A global development phenomenon that has changed the nature of poverty started with only $27 in Bangladesh. $27 was the amount of a loan awarded to a group of village women struggling to start a small business. With that small loan, the women were able to start their business, pay back the loan, and create a profit.
The source of funding was from Professor Muhammad Yunus. He loaned out money on the belief that the key to fighting global poverty was through economically empowering the world’s poorest people. So he started with a $27 loan and went on to create the Grameen Bank. His idea became known as microfinance and the Grameen Bank has become the global standard for microfinance. The interview above shares some of Professor Yunus’ vision for fighting global poverty.
Small loans have changed the way the world’s poor participate in the global economy. Entrepreneurs all over the world with ideas have access to funds and credit that was previously unavailable to them. The results have been remarkable with most loaning institutions boasting over 99 percent repayment rates. Those that previous struggling on $1.25 a day can now afford to send their children to school and expand their business and afford luxuries like electricity.
For his outstanding efforts in microfinance and global development, Professor Yunus was awarded a Congressional Gold Medal. This is the highest level of honor Congress can award an individual person. Only 153 of these have been awarded since their establishment in 1776. Professor Yunus joins the ranks of George Washington, Martin Luther King, Jr., and other trailblazers who have impacted and benefited humanity in tremendous ways.
– Amanda Kloeppel
Source: UN Foundation