NEW YORK, Sept. 25, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced at the 2014 Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting Grameen America's commitment to invest $50 million in over 7,000 women-owned businesses in Harlem through 2020.
In 2008, Nobel Peace Laureate Muhammad Yunus successfully implemented his microfinance model in Queens and is now expanding this program to serve low-income women in Harlem.
"Grameen America believes in women as the engines of local economies. The solution to economic inequality is not charity; it is sustainable social business." says President and CEO Andrea Jung. "I want to thank our partners and send out a call to action as we launch this important initiative. By providing no-fee savings accounts, Citibank will help build financial identity for our members in Harlem. Drawing inspiration from Geoffrey Canada and the Harlem Children's Zone, Ray Dalio joins us as a longtime champion. The Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone has played a key role in supporting microlending in Manhattan, and we are proud to build on that relationship through our expansion to Harlem. This program will break down barriers for thousands of women and their families to create financial opportunities."
The Harlem program will serve over 7,000 women and families through 2020 and will advance Grameen America's inclusive vision for poverty alleviation.
"There are more than 200,000 small businesses in the five boroughs, and they employ more than half of the private sector workforce in New York City," said Bob Annibale, Global Director of Citi Community Development and Microfinance. "Grameen America's new initiative will harness the power of female entrepreneurship to generate new jobs and strengthen Harlem's economic fabric. Citi has worked with Grameen America since its launch in New York, and we are proud to continue our long-standing partnership."
This is Grameen America's third Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to Action. In their 2006 Commitment, the organization pledged to pilot the Grameen model, born in Bangladesh, right here in the United States. This pledge has achieved resounding success: Grameen America's first branch in Queens to date has invested almost $70 million in nearly 7,500 women-owned businesses. The branch generates sufficient income to run all operations, making it the first and only sustainable microlending effort in the United States.
About Grameen America
Founded by Nobel Peace Prize recipient Muhammad Yunus, Grameen America is dedicated to helping women who live in poverty build small businesses to create better lives for their families. We offer microloans, training and support to transform communities, create jobs and fight poverty in the United States. Since opening in January 2008, Grameen America, has disbursed over $180 million in microloans to over 36,000 women. Started in Jackson Heights, Queens, Grameen America has expanded across New York City and in Indianapolis, IN, Omaha, NE, Oakland, CA, Charlotte, NC, Los Angeles, CA, Austin, TX, Union City, NJ, San Juan, PR, and Boston, MA. For more information, visit www.grameenamerica.org and follow us on Twitter @GrameenAmerica and Facebook at facebook.com/GrameenAmerica
Becky Asch, Communications Manager
About the Clinton Global Initiative
Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), an initiative of the Clinton Foundation, convenes global leaders to create and implement solutions to the world's most pressing challenges. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 180 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the media. To date members of the CGI community have made more than 2,900 commitments, which are already improving the lives of more than 430 million people in over 180 countries.
CGI also convenes CGI America, a meeting focused on collaborative solutions to economic recovery in the United States, and CGI University (CGI U), which brings together undergraduate and graduate students to address pressing challenges in their community or around the world. For more information, visit clintonglobalinitiative.org and follow us on Twitter @ClintonGlobal and Facebook at facebook.com/clintonglobalinitiative.
Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.
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SOURCE Grameen America