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SECU explores partnering with Nobel winner
RALEIGH, N.C. (2/9/09)--State Employees CU (SECU) is exploring the possibility of bringing a micro-credit lending system to North Carolina that would help low-income individuals.
Click to view larger imageState Employees CU (SECU), Raleigh, N.C., is exploring the possibility of bringing a micro-credit lending system to the state with Grameen America, a microfinance institution from Bangladesh. From left are: Mike Banks, SECU senior vice president, Raleigh-Blue Ridge Road branch; Muhammad Yunus, Grameen creator; Sue Douglas, SECU senior vice president and chief operations officer; and Jim Blaine, SECU president/CEO. (Photo provided by State Employees CU)
The system would be the result of collaboration between SECU and Grameen America, a microfinance institution started in Bangladesh by Dr. Muhammad Yunus, a 2006 Nobel Peace Price winner. The Grameen model provides low-income individuals who do not qualify for traditional credit the opportunity to receive loans. Grameen has achieved a 99.5% repayment rate, and has helped more than 7.5 million worldwide, SECU said. Grameen expanded its operation to Queens, N.Y., and is looking to move to North Carolina because of the state’s supportive financial community. Leaders from Raleigh-based SECU, the Self Help community development organization, banking organizations, and the North Carolina Administrator of Credit Unions support Grameen, SECU said. “Micro-credit lends for productive purposes and is not about giving people a break, it’s about giving people a chance,” said Jim Blaine, SECU president/CEO. “The Grameen model may not work in North Carolina, but it’s certainly a low-cost, low-risk opportunity to help create new jobs and help nurture local entrepreneurs.” The $16-billion-asset SECU has participated in a similar role since 2001 with Latino Community CU in Durham, N.C. “We are very hopeful that North Carolina will embrace this unusual experiment,” Blaine said.
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