If you have seen the news in the last few days, you will know that Muhammad Yunus (along with Grameen Bank, which he founded) has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his pioneering work in microcredit. This is a very powerful statement about the power of the microfinance revolution to help address one of the root causes of war … hopeless poverty.
Here are some of the things that impress me about Yunus:
- He is an innovator. The Grameen Bank has continued to re-invent itself and lead the way in developing improved products and services which serve the poor AND are sustainable through generating profit.
- He is an advocate. Yunus uses his access to powerful people to speak on behalf of the needs of the poor. He continues to frame his ideas, issues and questions in plain language which challenge the typical techno-speak of the international development community.
- He is generous. Yunus has generously given of his time, knowledge and influence to help others learn from what they are doing at Grameen Bank in order to implement best practices to help the poor in other areas of the world.
Here are a few (of the many) articles written this past week:
- Yunus’ WSJ oped piece about what America can learn from Bangladesh
- Business Week article on what the Nobel prize means for microcredit
- New York Times article on Yunus validating the credit worthiness of the poor
Good Read: Yunus’ biography, Banker to The Poor