The Poor Always Pay Back: The Grameen II Story

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Nobel Prize-winning microcredit institution Grameen Bank has financially empowered the poorest families in more than a hundred countries across the globe for over three decades through savings and loans. Recently, Grameen has undergone a complete overhaul of its system, creating "Grameen II" and seeking to make its loan programs more effective.

The Poor Always Pay Back not only uncovers how a major financial institution is able to change its system in response to the needs of its borrowers, but also how Grameen redefined and continues to redefine the basic assumptions of credit worthiness. The immense success of Grameen Bank shows a hopeful trend in the alleviation of poverty.

Grameen Bank II is addressing the frontier issues in microfinance: open access savings, flexible loan products, self reliance and absence of donor dependency for funds, and product development to cater to the needs of the retirees (Grameen Pension Scheme) and their adult children (Higher Education Loans). The story behind these and other innovations show why Grameen has become such an inspiration to those working for social justice everywhere.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This book captures very well the central message of Grameen - the poor always pay back... I hope this book will inspire readers to play an active role in creating a world free from poverty."

"The two former students of Grameen's visionary founder Muhammad Yunus offer a balanced perspective. They provide the definitive account of the overhaul in the design of the world's most important microfinance institution."

"The radical transformation of its products that Grameen Bank engineered at the turn of the century has not yet received the international attention and admiration that it deserves. This timely book sets out the background to the changes and describes in detail the debates and experiments that led to the new services. It is essential reading for institutions around the world that admire or use the Grameen approach, and a contribution to microfinance literature in general."

"If the Grameen Bank is one of the great inventions of our time, "Grameen Bank II" is one of the great re-inventions. Spurred by crisis, fundamental premises were re-thought. A bank once known for delivering "microcredit" turned into an innovator in collecting savings. A bank once known for "group lending" strengthened its relationships with individual customers. We should all be grateful that two long-time insiders have told the story of a remarkable transformation."

"Extremely useful for pro-poor bankers, supportive policy leaders of governments and policy-oriented academics and students to have this book on their shelves."

"This accessible work provides considerable detail about how the bank evolved and why. Highly recommended."

"An uplifting, readable view of economics. Enthusiastically recommended."

"The sensitivity exhibited in portraying harsh realities is commendable. The story is at once challenging and motivating... Western society characterizes the poor as 'dirty', 'dishonest', 'lazy' and 'incapable of planning'. The book provides us with overwhelming, concrete evidence to the contrary."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781565492318
  • Publisher: Kumarian Press, Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/28/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Dipal Barua is the Deputy Managing Director of Grameen Bank and the Managing Director of the Grameen Shakti in Bangladesh. He has extensive experience in the field of poverty alleviation, microcredit, rural development and people’s participation as a result of being a core founder of Grameen Bank. He serves on the board of directors of 16 sister organizations of Grameen Bank including Grameen Phone, the largest cell phone company in South East Asia, and Project Enterprise, a micro lending program in New York.

Asif Dowla is a professor of economics at St. Mary's College of Maryland. He has published various articles on economics and aspects of microfinance such as leasing, savings mobilization and social capital. In 1997, he received a fellowship to spend a year on sabbatical at Grameen Bank.

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Table of Contents

1) Introduction; 2) Classical Grameen and its Impacts; 3) Loan products under Grameen II; 4) Savings Mobilization: From One taka to 3000 Crore taka; 5) Archeology of Grameen II; 6) Staff Incentives and Implementation of Grameen II; 7) The Education Loan and a Program for the Poorest; 8) Conclusion

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