The Grameen Bank (Bengali: গ্রামীণ বাংক) is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning microfinance organization and community development bank founded in Bangladesh. It makes small loans (known as microcredit or “grameencredit”) to the impoverished without requiringcollateral. The name Grameen is derived from the word gram which means “rural” or “village” in the Bengali Language.
Grameen Bank originated in 1976, in the work of Professor Muhammad Yunus at University of Chittagong, who launched a research project to study how to design a credit delivery system to provide banking services to the rural poor. Based on his results, in October 1983 the Grameen Bank was authorized by national legislation as an independent bank. In 2006, the bank and its founder, Muhammad Yunus, were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. In 1998 the Bank’s “Low-cost Housing Program” won a World Habitat Award. In 2011, the Bangladesh Government forced Yunus to resign from Grameen Bank, saying that at age 72, he was years beyond the legal limit for the position.