Founder of Grameen Bank. Nobel Peace Prize Winner.
In 1976, Muhammad Yunus founded the Grameen Bank to make loans to poor Bangladeshis. Since then the Grameen Bank has issued more than US$ 5.1 billion to 5.3 million borrowers.
The success of the Grameen model has inspired similar efforts throughout the developing world and even in industrialized nations including the USA. His methods have also been applied to Burma and in Kosovo with great success and he is now embarking upon an effort to eliminate global poverty.
Muhammad Yunus’s vision is the total eradication of poverty from the world. "Grameen," he says, "is a message of hope, a program for putting homelessness and destitution in a museum so that one day our children will visit it and ask how we could have allowed such a terrible thing to go on for so long."
This work is a fundamental rethink on the economic relationship between the rich and the poor, their rights and their obligations. The World Bank recently acknowledged that "this business approach to the alleviation of poverty has allowed millions of individuals to work their way out of poverty with dignity." Credit is the last hope left to those faced with absolute poverty. That is why Muhammad Yunus believes that the right to credit should be recognized as a fundamental human right.
It is this struggle and the unique and extraordinary methods he invented to combat human despair that Muhammad Yunus recounts here with humility and conviction. It is also the view of a man familiar with both Eastern and Western cultures — on the failures and potential for good of industrial countries. It is an appeal for action: we must concentrate on promoting the will to survive and the courage to build in the first and most essential element of the economic cycle.
"By giving poor people the power to help themselves, Dr. Yunus has offered them something far more valuable than a plate of food - security in its most fundamental form." Former US President Jimmy Carter
Besides Grameen Bank he has created a number of companies in Bangladesh to address diverse issues of poverty and development. Among the companies are Grameen Phone (a mobile telephone company), Grameen Cybernet (Internet Service Provider), Grameen Communications (Rural Internet Service Provider), Grameen Software company, Grameen Information Technology Park, Grameen Fund (Social Venture Capital Company), Grameen Capital Management company and many more.
Prof. Muhammad Yunus is a highly charismatic figure with a wealth of innovative ideas and the power to help thousands of people to decide their own destiny. He has shown himself to be a leader who has managed to translate visions into practical action for the benefit of millions of people, not only in Bangladesh, but also in many other countries. He carefully explains to audiences his ideas and lays the foundations for the successful implementation of his model which is eradicating poverty around the globe.
An empowering and emotive speaker, Muhammad Yunus talks passionately about his goals and dreams and leaves audiences inspired with his simple yet effective ideas