Grameen, the bank which pioneered micro-loans in the developing world, will make its first loans in Scotland and has appointed ex-RBS regional director Kevin Cadman as UK chief executive.
The Grameen Scotland Foundation will run the UK arm of the economic support system devised by Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus, Glasgow Caledonian University chancellor.
The scheme will serve Glasgow, North Ayrshire, West Dunbartonshire and Inverclyde. The foundation has backing from Tesco Bank, which has provided a £500,000 loan and will offer savings facilities and support to borrowers.
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Other supporters include the Scottish Government and Stagecoach co-founder Ann Gloag. The foundation is also in advanced talks with the European Investment Fund.
Mr Cadman said: "The Grameen model is all about helping individuals to make a better life for themselves by empowering them to cultivate business skills, develop financial awareness and become active members of the community."