Opening up the economy for America’s women entrepreneurs
BNP Paribas has been a long-standing partner of Grameen, and its founder, Nobel Peace Prize winner Mohammed Yunus, across a large number of countries. This partnership in microfinance has blossomed in the United States over the past four years via Grameen America, with BNP Paribas and Bank of the West supporting tens of thousands of women entrepreneurs in New York and California who previously have been excluded from the economy.
The banks together provide over $5 million of funding to enable Grameen America help women like Maria, a florist; Vanessa, a restaurant owner; and Blanca, a shop owner, invest in and build their businesses. The relationship with the borrowers and Grameen America goes even further, with grants provided to Grameen America to help fund a new branch in Fresno, California and pro bono mentoring and advice provided to Grameen America’s staff members in their head office in New York City.
The customers of Grameen America are part of the 1.8 million women entrepreneurs supported indirectly by BNP Paribas over the last 30 years. Grameen America has supported over 63,000 borrowers in New York and over 23,000 borrowers in California, all of which are women.
Jean-Yves Fillion, CEO of BNP Paribas USA: “This outstanding partnership that we have developed on both the East and West Coast is part of a wider group commitment to microfinance - that spans over 33 countries and 30 years.”
Nandita Bakhshi, President and CEO of Bank of the West: “Bank of the West shares Grameen’s vision that microfinance is a powerful tool for changing lives and communities.”
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