February 1, 2012 | 7:03 AM
“Women Are Not The Exception”
As a Microfinance Institution, Grameen America has a natural tendency to focus on women. Grameen America serves America’s poorest of the poor: Individuals earning ~$11,000 per year or ~$22,000 for a family of four. With a maximum first time loan of $1,500, Grameen America seeded businesses are truly micro. Gail is spot on, people associate microfinance with women but entrepreneur with men. Yet, after 4 years of micro-loans, many of our women have moved from door-to-door sales, to street carts, to storefronts. A $7,500 loan, our largest loan to date, is empowering a true entrepreneur. Newly created businesses grow to micro and expand to small are not exceptions! As Gail claims, we as a society “aim low and think small when it comes to women.” But, we “must move beyond micro hopes and micro ambitions for women.” If female run businesses will create ~5MM jobs by 2018, female entrepreneurship is fundamentally linked to global growth and global employment!