MDRC in the News

Grameen America Says Independent Study Shows Value of Making Loans to Poor Women

The Chronicle of Philanthropy


Grameen America makes loans to low-income women who want to start or expand a business. To find out if it’s making a difference, Grameen commissioned an independent research organization [MDRC] to study the impact of its lending program.

Early results are in — and they’re promising, leading the organization to suggest that this may be an effective poverty-fighting tool for nonprofits and philanthropy to spread…..

…..In the Grameen study, more than 94 percent of the women who received loans said that their financial situation is better than it was the previous year. That’s 13 percentage points higher than the women in the control group…..

…..The study also found that program participants are more likely than women in the control group to attain or improve a credit score. Jung says that’s important because most people come into the program with a low credit score or no credit score at all…..

…..Despite that track record, many people think of micro loans as a way to fight poverty just in developing countries, Jung says. She hopes the research study will increase support for microfinance in this country…..

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