Commonwealth National Podcast

Muhammad Yunus, Economist, Founder of Grameen Bank, Winner of 2006 Nobel Peace Prize, Author, Creating a World Without Poverty

Duration: 
1:02:40
Muhammad Yunus, Economist, Founder of Grameen Bank, Winner of 2006 Nobel Peace Prize, Author, Creating a World Without Poverty

Nobel Prize-winning economist Muhammad Yunus will bring us the story of his success in the field of “microcredit.” His brainchild, the Grameen Bank, provides small loans to entrepreneurs too poor to apply for traditional loans with large interest rates. Since its founding in 1983, the Grameen Bank (Bengali for “Village Bank”) has helped millions of poor borrowers in Yunus’s native Bangladesh jumpstart their careers and escape from poverty. The bank operates through 1,084 branches today, with 94% of its loans going to women, and 98% of its loans paid back (the highest repayment rate of any banking system).


Yunus jointly received the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize with his organization, Grameen Bank. He has been honored with numerous awards and citations for his work in ending poverty, ranging from the World Food Prize, to the King Abdul Aziz medal from King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia, as well as 26 honorary doctorate degrees.


In 1969, Yunus received his Ph.D. in economics from Vanderbilt University, having previously studied at Dhaka University in Bangladesh. He joined the faculty of Chittagong University as the head of the Economics department and subsequently became involved in poverty reduction during the Bangladesh famine of 1974.


This program is part of the The Club’s new “A-ha! Series,” co-sponsored by global law firm Orrick, inviting leading thinkers from a broad spectrum of disciplines to share their knowledge and ideas and offer insights into tomorrow.

This program was recorded live on January 17, 2008