First initiated in 1976 by Professor Muhammad Yunus, founder of the Grameen Bank, microfinance institutions in Bangladesh are known for their pioneering, large-scale services.
- Bangladesh has a population of more than 140 million with almost half of the population living below the poverty line.
- Most of the population earns less than a $1 a day.
In Bangladesh, microfinance institutions have taken an active role in poverty alleviation efforts, providing credit to poor people who lack savings and capital. However, poverty remains a major challenge for millions of people in Bangladesh. The three most widely recognized MFIs – Grameen Bank, BRAC, and ASA – account for 85 percent of the 18.6 million active borrowers in the country. Despite the presence of large MFIs, Bangladesh continues to face enormous challenges in reducing poverty.
In Bangladesh, the Grameen Foundation Education Scholarship Program works through Grameen Shikkha to provide scholarships to poor rural children. To date, we have sponsored 250 scholarships, and continue to support programs for Bangladeshi youth.