Grameen Foundation

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Grameen Foundation
Grameen Foundation Logo.png
Founded 1997
Founder Alex Counts
Type 501(c)(3)
Focus Poverty
Area served
Asia, Africa, the Americas, Middle East
Method Social Enterprise, Microfinance, Technology
Key people
Steven Hollingworth – President & CEO
Robert Eichfeld – Chair
Muhammad Yunus - Founding Board Member
Slogan Connecting the World's Poor to their Potential

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. 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 Robert Eichfeld, a retired executive at Citibank.

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 helps the world’s poorest people reach their full potential, connecting their determination and skills with the resources they need. It provides access to essential financial services and information on agriculture and health, assistance that can have wide-scale impact by addressing the specific needs of poor households and communities. It also develop tools to improve the effectiveness of poverty-focused organizations.

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

  • Financial Services: It works with the poor and organizations that serve the poor to develop reliable financial tools that help the poor create businesses, build savings, manage their money and plan for the future.
  • Health: It improves health outcomes for the poor 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 financing, mobile-based management and poverty measurement tools, skilled volunteers, and human capital resources.[4]

Grameen Foundation works in the Americas, Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, as well as in Sub-Saharan Africa.[5]


Voted into the top 25 of world changing ideas in 2007 Members Project by American Express cardholders.


  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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