I found this interview of Mohammad Yunus of Grameen Bank. His idea to provide “micro loans” to poor people to jumpstart their entrepreneurship truly is changing the world. In fact, Yunus won the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize for his work.
Here are some key quotes from the interview:
“Women have a long-term vision, she wants to move up to something”
“It’s not Grameen Bank came and told them to do that; it is in their hearts”
“We developed a system which doesn’t need collateral, guarantee, legal”
“We citizens, we individuals, are capable people addressing social issues”
The interview is a must-read for anyone who wants to change the world—via a profit or not-for-profit company.
If you’d like to read more about people doing good, please check out Good.alltop.com.
Charlie Rose had an hour-long conversation with him some years ago where Dr. Yunus stated that provided participation is apt, his plan to eradicate poverty can be achieved in 15 years. Someone like Dr. Yunus wouldn’t have even suggested it unless he knew it would be possible. Now, that would be a feat never thought unattainable. What gives the chills is the time frame he’s proposed.
I’d have linked you to the interview but I’m afraid it might get caught in your spam filter.
On a personal note, his winning the Nobel prize was a highlight for me as a fellow Bangladeshi.
Dr. Yunus has sparked a flurry of micro-loan mechanisms and organizations, at least two of which are located right here in California, MicroCredit Enterprises that, through major loan guarantees can serve the poorest of poor women in the most remote places (org run by volunteers) and the relatively new MicroPlace, similar to Kiva (where those without alot of money can also join in providing loans to those who have much less)
With such dire news of violence every day it is heartening to hear how many people are honing the social enterprise systems to make them more efficient.
Moving from “charity” to changing the underlying economic opportunity for individuals – especially for those most hard hit by wars (women and children) … now that is a top-of-mind thought as we head into the holidays.
Clicking on the “Bra o’ Food” link below (I couldn’t resist), I landed on another blog that had an advertisement from Rackspace.
being your big fan, I’ve recently nominated you as a lovemark on the Lovemarks.com :)
Just thought you should know :)
A while back my smart wife found this site that brings the idea of micro-finance to children. It’s a nice way to get kids involved (educated) and also get overall family participation.
Nice how the web allows things like this to happen.
Thanks for sharing that link, Guy.
Two excerpts spoke to me in a very personal way:
“So I wanted to see if as a person, as a human being, I could be of some use to some people, outside of the university campus where the villages are… see if I could be of any use to anybody even for a day.”
“I lend money to the people to help them get out of poverty, … because I don’t need to make money for myself. As long as I can cover the cost and run the company, that’s good enough. So that’s the idea for social business”
Food for thought over the next few weeks. Thanks again for the link.
People who found the interview interesting might like to read Mohammad Yunus’ autobiography called “Banker to the Poor”. It is an excellent and inspirational book, and discusses the Grameen Bank in great detail.
He deserved more than a Nobel Peace Prize.
Dr. Yunus once stated that access to credit is a fundamental right that all people should share. It allows people the ability to choose how they will live their lives without oppression. Today and tomorrow (November 8 & 9) at BYU, there is a micro credit conference going on where issues of self sufficiency are being discussed. http://ce.byu.edu/cw/esr/
I hope we could use these principles to eradicate poverty in our own country. Entrepreneurship is the key.
I first met Prof. Yunus in 1997 when he came to Redmond and wanted to meet an exec at Microsoft. I was intrigued with what he was doing. Later I spent a week with him in Bangladesh. That led to the eventual creation of Unitus (www.unitus.com), the world’s first microfinance accelerator. We find lots of little Grameens around the world and help them scale very rapidly. For instance, when we partnered with SKS in Hyderabad, India, they were working with less than 10,000 women. Today they are working with more than 1 million! This is what we mean by microfinance acceleration. World poverty is huge — it’s a growth industry — there’s plenty of room for everyone. This is a tongue in cheek way of saying that the problem is enormous and no single organization can address it. Thanks for bringing more attention to Yunus, microfinance and the opportunity for all of us to make a difference. Mike Murray
Thank you for the link to the Muhammad Yunus interview. Powerful. Indeed, powerful.
I posted links to it on the Motley Fool’s Foolanthropy boards.
Too few of us are trying to convince them to make the Grameen Foundation one of their charities this year.
