Yunus is a Bangladeshi economist, banker, and social entrepreneur who was awarded
the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize. Known as the "Banker to the Poor, Muhammad Yunus
is one of the earliest and most well-known advocates of 'micro-lending' -- making
small loans to the poor so that they can invest in trades, crafts or services
to earn their livelihood.
teaching economics, Professor Yunus decided to try to put his theories about micro-credit
into practice in his country. In 1976 he started the Grameen Bank Project ('grameen'
means 'village'), which grew into an official bank in 1983. Conventional banks
said it would be impossible to successfully lend to the poor, but after three
decades, Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank have proven that micro-credit is
a powerful tool in the struggle against poverty. Today the Grameen Bank offers
credit to 7 million poor people in Bangladesh. Its success has inspired similar
micro-credit practices in nearly 60 countries. In 2007, Muhammad Yunus was one
of the founding members of The Elders, an international group of some of the world's
leading social change advocates.
his inspiring work, Dr. Yunus has received numerous other awards and honors, including
the World Food Prize and the Sydney Peace Prize, and Business Week named
him one of "The Greatest Entrepreneurs of All Time."