Sunday, November 19, 2006

Muhammad Yunus on Jon Stewart's Daily Show

Muhammad Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank and recent Nobel Peace Prize winner, is one of my favorite public figures. He's a delightful, wise, and compassionate entrepreneur. In case you missed him on Jon Stewart's Daily Show last week, I found a video at YouTube. All people have the capacity for enormous creativity - even beggars. Yunus provides small loans to some of the poorest people in this world through microfinancing. Out of 7 million Granmeen bank microcredit loans, 97% of these loans have gone to poor women, many of them farmers in developing nations. In doing so, Yunus changes their lives for the better and shakes up the powers that be in the developing world. 80% of farmers in Africa are women and they aren't getting access to markets because they are women. To my way of thinking, Dr. Muhammad Yunus' idea is certainly a better idea than bombing other people's homelands in order to "bring them democracy."

I wrote a related post last September from the 2006 Clinton Global Initiative meeting. See CGI: Senator Clinton's Panel on Women and the Power of Economic Opportunity, where Citicorp's Ajay Banga suggested that, to build on Muhammad Yunus' new theory, large corporations can, in the future, show social responsibility by assisting smaller financial institutions to secure loans to enable them to facilitate microfinancing.

Hear NPR interview from November 21, 2006: Nobel-Prize Winner on the Power of Microcredit
Hear NPR story with Michelle Norris October 13, 2006