Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus is the father of microcredit, the father of social business, the founder of Grameen Bank, and of more than 50 other companies in Bangladesh.
For his constant innovation and enterprise, the Fortune Magazine named Yunus in March 2012 as “one of 12 greatest entrepreneurs of our time.”
Often referred to as “the world’s banker to the poor”, his life’s work has been to prove that the poor are credit-worthy. In 1976, Yunus started to experiment with providing collateral free loans to the poor. The project was called Grameen Bank Project and later, in 1983, became a full-fledged bank for providing loan to the poor, mostly women, in rural Bangladesh. Today Grameen Bank has over 8 million borrowers, 97% of whom are women and disburses over one and a half billion US dollars each year. In 2006, Yunus and Grameen Bank were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
The concept of social business, which Yunus introduced into the economic framework, is defined as a non-dividend company dedicated to solving social problems, such as healthcare, education, sanitation, water pollution, unemployment, environmental degradation, etc. His microcredit idea has spread to almost all the countries of the world, including the industrialized countries of the West.
Yunus is the recipient of more than 50 honorary degrees from universities across 20 countries. He has received 112 awards from 26 countries including state honours from 10 countries. He is one of seven individuals to have received the Nobel Peace Prize, the United States Presidential Medal of Freedom and the United States Congressional Gold Medal. In June 2012, Yunus was named Chancellor of Glasgow Caledonian University.
In 2008, in an open online poll, Yunus was voted the 2nd topmost intellectual person in the world on the list of Top 100 Public Intellectuals by Prospect Magazine (UK) and Foreign Policy (United States).
On Google+, Yunus is one of the most followed people worldwide, with over 2million followers.