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In the mid 1970s, a young economist, Muhammad Yunus, created the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh to introduce microfinance—a practice of lending very small amounts of money with no collateral and accepting very small savings deposits—to the developing world, even lending his own money to poor households with entrepreneurial ambitions.
Thirty countries and thirty U.S. states have microfinance lending copied from the Grameen model.
Relative to traditional bank loans, microfinance loans are much smaller, repayment begins very quickly, and the vast majority of the loans are made to women (who, in many cases, have been underserved by mainstream banks).
Economic Development: Sources and Strategies
Strategies for Economic Development