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Grameen Hires ThoughtWorks to Expand Microfinance Platform

Thoughtworks to use agile development methods to scale up Grameen's Mifos platform.

The Grameen Foundation, a nonprofit organization affiliated with Grameen Bank (a bank that makes tiny loans to poor people that are commonly referred to as microfinance), is upgrading Mifos, its open source information management platform for microfinance institutions. Mifos is used by microfinance institutions in India, Kenya, Lebanon, Mexico, Philippines and Tunisia, to process loans to more than 800,000 clients.

Grameen has enlisted the help of ThoughtWorks to provide software engineering services for Mifos. ThoughtWorks has established a team to update the Mifos technology architecture using open source technologies and agile development methods. The two organizations say the project will extend Mifos' capabilities to meet the changing demands of the microfinance industry.

A ThoughtWorks engineering team in India, along with a distributed Mifos engineering team and worldwide open source community, will work towards advancement of the Mifos platform to accelerate business efficiencies for MFIs, and thus increase their social impact. ENDA Inter-Arabe, the leading MFI in Tunisia, is said to have already benefited from the close collaboration between the ThoughtWorks and Grameen Foundation teams through the expansion of Mifos to include support for individual lending, agricultural loan products and a centralized data warehouse for extensive reporting.

Launched in 2006, Mifos offers both an online hosted service, Mifos Cloud, and a downloadable open source edition for use on premise.

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