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1 Grameen Bank

open source property asserted by The Social Busienss Action Team - Q&A welcomed by team - chris.macrae @yahoo.co.ukHow did the world’s safest banking model and greatest system (social business) invention for sustainability begin?


The Story of Founding Grameen Bank

Bangladesh as new nation, free at cost of a horrific war of independence, was suffering from a million people dying of famine. A small team decided to try to do something, anything, about it. They hit on the idea that banking needs to be a human right after research in a village where they found that for $27 , 42 people’s working lives could be freed from loan sharks.   (check numbers)


The founding team of Grameen Project- 3 men and one woman led by Muhammad Yunus - took 7 years refining as an open source franchise. Their problem how to create jobs around the poorest illiterate people in the world and take them out of such poverty traps as being beholden to loan sharks and treated as an underclass. Their emerging model :

· Train up illiterate people in 5 person teams so that after a week they collaborated with each other, could sign their own name and handle money with the greatest of family-loving care

· Design village banking centres for every 60 people which were also the main market place and knowledge hub. By marketplace we mean that for example a group of 60 could decide that 2 people with chickens laying eggs was the perfect number to meet needs and guarantee a positive income. And so compose 60 income generating jobs that would communally fit, and better still empower members of the bank to save as well as take out credit for increasing their productivity.


During this 7 year franchise improvement period , members were asked what they wanted the community to invest in to go sustainably beyond poverty. 16 decisions resulted primarily oriented around improving the health and education of their children. It was also found that village women not men most wanted to collaborate around all of the above. To do this day, Mrs Nurjahan Begum the female co-founder of Grameen trains and operates the 16 decision culture with a passion unlike any male or female leader I have met in 33 years of interviewing leaders of organisations that brand the world locally and globally.  She is also the bank’s main vocational education entrepreneur currently developing Grameen Employment Services as one extraordinarily timely franchise for the world of 2010s.


However what made social business the world’s greatest system invention was that the founding 4 decided those poorest who most desperately need this organsiation should also be its owners - so the bank could continuously invest in its unique purpose. The defining Social Business model of the bank is to transparently generate a positive win-win-win cashflow but to invest all profit back into the organization. This way all the productivity of the community was owned by the community and indeed advanced the lot of the poorest in what has become known as the great human race towards poverty museums. One day the failed system of poverty traps will be no more if we open source the system of Grameen Microcredit in any locality where these most human trusts of sustainability banking are needed.


Q&A – please send more to sofia@ or Mostofa@


Q Does banking as a candidate solution to job creation crises translate for any community where unemployment or underemployment is spinning viciously?

A Yes We Can –and in cities twinned in sustainability with London and Dhaka will http://londoncreativelabs.com and http://cslondon.org - humanly design that in developed as well as developing nations – but beware many nations’ laws are configured around banking for the richest and need changing if the true social business system of GrameenMicrocredit is to translated optimally. Which governments will help their peoples in this exciting microeconomic networking?


Q Did Grameen Bank confine itself just to financial services?

A Heavens no. Members asked Grameen leadership to improve their children’s lot in any and every simple way that made communal sense. An early example : Dr Yunus waited out in the village whole his female staff knocked on the door of potential new clients. As is the way in Bangladesh villages, all the children greeted him with he biggest smiles you’ll ever see. But Yunus noticed the sad fact than many of these children were might blind. Why because of poor nutrition. Simple solution : get members to plant carrots. So one of the first non-financial services of Grameen Bank was selling carrot seeds in 1 cent packs. So vitally needed was this simple service across rural Bangladesh that Grameen became the largest seeds retailer in the country.


Q What’s sorts of exponential rising consequences are sustained by a third of a century of win-win-win social business modeling around a bank?

A Grameen Bangladesh may be a special case of the best that banking can be for humanity since the 4 founders have dedicated their lives to the enterprise, and leader Muhammad Yunus is arguably the world’s must trusted and value multiplying entrepreneur. For example, when global consultants said that mobile phones would only ever have quarter of a million users in Bangladesh, Muhammad Yunus seized the opportunity to invest his member’s money in mobiles getting the franchise for cents in the dollar. But his primary reasoning for this bold intervention was  to unleash info tech in the village. Soon telephone ladies- one shared mobile rented per village centre – were linking up what is today the 125000 village hubs making up Grameen’s nearly 8 million membership. Please note that the Social Business system empowers any leader to connect the organsiation as sustainably as possible, and with 33 years of practice who knows how many YUnUS can cheerlead the world – Dr Yunus is currently searching http://www.yunusforum.net  for 5000 Youth Ambassadors to share mindsets with, as well as at least one university Yunus Centre http://www.yunuscentre.org  partner in every country. And the idea of testing a franchise micro to see if it works before openly replicating it across all the members hubs makes entrepreneurial innovation as likely to blossom communally as any organsiation system design can help humans to be.


Q What would the world have missed if Grameen Bank had never been modeled?

A Quite probably human sustainability http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8130130.stm  . Definitely improvement of the next generation’s lot through optimal microeconomics design and integrating higher order system awareness in schools than the 20th century of separation ruled necessary. To explore why look at the case of Global Grameen http://worldclassbrands.tv launched 2009 in time to celebrate the 2010s United Joy of Millennium Goals decade

 Open source property right asserted isabellawm.com foundation and londoncreativelabs.com and microcredit.tv – rsvp info@worldcitizen.tv if you see errors of concept or may wish comments to be openly published Dedication : Mrs Begum, Dr Yunus, Professor Latifee, Dipal Barua – Grameen , and Sam-Daley Harris microcreditsummit.org

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