Carlos Slim Foundation and Grameen Trust have launched the Grameen Carso microfinancing program with 45 million dollars on September 24, 2009.

Grameen-Carso is aimed to significantly increase microcredit access in Mexico to back poverty relief through the Grameen Bank model and Carlos Slim Foundation support. Grameen-Carso shoots to extend more than 100,000 credits during its first operating five years.

Grameen Trust (the international branch of Grameen Bank) and Carlos Slim Foundation have officially launched the Grameen Carso microfinancing program. The official papers have been signed out and the operation is firmly off, first in the state of Oaxaca, and then throughout Mexico. As of September 19, the program had added up 265 borrowers, amounting 49,620 dollars, with 267 dollars per-borrower on the average (women exclusively).

Carlos Slim Foundation will initially contribute five million dollars in grant funding, and will guarantee additional 40 million dollars for microcredit loans. Grameen Carso will focus the poorest of the Mexicans to allow them bigger income and life-quality improvement opportunities. The program will charge lesser interest rate than those of the credit market. The program is a social enterprise because its returns will be reinvested to expand the scope of the program itself.

Grameen Trust is managing the Grameen Carso operation through a team of four Grameen Bank-microcredit experts who arrived in Mexico during June, 2009. They count for the biggest and more experienced team that Grameen Bank has appointed out of Blangladesh ever. For now, Grameen-Carso is concentrating its operation in Oaxaca, where the main box has been opened. Two more separate branches are already in service in Miahuatlán and Huajuapan, Oaxaca. The first microcredit was issued on July 3th.

By using the Grameen Bank’s borrower continuous-qualification model, Grameen Carso will issue microcredits to finance poor-people’s small entrepreneurial initiatives. Such credits are collateral-free and they are bolstered by a borrowers mutual-support system encouraging credit payment. Upon the successful Bangladesh experience, where Grameen Bank serves about eight million borrowers, and other Grameen experiences around the developing world, Grameen Carso foresees to put many enterprising poor Mexicans out of poverty and placing them on the well-being path. Grameen Bank’s soundness and success are based upon its focus on women, exclusively. Grameen Carso is committed to repeat this strategy.

Grameen-Carso reflects the Carlos Slim Foundation commitment to greatly enlarging microcredits for potential borrowers now excluded from the traditional banking system in Mexico.

Professor Muhammad Yunus, the founder of Gramenn Bank and 2006 Nobel-Prize awarded, said: “We are very pleased with the start in Mexico and the enthusiasm and work orientation of our growing number of Mexican employees and borrowers. Grameen Carso has all the essential elements for a large and long term success. Through the entrepreneurial initiatives of borrowers and the education and financial training provided by the Grameen lending model, borrowers create economic basis for themselves and for their families and they focus on improving their families’ educaction, health, and well-being. Grameen has proved that microcredit programs can be successful without charging exhorbitant interest rates. I am excited by the opportunity to bring the Grameen model to Mexico on a large scale and I am very pleased that Mr. Slim and his foundation for providing the resources needed to make Grameen Carso a reality. We welcome ideas and recommendations for improving the lives of the poor in Mexico and elsewhere.”                  

Grameen Trust

Grameen Trust is a branch of Grameen Bank from Bangladesh. It was created in 1989 by professor Muhammad Yunus as a non-gubernamental and non-profit institution. Mr. Yunus and Grameen Bank were both awarded the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize due to their work in alleviating poverty. Mr. Yunus was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama in the White House on August 12, 2009, the highest civilian honor by the U.S. government. Grameen credit has proved to be an effective resource to alleviate poverty and a platform to jump out of it for those out of the credit market.

Grameen Trust aims to support and manage microcredit projects over the developing world. To date, Grameen Trust has supported 141 microcredit projects in 38 countries. Today, nine on these projects count for the so-called Build-Operate-Manage (BOM) projects, in which Gramen Trust directly execute them to achieve fast implementation. The Grameen Carso proyect is designed to be a BOM project.

Carlos Slim Foundation

Carlos Slim Foundation was created in 1986 by Mr. Carlos Slim Helú. Its main purpose is to alleviate and diminish poverty in Mexico through high-impact programs focused on nutrition, health, education, and the creation of improved labor opportunities. Carlos Slim Foundation also promotes and supports sports, justice, environment care, and cultural activities, which include the Museo Soumaya.

The programs on educaction and health care being sponsored and developed by the Carlos Slim Foundation focus on: pregnancy care, perinatal and early stimulation (“Amanece”); educational support for the vision impaired (“Ver para aprender”); Help me to reaching out (“Ayúdame a llegar”); Smile Operation  (“Operación Sonrisa”); e-learning scholarships; Graduate and postgraduate scholarships; Organ transplant (“Funat”); Telmex education and digital culture; Telmex interactive classroom; Telmex interactive library; Human growth and development (“Asume”); Social bonds; Sports promotion (Telmex Cup, Telmex Basketball League, Telmex Box Ring), among others.

Carlos Slim Foundation supports employment in Mexico by financing small-and-medium-size firms, and making steady and intensive investment in labor-force improvement. Carlos Slim Foundation jointly works with similar foundations, such as Alas, Clinton Global Initiative, Worldwide Fund, and others. It also promotes the study for enterprises capitalization, preservation of biodiversity, maintenance and procurement of protected

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