Grameen Bank

Grameen Bank

Grameen Bank

SERVICE

Grameen Bank provides loans to the poorest of the poor in rural Bangladesh, with no requirement for collaterals and no interest

BUSINESS MODEL

97% of shares of Grameen Bank are owned by the borrowers themselves.

The main incentives for people to repay the loans are that groups of villagers borrow together and act as co-guarantors, and a recipient who repays her loan qualifies for another, larger one.

The rigorous selection of borrowers and their projects by these bank workers, the powerful peer pressure exerted on these individuals by the groups, and the repayment scheme based on 50 weekly installments, contribute to operational viability to the rural banking system designed for the poor.

IMPACT

Place: rural Bangladesh 

Scale:  8.92 million borrowers (97% women), it is now covering more than 97% of the total villages in Bangladesh  (Sept. 2017)

Depth

  • Loans help poor people engage in viable income-generating activities to get out of poverty. 20% of Grameen Bank members live below the poverty line compared to 56% for comparable non-Grameen Bank members. 
  • Women could raise their status,  lessen their dependency on their husbands and improve their homes and the nutritional standards of their children. 
  • The average household income of Grameen Bank members is about  25% higher than non-members.
  • Shift from agricultural wage labour to self-employment in petty trading. 

ORIGINS

Muhammad Yunus is a Bangladeshi economist in a university in a small city close to rural village life in Banglades. From 1974, he traveled to the villages frequently, trying to understand how to alleviate rural poverty. As these visits added up, one phenomenon stood out in his mind: he was troubled by the loan sharking people described. He started keeping track, and counted 42 people he had met who complained of harassment by debt collectors. In total, their debt amounted to $27. This was his epiphany: “I couldn’t believe that people had to suffer so much for so little.”

Although Yunus knew he couldn’t eliminate poverty, he knew he could solve the immediate problem for those 42 people. With $27 of his own money, he paid off their debts. Villagers were shocked that he would do this, he recalled—and banks, too, were astonished when he suggested that this could be done on a larger scale: “They kept repeating for me that it’s impossible to do it.”

By the time he founded Grameen Bank (the name, a Bengali-English hybrid, means “village bank”) in 1983, Yunus had already arranged loans for 28,000 people, using funds from loans he had secured from the government and other banks.

WHAT’S NEXT?

Repayment rates reached 97 percent.  The Grameen Bank expanded rapidly. From fewer than 15,000 borrowers in 1980, the membership had grown to nearly 100,000 by mid-1984 and close to 9 million by 2017. 

In 2006, Muhammad Yunus received the Nobel Peace Prize for his work with the Grameen Bank. He has now created a dozen of other social enterprises in various fields. 

 

GET INVOLVED !

Visit Yunus Social Entreprises

You can participate to an exposure visit  from one to two weeks, with meetings with 4 organizations of the Grameen families.  

Internships

3 months unpaid internship focusing on assigned work (by one month rotation to three team leaders), social business materials study, visits to social business and Grameen Bank sites, and meetings with Grameen Bank and other Grameen sister companies. You can also do a one month immersion program.

Start your own!

Got inspired to create a microfinance business? You can get a 3 to 4 weeks training from Grameen Bank to learn more about microfinance.

Brac

Brac

BRAC

SERVICE

BRAC has set up 16 social enterprises addressing community needs and providing jobs to many. Its flagship social enterprise is the retail outlet Aarong Craft Shops in Bangladesh, reaches more than 65,000 artisans. Its dairy business, BRAC Dairy, collects milk from 54,000 marginalized farmers and has 20-30% of market share.

With the profit, BRAC can offer free education programs to build skills and training for decent jobs in growth sectors.

BUSINESS MODEL

Around 1980, funding for BRAC’s programmes was nearly 100% donors.  BRAC pioneered the first sustainable social business privitization model. By the mid 1990s, BRAC had already reduced external funding to about 50%. Today, the organization generates 80% of its $485 million budget from its wholly owned social businesses.

IMPACT

Place: Bangladesh (70,000 villages), Afghanistan (4854 schools), Tanzania, Uganda, Sudan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan.

Scale:  110 million poor people per year are impacted (75% of the Bangladeshi population), 2 million children enrolled in schools

Depth
  • Child mortality rate in Bangladesh dropped from 20% to 5%
  • Built the Bangladesh’s skills sector, helping people to get out of poverty
  • Supporting entrepreneurs
  • Improving working conditions with SMEs and strengthening value chains

ORIGINS

When the war ended in Bangladesh in December 1971, Fazle Hasan Abed, an executive for Shell in the UK, sold his flat in London and returned to the newly independent Bangladesh to find his country in ruins. Abed decided to use the funds he had generated from selling his flat to found BRAC to improve the living conditions of the rural poor.

BRAC initially concentrated on programmes that included agriculture, fisheries, cooperatives, rural crafts, adult literacy, health and family planning, vocational training for women and construction of community centres.

