Founder of Grameen Bank, Muhammed Yunus has shown the world that even the poorest people in the most poverty-stricken countries can work to bring about their own development when given the tools to do so.
Reversing conventional banking practice by removing the need for collateral they have created a banking system based on “mutual trust, accountability, participation and creativity.” Grameen Bank provides credit to the poorest of the poor in rural Bangladesh, without any collateral. As of December 2018, the bank reported that it has 9.08 million members, 97 percent of whom are women. With 2,568 branches, GB provides services in 81,677 villages, covering more than 93 percent of the total villages in Bangladesh.
In 2006, Yunus was awarded the Nobel peace prize for founding Grameen Bank and pioneering new concepts to give entrepreneurs too poor to access traditional loans, much-needed access to microfinance.
In 2011 Yunus went on to co-found Yunus Social Business – Global Initiatives (YSB) with Saskia Bruysten, Sophie Eisenmann and Hans Reitz. Through incubators, funds and advisory services, the YSB now empowers businesses to solve social and environmental challenges around the world.
Yunus is pivotal in reshaping the social enterprise landscape and is empowering small businesses to start and grow from the very bottom of the pyramid. Yunis has reasoned that if financial resources can be made available to the poor on terms and conditions that are appropriate and reasonable, “these millions of small people with their millions of small pursuits can add up to create the biggest development wonder.”