Innovating the fight against poverty.
Evidence-based. Data-driven. Scalable. Sustainable.
Grameen Foundation offers expertise, insight, and scalable solutions to like-minded partners working to offer the poor—and the entire ecosystem of agencies and actors surrounding them—empowering tools that meet the needs of their everyday realities.
The transformation that is happening—the Fourth Industrial Revolution, moving to the Fifth, the Internet of Things—enables the acquisition and digitization of data to benefit the poorest people on earth. We help our partners create detailed profiles of a person's needs and employ existing self-help tools that meet them where they are. Our approach is evidence-based and designed for scale and sustainability.
Empowering ecosystems sustain and scale-up change. We know how to build them.
The Grameen Foundation Model for solving poverty: technology with a human face.
Good for women. Good for the family farm. Good for everyone.
Digital Agriculture Solutions
Digital Farm Development Plans (FDP)
that collect and analyze farm-level and household data to enable smallholder farming households to plan ahead and better manage the cost and financing of their farming operations
Grameen collaborated with Mars, Inc and Rainforest Alliance to develop the FDP for cacao. Through the FarmGrow mobile application, field officers of cocoa traders collect farm-level data that is analyzed using “smart logic” to allow for personalized FDPs that guide farming households to plan ahead and better manage cost and financing of their farming operations. Most importantly, the “business” plan provides a snapshot of the potential income (or loss) over the long-term that can be generated from following recommended practices.
Digital Farm Management Plans
that profile farmers, enable coaching in good agricultural practices and capture adoption observations.
Under FarmerLink, Grameen developed a strategic alliance that included the Philippine Coconut Authority and private-sector coconut buyers, including Franklin Baker and Nutiva, as well as Planet Labs, Stichting Progreso, financial service providers, food companies and agronomists. Grameen developed a suite of mobile extension tools that worked in an integrated fashion to help farmers strengthen their businesses, build resilience and mitigate losses due to climate change and extreme weather while serving the profit-making, policy, and other interests of the partners.
Digital Finance Solutions
Digital loans designed for smallholder farmers
especially women to enable rapid access to agriculture finance.
Grameen partnered with the world’s first cashless MFI, Musoni Kenya, to enhance its technological capacity and increase its reach to smallholder farmers. Using human-centered design research and business model innovation, Grameen and Musoni designed a loan specifically for smallholder farmers, who were previously unable to borrow. One of the loan product’s most popular features is its customization to unique seasonal financial needs of the agricultural households and farmers’ cash flow. Musoni embedded a digital field application to its lending processes which enable time-sensitive agricultural loans to be disbursed within 72 hours to clients’ mobile wallets.
Digital layaway for inputs
to allow farmers to save up for the cost of quality inputs.
In Tanzania, Grameen piloted a digital layaway scheme in alliance with Positive International Limited, a regional input supplier, and with Vodacom’s M-Pesa mobile money service. The solution provided farmers with a digital Crop Investment Plan to advise farmers on correct input applications and other good agricultural practices. By making small deposits toward the cost of the inputs over time, farmers could afford to buy the relevant inputs at the right time without the need for expensive credit.
Digital recordkeeping and credit scoring
to strengthen savings group and producer group linkages to formal financial institutions.
LedgerLink is a groundbreaking, fully functional, Android application that allows rural savings group members to digitally record their day-to-day meeting information, as well as savings, loan and social fund transactions via a group smartphone, enabling the automatic calculation of loan repayment information. Data on group performance, savings and loans is stored on the cloud and readily available to NGO program staff, financial institutions, and any other stakeholders of the group’s choosing.
Digital financial literacy curricula
to enable uptake by low-literate and underserved customers of financial products.
In collaboration with GSMA and MTN Uganda, Grameen has developed a digital financial literacy curriculum to serve the needs of refugee populations.
With Millicom through its Conectadas initiative, Grameen is developing digital financial literacy content for an app that will be used by women in nine Latin American countries.
Community Agent Solutions
Female community agent network
recruitment, training, and management to enable
service providers to reach underserved customers.
Grameen Mittra is a network of female agents who, as self-employed women working within their communities in India, offer a digital platform that allows people to access DFS, financial and livelihood development products/services, and customer education on the doorsteps of women living in remote communities. Mittras grow their business through diversified offerings from multiple financial service providers and private sector partners, and by reaching groups of underserved people such as via self-help groups. Mittras also transform their own lives by learning new skills, generating new income and increasing their financial independence.
Community Agent Network (CAN) is a telco-agnostic, last-mile agent network that delivers financial services to underserved and unserved rural Filipino customers through the use of mobile-enabled payments platforms.
