Grameen America, a leading nonprofit microfinance organization, announced yesterday (Feb. 21) that it is partnering with Citi and Mastercard to provide financial technology solutions that will assist low-income minority women entrepreneurs.
Founded by Nobel Peace Prize recipient Muhammad Yunus, Grameen America provides access to capital and credit-building services, training and support to help women living in poverty start their own businesses. In a press release, the company explained that the technology supported by Citi and Mastercard will improve the organization’s ability to promote digital financial access and inclusion for the more than 86,000 low-income minority women entrepreneurs across the United States.
One of the most important solutions is a cloud-based Management Information System that will allow Grameen America to standardize and streamline its back-office processes. The new system will enable the company’s staff to enter real-time data remotely about its members and give them a more effective way of analyzing the impact of its services.
In addition, since many of these women are unbanked, the new technology upgrades will integrate them into the cashless economy so they can make online purchases for their businesses, view financial transaction history in real time and experience the benefits of digital banking.
“Solving the need for digital banking services among low-income communities in the United States is a pressing priority,” said Andrea Jung, president and CEO of Grameen America. “This collaboration represents a perfect marriage of the key players in technology and financial services coming together to empower women entrepreneurs through access to capital, credit- and asset-building services.”
This partnership also includes disbursement reloadable Mastercards that Grameen America will use to deliver microloans to its members so they don’t need to use bank checks or keep large amounts of cash on hand.
“Connecting people to the networks that power the modern world — like financial services — will unlock their economic potential and continue a cycle of equitable economic growth and poverty reduction,” said Shamina Singh, president of the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth.