Muhammad Yunus is a modern day philanthropist who has done a lot for the world’s poor through the ropes of economy. Early in his career, he stumbled upon the theory that very tiny loans actually had a positive impact on a poor individual and thus worked aggressively towards building a bank that would loan to the poor. This was in response to the related observation that banks did not want to provide loans to the poor. This is how the realm of microcredit began, which is a popular concept all across developing countries. Unfortunately, critics of this practice believe that microcredit is only leaving the world worse off by putting the poor in a debt trap.
Referred popularly as the Banker to the Poor, Muhammad Yunus set up the Grameen Bank in 1983 in Bangladesh based on the belief that credit should be the fundamental right of any human being. His vision with the Grameen Bank was to allow poor people the chance to move out of poverty by giving them loans on suitable terms and teaching them a few financial principles so they could sustain and grow, while managing to repay back the loan in a suitable time frame.
It started with a personal loan that Professor Yunus made to destitute basket weavers in the middle of the 70s. The success and failure of his small stage experiment was what led him to build the Grameen Bank, which today is paving the path ahead in eradicating poverty through the indigenous practice of mirco-lending. In fact, nearly 100 countries today operate some sort of model that replicates the Grameen Bank.
Professor Yunus was born in 1940 and completed his studies at the Dhaka University. He then went on to study economics at Vanderbilt University under the Fullbright scholarship where he received a PhD in 1969. Later on he took on the role of assistant professor for economics at the University of Middle Tennessee State. Sometime later though he returned to Bangladesh and headed the economics wing of the Chittagong University.
He has received several prestigious awards over his entire lifetime and is best remembered for his endeavors, ideas and leadership qualities. From humanitarian awards, peace awards to science and mathematics or economics award, he has received accolades and recognition from several countries continuing to do so even today. Grameen Bank today continues strong and works aggressively towards improving the lives of the poor through enabling them in microcredit and sound financial teachings.