Grameen Foundation

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Grameen Foundation
Founded 1997
Founder Alex Counts
Type 501(c)(3)
Focus Poverty, Food Security, Global Health
Area served
Asia, Africa, the Americas, Middle East
Method Social Enterprise, Microfinance, Technology
Key people
Steven Hollingworth – President & CEO
Marianne Udow-Phillips – Chair
Muhammad Yunus - Founding Board Member

Grameen Foundation, founded as Grameen Foundation USA, is a global 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Washington DC that works to help poor families increase their income, build their financial security, and protect their health using innovative, technology-based approaches and local partner networks. Its CEO is Steven Hollingworth.[1] Grameen Foundation's mission is, "To enable the poor, especially the poorest, to create a world without poverty."[2]

It is separate from organizations called "Grameen Foundation" in different countries, such as Grameen Foundation Australia.[citation needed]


Grameen Foundation was founded in 1997 to facilitate the expansion of banks modeled after the Grameen Bank beyond the borders of Bangladesh and increase the access of poor people to microfinance by millions worldwide. Alex Counts, the founder, started Grameen Foundation with a $6,000 grant from Muhammad Yunus, the founder and managing director of Grameen Bank.[3] Professor Yunus sat on the Board of Directors for 12 years and is now a director emeritus. Immediate past chair of the board is Paul Maritz, formerly CEO of VMWare and formerly a senior executive at Microsoft. The current chair is Marianne Udow-Phillips, director of the Center for Healthcare Research & Transformation (CHRT) at the University of Michigan.

Counts stepped down as President and CEO in 2015 and was replaced by Steven Hollingworth, a long time international NGO executive with experience at CARE and Freedom from Hunger.

On October 25, 2016, Grameen Foundation announced its integration with Freedom from Hunger.


Grameen Foundation is a global nonprofit that empowers the poor, especially women, to end poverty and hunger. It creates breakthrough solutions – spanning financial, agricultural and health services – that leverage digital technology and local partner networks to bring people the tools and opportunities they need to help themselves.

Grameen Foundation has programs in financial services, health, agriculture, and resources for anti-poverty organizations.

  • Financial Services: It works with the poor and organizations that serve the poor to develop reliable financial tools that help poor families create businesses, build savings, manage their money and plan for the future.
  • Health: It improves health outcomes for poor families by using mobile technology to improve patient care, increase efficiency of health care providers and make medical information relevant and easily accessible.
  • Agriculture: Using mobile phone applications and human networks, it helps farmers get relevant, timely agricultural information that can increase their productivity and income to improve their lives.
  • Tools for Anti-Poverty Organizations: It helps poverty-focused organizations improve their operations and deepen their impact by providing mobile-based management tools and skilled volunteers.[4]

Grameen Foundation works in Asia, Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa.[5] In India, it operates through Grameen Foundation India, a wholly owned subsidiary.[1]


  1. ^ "Steve Hollingworth | Grameen Foundation | Connecting the World's Poor to Their Potential". Retrieved 2016-03-08.
  2. ^ "Providing Access: Opening Doors for the World's Poorest, 2009–2010 Annual Report" (PDF). Grameen Foundation. Retrieved January 3, 2011.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ "Q&A with Grameen Foundation founder Alex Counts". Juneau Empire - Alaska's Capital City Online Newspaper. Retrieved 2016-03-09.
  4. ^ "What We Do | Grameen Foundation | Connecting the World's Poor to Their Potential". Retrieved 2016-03-09.
  5. ^ "Where We Work | Grameen Foundation | Connecting the World's Poor to Their Potential". Retrieved 2016-03-09.

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