Professor Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate

Nov 06, 10:01 AM

“Rather than marching into global warming and unemployment, we can create our world the way we want.” That’s the message of our guest Professor Muhammad Yunus, who says: “If we imagine that world, we can create that world. Imagination can make it happen.” As a pioneer of microfinancing with Grameen Bank, the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate has alleviated poverty for tens of millions of people and given them an economic lifeline, with small loans that look to bring out the entrepreneur in everyone. His ethos is driven by a view of human nature that is innately good, and a world view that critiques our economic structures as having suppressed people’s natural selflessness and creativity. This interview is a story of how when a big idea takes hold, the impossible really does become possible.

Professor Muhammad Yunus established the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh in 1983, fuelled by the belief that credit is a fundamental human right. His objective was to help poor people escape from poverty by providing loans on terms suitable to them and by teaching them a few sound financial principles so they could help themselves. From Professor Yunus’ personal loan of small amounts of money to destitute basketweavers in Bangladesh in the mid-70s, the Grameen Bank has advanced to the forefront of a burgeoning world movement toward eradicating poverty through microlending. Replicas of the Grameen Bank model operate in more than 100 countries worldwide. Professor Yunus is the recipient of numerous international awards for his ideas and endeavors, including the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize.