Banker to the Poor
Muhammad Yunus set up the Grameen Bank in his home country of Bangladesh with a loan of just 17 pounds, to lend tiny amounts of money to the poorest of the poor - those to whom no ordinary bank would lend. Most of his customers - as they still are - were illiterate women, wanting to set up the smallest imaginable village enterprises. It was his conviction that this new system of 'micro-credit', lending even such small sums, would give such people the spark of initiative needed to pull themselves out of poverty.
Today, Yunus's system of micro-credit is practised around the world in some 60 countries, including the US, Canada and France. His Grameen Bank is now a billion-pound business. It is acknowledged by world leaders and by the World Bank to be a fundamental weapon in the fight against poverty.
Banker to the Poor is Yunus's enthralling story of how he did it: how the terrible famine in Bangladesh in 1974 focused his ideas on the need to enable its victims to grow more food; how he overcame the sceptics in many governments and among traditional economic thinking; and how he saw his micro-credit extended into the credit unions in the West.
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