Peace Prize winning micro credit program for the poor who are predominantly women is known worldwide. To realize its long term development objectives, a mechanism to provide high volume risk capital was required. The Bank encountered many ideas, technologies and approaches that can lead to business which are economically compelling and socially progressive but do not fall within the scope of Grameen Bank?s initial objectives of providing micro credit to the very poor. Thus it became necessary to set up a facility to back the commercially potential but untested business and manufacturing concerns that can help propel the growth of the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector. Grameen Fund was established in 1994 as a not-for-profit company to fill the risk capital gap for ventures that promise good return on equity investments as well as lead to direct and indirect employment generation.
Grameen Fund is dedicated to promoting, managing and financing various enterprises which aim to create wealth for poverty alleviation in the country. Grameen Fund?s main business strategy is to provide venture capital finance; especially in technology based ventures. It equally lays stress on providing fixed capital and working capital loans to micro enterprises which want to scale up and are emerging out of poverty.
- Provide equity financing for technology based enterprises in various sectors that hold promise for future growth with direct or indirect impact on poverty alleviation.
- Provide loan, equity or both to new companies or existing companies for balancing, modernization or expansion.
- Assist in management, buy in or buy out of existing companies requiring financial and management support provided that such companies? activities or product bring direct or indirect benefits to the poor.
- Promote or develop enterprises having prospects for export or import substitution that will use indigenous raw materials, provide employment to rural poor or help upgrade the skills of rural or urban poor
8.3 Grameen Solutions
Grameen Solutions Ltd. is a flagship technology company within the Grameen family of organizations founded by Dr. Muhammad Yunus, recipient of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize. “Grameen Solutions” literally means Solutions for the Villages. GSL is continuously creating partnerships with industry leaders to innovate and create Business and Information and Technology solutions that are affordable and sustainable. GSL offers business services, management consulting, software development, business and technology process and service outsourcing.
Grameen Solutions is committed to meet and exceed our partners? expectation in all situations. We take tremendous pride in our loyalty to our customers and integrity in our performance and delivery. We also cherish the environment where we relentlessly try to improve our capabilities, solutions, services and customer satisfaction. In line with our vision to create innovative and affordable solutions for people, Grameen Solutions entered into strategic partnership with businesses which include: Intel Corporation, Cisco System Inc, Anabasae and Interscan Navigation.
8.4 Grameen Kalyan
Grameen Kalyan is a “not for profit” company established in 1996 under the Companies Act, 1994 of Bangladesh. The Nobel Laureate and founder of Grameen Bank (GB) Prof. Muhammad Yunus are the founder and chairman of Grameen Kalyan (GK). GK is also registered under the Foreign Donation (Voluntary Activities) Regulation Ordinance, 1978 from NGO Affairs Bureau of Bangladesh.
Support and implement sustainable programs aimed at bringing better livelihood to people especially in rural areas and to minimize inequality and disparity.
- To provide financial support in the form of interest subsidy and support to the borrower and staff of Grameen Bank (GB) and their families;
- To establish and operate primary health centers and other health service facilities;
- To invest in creating Social Business Enterprises for the benefit of low income groups living in the rural areas;
- To provide scholarships to meritorious students of the families of GB borrowers and employees;
- To undertake rescue operations and provide emergency health services to the victims during natural disasters;
- To assist in research and experimentation to find ways and means to bring positive socioeconomic change to less privileged people.
8.5 Grameen Telecom
Grameen Telecom (GTC) was established in 1995 as a not-for-profit company established by Dr. Muhammad Yunus for improving the standard of living and eradication of poverty from rural Bangladesh with the help of Grameen Bank.
GTC owns 38% share in GrameenPhone (GP) and it's dedicated for development of ICT in rural Bangladesh. The Company's unique product the Village Phone (VP) program commenced on 26 March 1997 and it has crossed 297,079 VPs land mark recently. Grameen Telecom is the oldest NOKIA Distributor in Bangladesh.
In Bangladesh 97% of all homes and virtually all rural villages lack a telephone, making the nation one of the least wired in the world. This lack of connectivity has contributed to underdevelopment and the impoverishment of individual Bangladeshis. To address this problem Grameen Bank, a micro-finance institution, formed two entities:
- Grameen Telecom (GTC), a wholly-Owned non-profit Organization to provide phone service in rural areas as an income-generating activity for members of Granleen Bank, and
- Grameen Phone Ltd. (in partnership with UI.5. Norwegian, and Japanese companies), a for-profit entity that hid on and in 1996 won a national GS.NI cellular license. Grameen Phone (GP) has since become the country's dominant mobile carrier, providing service in urban areas and along the major railway routes via a network of cellular towers linked by fiber optic cable.