Grameen America Opens Branch in Houston
Microloans Will Expand Economic Opportunity in Storm-Ravaged Communities
January 11, 2019, New York, NY—Grameen America, the fastest-growing microfinance organization in the United States, has opened its first branch in Houston, Texas. The branch, located at 6260 Westpark Drive, provides low-income women entrepreneurs with microloans, training, and support to help them rebuild their lives after Hurricane Harvey.
In Houston, the fourth largest city in the United States, more than 20 percent of residents live below the federal poverty line. Of those living in poverty, 56 percent are single mothers with children, and the majority are people of color. After Hurricane Harvey, the need for financial services has grown even more urgent.
The impact of Harvey was most severe on those living at the bottom of the economic ladder: low-income families who were already struggling. People not only lost their homes, their cars, and their lifelong belongings, many lost their jobs as they could not commute to work or their employers were forced to shut down their businesses altogether.
Grameen America focuses on women living in poverty, and in Houston many of these women were further economically hit by Hurricane Harvey. By providing financial services and support, Grameen America will give low-income women the chance to start or grow their own businesses, generate income to support their families, and create jobs—all of which will help rebuild the hurricane-devastated economy.
“We are excited to bring Grameen America to the Houston community and look forward to making an enormous impact on women's entrepreneurship in the city," said Andrea Jung, President and CEO. “Women are keen to start their own businesses and take control over their lives and livelihoods. With a little capital, they can succeed.”
Grameen America’s expansion to Houston is made possible through lead support from Whole Planet Foundation, as well as through funds from Capital One, Wells Fargo, and the Greater Houston Community Foundation.
“We are proud to support Grameen America’s expansion to Houston. This branch serves a crucial purpose, reaching low-income women who currently have limited access to financial services. It will give them the boost they need and the opportunities they deserve,” said Philip Sansone, President and Executive Director of Whole Planet Foundation.
The Houston branch marks Grameen America’s 21st branch in the United States and its 14th city. In its first year in Houston, Grameen America projects it will serve 500 women and invest over $1 million in local small business owners. After five years, the organization aims to have served 5,000 low-income women and invested over $38 million in local communities.
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