The Grameen Bank of Bangladesh has been the most widely acclaimed development ‘success story’ of the 1980s. It has grown from a micro-project into the country’s fourth largest bank by providing poverty-alleviating loans to a clientele conventionally regarded as ‘unbankable’. Such experiences are rare, and in consequence the Grameen Bank has been seized upon as a potential model for transfer and replication. It has received high level official delegations from China, Nepal, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, the Solomon Islands and other countries; has been subjected to detailed studies by several bilateral and multilateral aid agencies; and has been the basis for scores of study tours from nongovernmental organisations (NGOs). Many visitors, some of ministerial status, have subsequently announced that the Grameen Bank should be replicated in their own countries.
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