Grameen opens Houston office to help low-income women entrepreneurs – Chron

Grameen America, a nonprofit that issues small loans to low-income women entrepreneurs, has opened a Houston location.

Located at 6260 Westpark Drive, the organization will provide these entrepreneurs with microloans, training and support to help them rebuild after Hurricane Harvey.

According to a Grameen news release, more than 20 percent of Houston residents live below the federal poverty line. Of those, 56 percent are single mothers with children, and the majority are people of color.

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“Women are keen to start their own businesses and take control over their lives and livelihoods,” Andrea Jung, president and CEO of Grameen America, said in the news release. “With a little capital, they can succeed.”

Grameen America was founded by Nobel Peace Prize Muhammad Yunus, who established the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh in 1983 believing credit a fundamental human right.

Replicas of the Grameen Bank model now operate in more than 100 countries. The Houston branch marks Grameen America’s 21st branch in the U.S. and its 14th city.

Grameen America expects to serve 500 women and invest over $1 million during its first year in Houston. In five years, the organization aims to assist 5,000 low-income women and invest more than $38 million.

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