and find some strength, support and power; and expanding the financial systems of the poor so that with their low income, they can gain more credit and investments, and thus more income. Within nine years, the bank was able to reach 28,879 Bangladeshi villages and establish 974 branches. At that time, there were 1,271,461 members, majority of which are women having 1,186,826 members. By 2008, Grameen bank has served 7.4 million clients and has given out USD 545 million. Through out the years, Grameen Bank consistently garners a 98% loan recovery rate. Its success has encouraged governmental and non-governmental organizations in less developed nations and in the United States and Canada to replicate the Grameen model. As of today, more than 40 countries have adopted the model (Khandker, et al., 1997; Satgar, 2003; Wahid, 1994; Yunus, 2007).
The research project started because of Dr. Yunus’ belief that the biggest limitation for the rural poor was the lack of credit access. Because of the limited land the rural poor used to support themselves as farmer, Dr. Yunus thought that these farmers could still efficiently use small loans without collateral, and would repay this on time, and that giving credit with reasonable terms can allow borrowers to think for themselves how to best enhance their incomes. This reflection is aided by a comprehensive investment counseling given by Grameen and close supervision over the customers’ business projects so that the borrowers are ensured of the best way to manage their loans. Part of this is also advising customers to sacrifice their social vices and to live cleaner and healthier. Hence, the Grameen Bank provides appropriate support that allows the poor to join income-generating activities like transportation, processing and manufacturing, storing and marketing of agricultural products, and raising livestock. In 2001 to 2002, the bank revised their model, known as Grameen II, which has a more financial systems approach.