In 1974, BRAC set up its first social business to finance its programmes : a printing press.  Owning a press was a way to cut printing costs and to open up the future relevance of schools curricula and cultural evolution. In its first year of operation, the press made $17,400 in profits. In 2007, it was generating $340,000 in profits

BRAC used the profits from its printing press business to fight dehydration, the leading cause of high child mortality rate in Bangladesh. BRAC trained 4,000 oral rehydration workers (ORWs) and then sent them out to educate some 30,000 families on how to make an electrolyte-rich fluid for children with diarrhea. BRAC used a performance-based incentive system for the workers: the more each parent remembered, the higher the ORW’s salary. The program played a major role in halving the country’s infant mortality rates.

While the oral rehydration campaign was in full force, BRAC launched the social business of Aarong Craft Shops. Aarong helps 65,000 rural artisans market and sell their handicrafts and has become the most popular handicraft marketing operation in Bangladesh.

Using revenues from Aarong, BRAC began testing microfinance and primary education initiatives. When the oral rehydration campaign concluded in the 1990s, BRAC was ready to scale up its most successful microfinance and education programs.

BRAC also trains and employs workers in its dairy and milk collection center, trained workers to inseminate or vaccinate cows, trained workers to become para veterinarians, or trained silkworm rearers and spinners.

WHAT’S NEXT?

  • In 2001, BRAC established a university called BRAC University.
  • BRAC’s Informal schooling system in 2007 has established : 20,000 pre-primary, 32,000 primary, 2000 secondary schools.
  • To provide education through internet, BRAC partnered with San Francisco- based gNet to create bracNet, which is building Bangladesh’s high-speed network from scratch.
  • BRAC has also started to replicate internationally, in Afghanistan (4854 schools), Tanzania, Uganda, Sudan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan.
  • BRAC is the world’s largest non-governmental organization with over 120,000 employees.

GET INVOLVED !

Shop

Buy handicrafts from rural artisans from Bangladesh, from one of Brac’s social enterprise Aarong Craft.

Work for Brac

Find jobs or internships in Bangladesh or other countries to help Brac reach its social mission.

As a visitor

BRAC welcomes visitors from around the world to experience firsthand its wide range of actions and innovations (national & international government officials, donor agencies, prospective partners, academia and individual practitioners).

G Adventures

G Adventures

G Adventures

SERVICE

G Adventures offers authentic adventure tours in a responsible and sustainable manner.

BUSINESS MODEL

All aspects of the tours are crafted to boost the local economy (meals, accommodation, handicrafts, transport, experiences) and sometimes include visit of social enterprises created by their NGO arm Planeterra. An annual contribution also goes  to Planeterra.

IMPACT

Place: worldwide

Scale:  34,400+ people  in 2016 benefited from 50 social enterprises created by Planeterra

Planeterra created jobs for 1,529 women, trained 370 youth to the hospitality industry and engaged 888 community members in tourism in 2016.

Depth

ORIGINS

In 1990, Bruce Poon Tip (Canada) launched G Adventures.  Back then, if you wanted to go on a holiday that wasn’t a package tour, a coach tour or a cruise, the choice was limited. The original concept was about cultural immersion and putting travelers in touch with local people. He started to offer a handful of trips in Latin America.

They’ve grown to a company of over 2,000 people worldwide in 23 offices, and from a handful of trips in Latin America to more than 650 adventures spanning the globe… and beyond! They have over 150,000 travellers every year.

In 2003, Bruce launched Planeterra Foundation, a non-profit for projects in areas of social enterprise, healthcare, conservation and emergency response.   It acts as the charitable arm of G Adventures. They identify projects, provide capacity training, catalyst grants and include the project into a G Adventures itinerary.

WHAT’S NEXT?

  • In 2013,  Poon Tip released his first book, Looptail: How One Company Changed the World by Reinventing Business.  Looptail tells the story of how Poon Tip built G Adventures into a socially responsible business and evolved it into a Social entreprise.  Looptail is the first business book to be endorsed by the Dalai Lama, who wrote the foreword for the book and praised Poon Tip for being “one of those entrepreneurs who understand that human dignity, freedom, and genuine well-being are more important than the mere accumulation of wealth”.[

GET INVOLVED !

As a Traveler

Go on an exciting and impactful adventure with one of the tours offered by G Adventures. 

Work for them

G Adventures has 25 offices around the world. Discover all their openings, whether it’s office work or tour leaders.

Get to Know More!

Got inspired by G Adventures’ business model? Read the full story of Bruce Poon Tip, how he started and how he grew this company in his book “Looptail”.

Samasource

Samasource

Samasource

SERVICE

Samasource provides hands-on services to digital companies to enrich and label their large datasets.  Being data-driven is key for a digital business to succeed today.

Samasource offers 4 services:
Cleaning, verification and enrichment of companies’ data sets.
Builing training data for natural language or computer vision algorithms.
Creating or moderating content, and optimizing images
Personalized online customer support 

BUSINESS MODEL

Samasource is a non-profitthe entirety of revenues generated are reinvested to scale the impact. 