May I invite you and your readers to visit their site and post a supporting comment and click some “Recommend it” buttons for the pro-Grameen posts?
nice post guy
I like his idea about “micro loans to poor people to jumpstart their entrepreneurship truly is changing the world”
beside on his fact (won the nobel prize ). surely his have a good spirits of entrepreneur
I recently presented at a seminar on microfinance. The concepts to be successful in this microfinance are at http://sophisticatedfinance.typepad.com/sophisticated_finance/2007/11/customer-centri.html
Maybe not surprising but a lot of applicability to startups
Prof. Yunus is a pretty incredible person, social entrepreneur, and all-around wonderful human being.
i read his book Banker to the Poor when i was still at PayPal ~5 years ago, and it changed how i thought about solving global poverty (specifically, thru microloans & entrepreneurship, not handouts). Very moving story about how he helped create the microfinance industry in Bangladesh, and around the world.
his book / work inspired me to focus on microfinance as my primary non-profit / philanthropic activity, and led to me getting involved with both Unitus & Kiva, and locally with the Silicon Valley Microfinance Network.
i later had the good fortune to meet him in person in 2004/2005 and chat for a bit. really amazing person.
– dave mcclure
> Women have a long-term vision, she wants to
> move up to something. Men were more casual,
> more I can enjoy now whether than looking at
> the future. So you can go down the line,
> kind of comparing what happens when a woman
> is the borrower, what happens when a man is
> a borrower. Today we have 7.3 million
> borrowers in Grameen Bank in Bangladesh and
> 97 percent of them are women.
This is a fascinating comment and statistic.
This concept bodes well for the future.
Mohd Yunus proves the saying ‘Give a poor man a fish and he will have meal for one day. Teach him how to fish and he will be able to have meals everyday’
If one wants to make the world healthier and happier, starting with “micro loans” is probably not a bad idea. This might improve income of people and thus their health (income is one of the highest ranking health determinant: here’s a link to an article showing the evidence On the other hand “micro loans” by themselves are not enough. Empowering people, helping them to regain a feeling of control of their destiny is probably the most important thing. It is also the most difficult to achieve: find out more about the control of destiny (or also called feeling of empowerment These are very difficult concepts to grasp. But the evidence is very persistent. For that reason, I have difficulties accept “one-fits-all” solutions like “micro loans” as “cure-for-all”. “Micro loans” likely will play a big role – by they are not panacea. It is a bit sad to see people over-reacting on this new fashionable “world saving” idea. Best wishes!
I think it is an amazing idea and many similar services have arised afterwards such as Unitus (http://www.unitus.com/)
Worked with Prof Yunus while I was at the UN and was always mesmerised by his calm yet dedication to the cause of the disadvantaged. To enable stories like this be told, stories about grassroots efforts in development and humanitarian issues, we established a podcasting channel – www.unitednationsyak.com where we also interview those making a difference in the world and whose stories do not make the headline news. For example, we interviewed Mr Abed, of BRAC fame, another powerful grassroots group, the Hip Hop Community who are getting involved in making a difference in world affairs, especially in the monitoring and implementation of the Millennium Development Goals; the President of the International Trachoma Initiative, who explained the trauma of trachoma and how it affects more women than men…etc.
We will keep up telling stories and will keep you up to date as your blog’s objective is to find ways to change the world. Stories can do so in a big way. Keep up the good work
Great inspiring story, I’ve heard of Grameen Bank and the microcredit concept, but I didn’t know who started it, Thanks for the link Guy.
Great post. I have also become interested in MicroPlace, which was started by a woman who worked with the Grameen Bank. Great interview, thanks for pointing it out.
Thank you for the post which enlightened me to learn about a great man with a great plan that I would have otherwise never have known about.
I am trying to start my own intitiative to create something I call Surfer Activism, over on my site at BetterWorlds.com – and let me tell you, convincing some people that something is going to do good when it seems to easy, well, isn’t easy. So for this guy to get his idea off the ground is encouraging.
Thanks again for the post, I’ll be trying to learn more about this, and perhaps it will be a path for the evolution of my own web business, from that of one which redirects web advertising money to charities, to that of one which redirects the channels of web advertising money directly to specific individuals that need it in the form of something similar to these micro-loans but more akin to a micro-gift. Then again, as I contemplate how I would vet and select receipients, I turn my thinking back to how such decision making might be better left to professionals in that area, at large well known charities with proven trackrecords for honesty, sound judgement and results.
But I’m just getting started. My little web philantrhophy project has a long way to go. First I have to teach the world what I mean by “Surfer Activism” and then I have to get people to participate. Maybe I can, maybe I can’t, but stories like this one encourage me to keep trying. :)
Thanks for the reminder. I saw this guy lecture live during college and it was one of the most rewarding lectures I’ve seen in my entire life.