Field force management and offline data collection platform
TaroWorks™ is a social enterprise whose mobile-based data tool enables organizations to use fresh data and timely feedback as the standard for setting and reaching their goals. With TaroWorks, organizations serving poor and remote areas can efficiently collect, analyze and act on field data.
Digital learning platforms
to support remote training of community agents.
A first-of-its-kind e-learning app in India for microfinance institutions, G-LEAP enables anytime, anywhere training of front-line microfinance staff and agents. It works quickly and cost-effectively, helping agents engage, educate and motivate microfinance clients. G-LEAP allows front-line workers to learn on the job while continuing to serve their clients. Watch this video to learn firsthand about G-LEAP.
to support the growth of innovative financial service providers and social enterprises in frontier markets.
Grameen is working to elevate the model of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Impact Bond pioneered by Grameen Capital India and Grameen Impact India. SDG Impact Bonds have proven effective in India in enabling small and medium-sized enterprises to overcome collateral and guarantee requirements commonly set by financial service providers, and thus advance their social and business goals.
Grameen is currently establishing a new $30 million early-stage venture fund, called GrameenStart, to continue pursuing innovation in financial inclusion, while also promoting a broader spectrum of social enterprises serving poor women in the informal economy and other underserved groups, including rural segments. GrameenStart focuses on promising, underfinanced early-stage ventures that are poised to positively impact the lives of poor, rural women and other underserved groups in low and lower-middle-income African and Asian countries. GrameenStart will provide customized packages comprised of seed funding, equity, quasi-equity and/or debt investments, and a technical assistance sidecar.
Technical assistance to social enterprises
via professional volunteers
Through its Bankers without Borders® (BwB) business executive volunteer initiative, Grameen brings talent and skills from Fortune 500 companies and academia to bolster the scale, sustainability, and impact of social and pro-poor enterprises worldwide. Since 2008, BwB has recruited more than 23,000 volunteer consultants from 174 countries around the world, to deliver professional support to more than 260 social enterprise clients in 48 countries, totaling more than $27.3 million worth of pro bono services. BwB volunteers bring backgrounds in banking and finance, technology, marketing, management consulting, M&E, research and human resources to provide technical assistance support for short, medium, and longer-term, virtual or field-based assignments. BwB strives to bring on the most relevant and qualified consultants while minimizing the costs of travel and partners’ time investment.
to enable organizations to measure their impact on poor and underserved households.
Grameen Foundation developed the Poverty Probability Index® (PPI®). It is a powerful low-cost tool used by hundreds of organizations in 40 countries to measure household poverty, and to track and improve performance. Grameen Foundation managed PPI for its first ten years. In 2016, we partnered with Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) to develop the PPI Alliance, a collective governance and funding structure. Grameen Foundation is a founding and core partner of the Alliance, which is housed with IPA.
Social performance management
to enable organizations to measure their impact on poor and underserved households.
An endorser of the Client Protection Principles (Smart Campaign), Grameen is a leader in social performance management (SPM). Grameen was a founding member of the Imp-Act Consortium, a group of 10 organizations dedicated to developing, promoting and training financial service providers to implement SPM. Grameen is also an active member of the Social Performance Task Force (SPTF), a membership organization that leads the inclusive finance sector in promoting standards and sound practices for ensuring safe and beneficial financial services for clients. Moreover, Grameen is a founding member of Truelift, a global initiative to push for accountability in pro-poor development.
Training in best practices for economic strengthening initiatives
to support development implementers.
Grameen has designed and facilitated a series of four economic strengthening trainings that support development organizations focused on programming for orphans and vulnerable children. The trainings enable organizations to select and follow best practice related to savings group, graduation, and cash transfer programming.
Addressing gender barriers
to micro-enterprise growth and resilience.
Grameen trains and supports local partners to facilitate gender dialogues that engage men and women in conversation about traditional gender roles and how they can act as barriers to effective household decision-making for optimal health, and food and nutritional security. The dialogues develop incentives for change in gender relations and encourage more gender-equitable household food distribution and decision-making regarding the use of household resources.
Preventing unintended consequences
of women’s economic empowerment.
In order to integrate the issues of child labor alleviation and acceptable conditions of work into WEE initiatives, and in partnership with the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative, Grameen is developing and deploying a new toolkit to better equip policymakers and service providers to educate women entrepreneurs and ensure women-led enterprises can improve livelihoods responsibly, and comply with laws protecting children and promoting acceptable conditions of work. After testing in two strategic locations, El Salvador and the Philippines, the RICHES tools will become available for broader distribution and global application.