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Apoy and Sariyani

About two years ago, Apoy made a mistake that is still benefiting him today. He misdialed a cell phone number and found himself talking to Sariyani. Even though the phone number was wrong, the conversation apparently felt right, because the couple decided to meet, began dating and eventually got married.


Sudha lives with her husband and four children in Uttar Pradesh, a region of northern India where steady jobs are hard to find. Without a regular income, her family struggled to meet their daily needs.

This started to change when Sudha took a loan of 10,000 rupees (about $225) from Cashpor, a microfinance provider with which Grameen Foundation works, to purchase a buffalo. Sudha used the milk from the buffalo in her small tea stand near her home. In just six months, she generated enough income to not only feed her family, but also to keep her daughter in school.


Working in several Asian countries, we are finding new ways to connect poor communities, particularly women, to a range of financial and health services.

Ibu Marni

Ibu Marni, who lives on the outskirts of Jakarta in Indonesia, struggled for years to make ends meet and provide for herself and her two children. She had tried to start a few small businesses of her own, but they had all failed. Ibu Marni clearly had an entrepreneurial drive, but poverty had put obstacles in her way that kept her from reaching her potential.

Recognizing that Ibu Marni was a poor but budding entrepreneur, Grameen Foundation’s partner Ruma, a local social enterprise, recruited her to start her own small business. All that was required was a simple mobile phone.