What if you could harness the power of the free market to solve the problems of poverty, hunger, and inequality? Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus is doing exactly that. Social entrepreneur and visionary thinker Muhammad is a specialist at educating on microcredit and microfinance, he aids economic self-advancement and is a pioneer for social change. An excellent keynote speaker Muhammed would be a delightful addition to any event.
Nobel Peace Prize winner Professor Muhammad Yunus was named ‘one of the greatest entrepreneurs of our time’ by Fortune Magazine in 2012 in recognition of his ‘constant innovation and enterprise’. He founded Grameen Bank, and more than 50 other companies in Bangladesh, which have led to significant social change in the region.
His concept of social business is defined as a non-dividend company dedicated to solving social problems, such as healthcare, education, sanitation, water pollution, unemployment, environmental degradation, etc.
The pioneering concepts of microcredit and microfinance evolved from a desire to do good in the world, instilled into him by his mother, who would always help poor people who came to the door, from a very young age. Born in Bangladesh in 1940 in a village in Chittagong, the business centre of what was then Eastern Bengal, Muhammad was encouraged by his father to pursue further education, and in 1965 he received Fulbright Scholarship to study economics at Vanderbilt University, USA, where he completed his Ph.D. in economics in 1969.
Upon his return to Bangladesh, Professor Yunus started to experiment with providing collateral free loans to the poor as part of a project called Grameen Bank, which became a fully-fledged bank for providing loans to the poor, mostly women, in rural Bangladesh, in 1983. Today Grameen Bank has over 8.4 million borrowers, 97% of whom are women and dispenses over one and a half billion US dollars every year.
Professor Yunus has written about his concepts in his books BANKER TO THE POOR: Micro-Lending and the Battle against World Poverty; CREATING A WORLD WITHOUT POVERTY: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism, and, most recently, BUILDING SOCIAL BUSINESS: The New Kind of Capitalism that Serves Humanity’s Most Pressing Needs.
In 2006 he was jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize with Grameen Bank.
Professor Yunus has received over 50 honorary degrees from universities across 20 countries, as well as countless awards, and is one of only seven people in history to have received the Nobel Peace Prize, the United States Presidential Medal of Freedom and the United States Congressional Gold Medal.
Invited by the United Nations Secretary General to serve as an MDG Advocate, Professor Yunus was chosen by the Wharton School of Business as one of 'The 25 Most Influential Business Persons of the Past 25 Years'. AsiaWeek selected him as one of ‘Twenty Great Asians’, and in 2006, Time magazine listed him under ‘60 years of Asian Heroes’ as one of the top 12 business leaders. In 2010, The New Statesman listed him as one of ‘The World's 50 Most Influential Figures’.
He is followed by over 2 million people on Google+.
- The Grameen Model
- Economic Self-advancement
- The Eradication of Poverty
- Economic Development
- Social and Economic Policy Making