Dealflow | February 1, 2018

Grameen America closes first microfinance impact fund

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The U.S. affiliate of Muhammad Yunus’ Grameen Bank has raised $11 million for its Social Business Fund. The fund will expand lending to financially underserved women entrepreneurs across the bank’s 20 U.S. branches.

Grameen America launched in 2008 and has disbursed more than $820 million in small, short-term loans, starting as small as $1,500. Repayment rates of 99% have helped individual branches become self-sustaining in about five years.

“That was proof to me that the model could scale,” Grameen America’s president and CEO Andrea Jung tells ImpactAlpha. “We began to talk about vehicles for funding on a national scale.”

The five-year Social Business Fund is backed by billionaire Ray Dalio’s foundation and other family and community foundations and includes a 20% first-loss guarantee.