Ending the Cycle of Poverty: Financing Low-Income Women Entrepreneurs

Grameen America, Inc.

Grameen America addresses the high rates of poverty and financial exclusion across the U.S. by disbursing microloans to entrepreneurial women in low-income communities.

Last Updated: May 2023
Competition Participation
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Gender Equality
Current Work Location(s):
  • United States of America
  • United States of America
Priority Population(s):
  • Economically disadvantaged people
  • Women and girls (all ages)
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):
  • 1. No poverty
  • 5. Gender equality
  • 8. Decent work and economic growth

Executive Summary

Grameen America builds on the revolutionary but simple idea that people can lift themselves out of poverty through their own entrepreneurial spirit. Since 2008, we have tested the microfinance model in different markets across the U.S. to prove its viability and compiled research showing that our model can empower low-income women entrepreneurs in the U.S. to build better lives for themselves, their families, and their communities.

Currently, 40 million people live in poverty in the U.S. Women are 38 percent more likely to be impoverished than men, and more than half of low-income children live in female-headed households. By expanding our footprint to 49 branches from 23, we will reach 500,000 women entrepreneurs by 2030, have a material impact on poverty alleviation, and improve the economic situation of their spouses, children, and employees, changing the lives of nearly one million Americans.

Organization Details
Lead Organization

Grameen America, Inc.

website: http://grameenamerica.org
Organization Headquarters
New York County, New York, United States of America
Organization ID
Number of Full-time Employees
101 to 300
Annual Operating Budget
$10.1 to 25 Million

Charity, fund, non-governmental organization, religious institution, school, or other entity

Organizations may provide budget and employee data based on this proposal or the organization as a whole. For more information on this proposal or organization, please email us.


In 2020, Grameen America's immediate priority was to support our members--low-income women of color--during this period of economic disruption, while pursuing our mission to provide financial inclusion to underserved communities.

When the pandemic began, we quickly transitioned each aspect of our high-touch program to digital operations across our national network of 23 branches in 15 cities. Using this innovative virtual model, we opened a new branch in Chicago.

Since the onset of the pandemic, we are proud to have distributed over 62,000 loans, providing $258 million of critical capital supporting entrepreneurial women rebuild their businesses.

In 2020, we also released the 18-month results from a randomized controlled trial conducted by MDRC, which found that our model significantly reduces material hardship for women experiencing poverty in the U.S. These findings stand as a powerful indicator of our program’s impact on underserved communities of color, in a year marked by systemic inequality.

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