Who we are

“I believe that we can create a poverty-free world because poverty is not created by poor people. It has been created and sustained by the economic and social systems that we have designed for ourselves; the institutions and concepts that make up that system; the policies that we pursue.”

– Professor Muhammad Yunus

Nobel Prize winning program

Grameen Australia aims to become Australia’s leading microenterprise development organisation. We aim to reach 36,000 people, especially women, with enterprise aspirations, who are experiencing unemployment, financial exclusion and poverty in our first five years.

We’re a not-for-profit organisation founded on the highly successful Grameen Bank Model developed in the late 1970s by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Professor Muhammad Yunus, in Bangladesh.

Since then, Grameen’s programs have expanded to 59 countries around the world with a focus on eliminating poverty, unemployment and environmental damage, especially through income-generating microfinance programs. Over 300 million people have been reached and positively impacted by Grameen models.

Grameen Australia was initially established in 1999 to operate and invest in microfinance programs in Cambodia and the Philippines. Today, we’re working to establish and offer the life-changing Grameen model of microfinance to the Australian community.

Informed by research

In 2019, Grameen Australia commissioned a study into the feasibility of introducing the Grameen Bank Model to Australia.

The study showed that Grameen’s model would be both viable and highly suitable to the Australian community, especially in creating jobs through income-generating microenterprises using the methods of peer group lending, training, support and mentoring.

The devastating consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic have made even more urgent the need to bring Grameen’s concept of social business to Australia – to empower people to create opportunities for themselves, and to supplement welfare and philanthropy as a way out of poverty and disadvantage.

Building on the success and learnings of its program internationally and especially in America, Grameen Australia will support financially excluded entrepreneurial people on low incomes, especially women, to create or grow businesses and realise economic independence.

Picture of women sitting and linking arms

Vision

We all have meaningful livelihoods, enabling full lives as we define them ourselves.

Purpose

To enable entrepreneurial people on low incomes, especially women, to create businesses and economic mobility.

Values

Hope

Belonging

Kindness

Creativity

Social Justice

Human connection