Financial Inclusion Global Asset Building Working Paper

Building Social Capital From the Center: A Village-Level Investigation of Bangladesh’s Grameen Bank

Across rural Bangladesh, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) have offered poor women economic opportunities. Among these NGOs, the Grameen Bank has successfully implemented group lending to provide poor rural women access to collateral-free loans. This paper focuses on whether Grameen Bank members’ regular interaction at the village-level loan repayment building, the “center,” facilitates the members’ ability to establish and strengthen networks outside their living quarters and kinship groups. The results indicate that, by attending weekly center meetings, Grameen Bank members have the opportunity to build a kind of social wealth not measurable in simple financial terms.

Subsequent publication: Larance, L. Y. (2001). Fostering social capital through NGO design: Grameen Bank membership in Bangladesh. International Social Work, 44(1), 7–18. doi:10.1177/002087280104400102

Project: Global Assets Project


Larance, L. (1998). Building social capital from the center: A village-level investigation of Bangladesh’s Grameen Bank (CSD Working Paper No. 98-4). St. Louis, MO: Washington University, Center for Social Development.