Samasource uses a proprietary technology platform, the SamaHub, that breaks down large-scale digital projects from clients into smaller tasks for workers in developing countries or refugees to contribute. This is called microwork.  These workers are trained in basic computer skills for a few weeks at delivery centers with which Samasource partners, and paid a local living wage for their labor.

Samasource and in-country partners collaborate on the recruiting process, which targets women, youth and refugees without formal work experience who are earning below a local living wage.

Samasource is a pioneer in the field of impact sourcing, the practice of hiring people from the bottom of the pyramid to complete digital work.

IMPACT

Place: Kenya, Uganda, India, and Haiti.

Scale:  9,081 people from 2008 to 2016 have been employed by Samasource, which use their earnings to support an average of 3 dependants.  

Depth

  • By moving from $2 to $8 a day, Samasource workers vastly increase their spending on safer housing, nutritious food, education, and healthcare.
  • They gain valuable work experience that helps them build a pathway out of poverty. 84% of workers continue to work or pursue education after they leave Samasource. 

ORIGINS

Fresh out of Harvard in 2005, Leila Janah landed a job as a management consultant. One of her first assignments took her to Mumbai, where she traveled by auto-rickshaw to a sleek outsourcing center staffed by well-educated Indians from middle-class families. The ride took her past one of Asia’s largest slums, Dharavi, where cholera outbreaks are commonplace and children die of preventable diseases. Outsourcing might have been providing millions of jobs, but it wasn’t helping the country’s poorest. She began to think, “Couldn’t the people from the slums do some of this work?”

Janah, 32, turned that idea into Samasource —Sama is Sanskrit for “equal”—as an outsourcing company that hires people in Africa and Asia to perform digital tasks for companies like Google and LinkedIn.

In 2013, she launched a job-training program for low-income workers in the US. It helps people plug in to on-demand services like Lyft, TaskRabbit, and Instacart. Dubbed Samaschool, the effort is now rolling out across the US and, thanks to an online curriculum, globally.
(Wired)

WHAT’S NEXT?

  • Samasource expanded in Europe (sales office in the Netherlands and Paris). 
  • Leila Janah started a second social enterprise – for profit this time – LXMI, selling luxury organic skincare products. She also released a book, “Give Work“, in September 2017 about how to  incentivize everyone from entrepreneurs to big companies to give dignified, steady, fair-wage work to low-income people.

GET INVOLVED !

Give work too!

Interested to know more about Leila’s solution to end poverty? Read her book, where she shares poignant stories of people who have benefited from Samasource’s work, where and why it hasn’t worked. 

Work for Samasource

Team up with some of the most talented people in Silicon Valley–and around the world (Kenya, France, Netherlands…)—to solve global poverty.

Waste Concern

Waste Concern

Waste Concern

SERVICE

Waste Concern collects organic waste and send it to food processing centers to turn it into compost for horticulture and agriculture.  

BUSINESS MODEL

Waste Concern makes money by selling compost such as fertilizers to farmers and enterprises.  The firm employs impoverished citizens to collect organic waste. This involves creation of several small-scale enterprises in different neighbourhoods, which acts as part of a de-centralized waste management model.  Their operations include house-to-house waste collection, composting of the collected waste by sending them to the composting plants and marketing of the compost and recyclable materials to interested buyers and businesses. 

IMPACT

Place: Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Cambodia

Scale:  30,000 – 35,000 tons of waste treated per year, reducing carbon emission by 20,000 tons of carbo dioxide per year. 

Depth

  • Reduce carbon emissions
  • Generate better paid and more hygiene jobs for the impoverished citizens
  • Improve the quality of life
  • Save landfill area
  • Provide organic alternative to fertilizers
  • Promotion of recycling activities in the country 

ORIGINS

Iftekhar Enayetullah is a Bangladeshi civil/environmental engineer with a master’s degree in waste management.  During the 1990s, while still a student, he focused on household waste issues. He decided to put his skills and knowledge to work in Dhaka, where he grew up, which was struggling with the accumulation of household waste.

While working on his thesis, he met Maqsood Sinha, another Bangladesh who shared his convictions and ambitions.  Maqsood was doing a research on how to integrate the informal sector waste pickers into the formal sector of waste management. 

Together they decided to design a waste treatment facility, and took their idea  to the city government and other organizations to implement it. For one year, they have tried to convince them  but nobody was listening to them. “At one oint, the government official told us that if we think our idea is so great, why don’t you do it by yourself ?, and that’s when we started in 1994 a project in a small area of Dhaka City“.  

WHAT’S NEXT?

  • In 2015,  they built plants in Cambodia, Vietnam and Sri Lanka
  • As waste become less organic, they are planning to extend their services to non-organic waste. 

GET INVOLVED !

Follow

Follow how Waste Concern is growing, and attend a talk or training from Waste Concern on waste management.

Contact

You know a place where Waste Concern could have a great impact ? Contact their team as they are expanding in other emerging countries.