Last updated on April 19, 2014 at 18:42 EDT

Grameen Foundation Celebrates the Ingenuity and Entrepreneurial Spirit of the World’s Poor

April 16, 2012

Qualcomm’s Wireless Reach Initiative to be Recognized for Empowering the Poor through Mobile Phone Program

NEW YORK, April 16, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — On April 19, Grameen Foundation, a global nonprofit, will celebrate 15 years of empowering the world’s poorest people through financial and technology solutions at a benefit event in New York City. The foundation began its early work providing funding and other support for microfinance activities in Chiapas, Mexico, and today helps the poor access financial services, life-changing information and unique business opportunities on three continents. At the event, the foundation will recognize Qualcomm Incorporated’s Wireless Reach(TM) initiative for its efforts to create mobile phone-based entrepreneurship opportunities for the underprivileged, especially women.

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Dr. Paul Jacobs, chairman and CEO of Qualcomm, will deliver the feature address and accept the foundation’s Humanitarian Award.

“Grameen Foundation is committed to developing and providing financial and mobile solutions that make a tangible difference for people whose lives have been defined by a lack of opportunity and access,” said Alex Counts, president and CEO of Grameen Foundation. “Qualcomm’s Wireless Reach initiative has been a tremendous ally in helping to create mobile businesses that enable the poor to improve their financial stability, while providing valuable services to others in their community.”

The Humanitarian Award recognizes people and organizations that have contributed in extraordinary ways to solving the most important problems facing humanity. Past recipients include Her Majesty Queen Sofia of Spain, President Gloria Arroyo of the Philippines, and former South African first lady Graca Machel.

For the past five years, Qualcomm has been working with Grameen Foundation on a mobile microfranchise initiative that enables poor entrepreneurs in Indonesia to provide a range of mobile phone-based services to people in their communities. Together, the organizations also incubated Ruma, an Indonesian social enterprise that manages the growing network of mobile microfranchisees. As of March 2012, there were more than 12,000 Ruma Entrepreneurs – 82 percent of them women – serving more than 1.2 million people across the country.

Attendees at the benefit also will have the chance to bid on several packages, including vacations, internship opportunities and celebrity memorabilia, in a live auction led by CharityBuzz. Bidding is open to everyone online until May 1, 2012 at http://www.charitybuzz.com/auctions/Grameen2012/.

About Grameen Foundation
Grameen Foundation, a global nonprofit organization, helps the world’s poorest people – especially women – lift themselves out of poverty by providing access to small loans and other financial services, life-changing information and unique business opportunities. Founded in 1997, Grameen Foundation has offices in Washington, DC; Seattle, WA; Colombia; Ghana; Hong Kong; Kenya; the Philippines; and Uganda. Microfinance pioneer Dr. Muhammad Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank and winner of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize, is a founding member of its Board of Directors, and now serves as director emeritus. For more information, please visit grameenfoundation.org.

Contact: Liselle Yorke, lyorke@grameenfoundation.org, Phone: 202-628-3560, ext. 128

SOURCE Grameen Foundation

Source: PR Newswire