People who work in the social enterprise sector, or are familiar with the work of Professor Muhammad Yunus, will no doubt be aware of what the Grameen Foundation does. However, for those not aware the Grameen Foundation offer small business loans of up to £1000 to help people start their own business as a means of encouraging their own economic and personal development, and that of their family and their community. Here in Britain, this model is being used by Grameen in the UK.

Grameen encourage people to improve their lives by starting or growing their business, built on the belief that running your own business builds self-esteem and fosters economic and personal development. Many of the clients Grameen have would not meet the credit criteria of mainstream lenders; instead credit is offered and provided for the sole purpose of running a small business to generate income in order to build a long-term, stable economic future for the client and their family.

On this episode I have a fascinating chat with Kevin Cadman, Chief Executive of Grameen in the UK, which seeks to help change the lives of those affected by poverty through this novel, and interesting approach to micro financing of small businesses.
Kevin was formally involved with the Bank of Scotland so it’s interesting to see him move from the private banking sector to this social banking sector.

Highlights include:

• The object of the Grameen Foundation
• How the Grameen Foundation operates
• Empowering people through small business
• The background of the Grameen project
• The organisation’s drive towards sustainability
• When it began and why Glasgow was the first place in the UK to do it
• Kevin’s own background and why Grameen differs from other banks
• A return to a community basis for funding
• How it is close to the credit union model

Grameen in the UK are carrying out exciting and innovative work for social finance and small business finance in Glasgow, and it is wonderful to hear of the impact it has made already. Particularly when one realises that they have basically gained new clients and customers through word of mouth.

I hope you enjoy the episode.

Over to You

The Grameen model of micro-credit harkens back to the credit union model, and this innovative method is slowly making waves in small communities in Glasgow. Do you know of any similar projects in the UK? Let us know in the comments section below!

Links

Grameen Foundation
Grameen in the UK