Amount Given:

£60,000 over two years (grant made in 2016)


Participation – marginalised and excluded individuals and groups



Jules Tompkins,

Social Investment Manager, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation


Grameen is a model that originated in Bangladesh. It was established to support women in rural villages to start small businesses that would provide them with an income and support the local economy. The model has expanded to many different countries but the UK is the first country in Europe to adopt it. It provides finance to people who are running or want to start their own local business but can't access finance from a high street bank because they are considered to be a high credit risk. Micro finance at this level (loans start at £1,000) is extremely difficult to make work because it is expensive to administer and can only break even if it achieves real scale. It will rely on grant funding until it reaches the scale it needs. Glasgow is Grameens first step into the UK. If they can make it work, it will provide a model for replication as well as providing very good social impact. This early stage is a good fit with us as is the excellent board, a skilled staff team and the potential to support high social impact 

Kevin J E Cadman,

Chief Executive, Grameen in the UK



Grameen Bridgeton

Currently our main challenge, first and foremost, is sourcing sufficient funding to ensure we continue to provide our services within the communities identified, supporting and develop our clients businesses. There is a huge opportunity to make a difference and until we reach full financial sustainability we require the support and funding of organisations such as Esmee Fairbairn. 

This grant will allow us to cover some of our operational costs and grow our lending book. Our aim is to generate sufficient income from our loan book to pay all our costs and be a truly financially self-sustaining social enterprise.

Amina A Hnkana,

Fast Food carry out owner; Cuisine Africa, Duke Street, Glasgow


Being involved in Grameen for me personally means I have the peace of mind that I have a guaranteed source of regular cash injection into my business. Once the old loan is paid off I can always get another one, just knowing that they are there gives me hope that the business will continue and stay strong.

I have made new friends plus given so many tips and ideas by Didi (the Grameen Community Lending Officer) to improve my business.

Above all she has brought me into contact with quite a few people that have definitely helped my business in various ways. I thought I was just taking out a loan I never anticipated all these other add ons, benefits and friendships. It's really great.