Grameenphone and Telecom

Grameenphone began as a nonprofit initiative for the rural poor, especially for the rural women of Bangladesh. The Bengali word grameen means “rural” and points to its primary beneficiaries. The Grameen Bank, established by Muhammad Yunus, the Nobel Peace Prize–winning social entrepreneur and economist, created a completely self-sufficient, nonprofit company called Grameen Telecom, which in turn formed a profit-driven company, Grameenphone, which launched its services in urban Dhaka in 1997. The microfinance organization and community development bank in Bangladesh, the Grameen Bank, was financially supporting poor villagers in Bangladesh by offering loans for rural income-generating activities, such as raising livestock, fish farming, or cultivating vegetables so that the villagers may start enterprises and small-scale businesses. Grameenphone has its lineage in the Village Phone program that ...

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