5:13 pm - Friday April 18, 5130

Former Avon CEO to run Grameen America

The former head of Avon is now leading Grameen America, a group that provides small loans to poor women entrepreneurs in the U.S.

Andrea Jung was CEO of the beauty products company from 1999 through April 2012 and served as chairman through the end of that year. Considered one of the most powerful women in business, she came under fire for failing to stem Avon’s sales declines and left amid an overseas bribery investigation.

avon ceoBut as head of Avon, she pushed a message of female self-empowerment and business ownership.

Grameen America’s website says that Jung joined this month with the “goal of scaling the organization to solve economic issues for women and their families across the country.” The organization didn’t immediately return emails sent by The Associated Press.

Grameen America has given out $140 million in small loans to more than 20,000 women since it was founded by Nobel Peace Prize-winning Muhammad Yunus in 2008, according to the group’s website.

In the 1970s, Yunus also founded the Grameen Bank in in Bangladesh, which pioneered small loans for the poor.

 -Bellingham Herald.