Professor Muhammad Yunus
Professor Muhammad Yunus, the founder of Grameen Bank reasoned that if financial resources can be made available to the poor people at terms and conditions which are appropriate and reasonable, “these millions of small people with their millions of small pursuits can add up to create the biggest development wonder”. This conviction of Professor Yunus had its root in the traditional bank’s structure which has been designed in a way that would never help the poor, who constitute the largest segment of the society and the ones who are desperately in need of credit.
Since 1983, the year of its inception, Grameen Bank has loaned USD 8 billions to 8.7 million borrowers 97% of whom are women with a recovery rate of 98%. The bank is owned by its borrowers.
In 2006 Prof. Yunus was awarded the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize, along with Grameen Bank, for their efforts to create economic and social development. In the prize announcement The Norwegian Nobel Committee mentioned:
Muhammad Yunus has shown himself to be a leader who has managed to translate visions into practical action for the benefit of millions of people, not only in Bangladesh, but also in many other countries. Loans to poor people without any financial security had appeared to be an impossible idea. From modest beginnings three decades ago, Yunus has, first and foremost through Grameen Bank, developed micro-credit into an ever more important instrument in the struggle against poverty.