Banker To The Poor: Micro-Lending and the Battle Against World Poverty

Banker To The Poor: Micro-Lending and the Battle Against World Poverty

by Muhammad Yunus

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Overview

The inspirational story of how Nobel Prize winner Muhammad Yunus invented microcredit, founded the Grameen Bank, and transformed the fortunes of millions of poor people around the world.

Muhammad Yunus was a professor of economics in Bangladesh, who realized that the most impoverished members of his community were systematically neglected by the banking system — no one would loan them any money. Yunus conceived of a new form of banking — microcredit — that would offer very small loans to the poorest people without collateral, and teach them how to manage and use their loans to create successful small businesses. He founded Grameen Bank based on the belief that credit is a basic human right, not the privilege of a fortunate few, and it now provides $24 billion of micro-loans to more than nine million families. Ninety-seven percent of its clients are women, and repayment rates are over 90 percent. Outside of Bangladesh, micro-lending programs inspired by Grameen have blossomed, and serve hundreds of millions of people around the world.

The definitive history of micro-credit direct from the man that conceived of it, Banker to the Poor is the moving story of someone who dreamed of changing the world — and did.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781586481988
Publisher: PublicAffairs
Publication date: 10/07/2003
Pages: 312
Sales rank: 336,481
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.37(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Muhammad Yunus was born in Bangladesh and earned his Ph.D. in economics in the United States at Vanderbilt University, where he was deeply influenced by the civil rights movement. He is the author of Creating a World Without Poverty, Building Social Business, and A World of Three Zeros. The recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, the Congressional Gold Medal, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, he still lives in Bangladesh, and travels widely around the world on behalf of Grameen and the concept of micro-credit.

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Banker to the Poor 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 31 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was a wonderful and inspiring book. It makes you believe that there are answers for the world problems. It also was very captivating. I don't read much nonfiction, but plan on reading more now. I would highly recommend this book to anyone. You can¿t complain about the world¿s problem if you aren¿t making an effort to change them. Here is a man that is changing the world.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Yunus writes in a concise, clear style. Read this book for the concepts and ideas - Yunus provides a wonderful overview of microcredit and its impact on thousands of the world's poorest women. Inspiring introduction to microcredit and to this modern economic genius who refused to take no for an answer.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In 1974, while Muhammad Yunus was teaching economics in Bangladesh, the country was ravaged by famine. Increasingly uncomfortable teaching abstract theories while starving people shuffled by outside his classroom, Yunus realized his economic education was incomplete. To complete it, he went to local villages to 'learn from the poor' about what they actually needed rather than what a textbook said they should have. The answer was credit, so Yunus founded a bank to provide it - Grameen Bank. The name means the 'bank of the village.' Today, Yunus is a Nobel Peace Price winner and Grameen Bank has extended credit to more than 2.6 million people. This down-to-earth, unsentimental autobiography recounts what inspired him, the obstacles he overcame and the ultimate success of this project, his life's work. We highly recommend it to anyone who wants to know how one person's efforts can have a huge impact.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book eloquently describes the political and economic systems that keep the poor impoverished ¿ and it describes the problems encountered in solving the problem. Muhammad Yunus is an inspirational, compassionate, intelligent role model who has lived and `walked his talk¿ in every way. I think this book should be compulsory reading for every senior school student born into a privileged, first world country. The fourteen-year old who whines for more pocket money would do well to understand and respect how it is for those born less fortunate - and we may benefit from their increased social awareness.
yourotherleft on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Banker to the Poor is Muhammad Yunus's semi-autobiographical book about his role in creating the Grameen Bank, an organization that lends money to the poorest of the poor in an effort to improve their quality of life. It's easy to see in this book the passion Yunus has for creating a poverty-free world and the book chronicles both his sucesses and failures with this kind of grassroots approach to eliminating poverty by way of the Bank. It is a powerful statement of the potential for even the poorest of people to eliminate their own poverty when given the means to do so, and I would recommend this read to anybody who cares about and would do something about widespread poverty around the world.
cestovatela on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Baffled by a famine his government seemed powerless to stop, Muhammad Yunus strolled through a nearby village to learn about poverty. There he discovered that skilled craftspeople were kept poor by a cycle of inescapable debt. In response, he loaned a total of $27 from his own pocket to a group of stool makers, telling them to use it to buy raw materials, sell their goods at the market and pay him back when they could. The idea of micro-credit was born. Thirty years later, the Grameen Bank, the organization that Yunus created, loans billions of dollars to the world's most impoverished citizens. Their innovative programs have helped people who once lived on 2 cents a day buy livestock, build homes and educate their children.As an economics professor and non-native English speaker, Yunus is not a great writer (although not a terrible one either). He's also got a bit of an attitude, which I suppose is fair for a Nobel prize winner, but it grates a little as you read. These things make the book dry in spots and annoying in others, but at the core is an intensely uplifting story about one effective solution to the seemingly intractable problem of poverty. I wouldn't really recommend this for recreational reading, but people who are interested in banking, finance or international development will probably enjoy it.
SnakeCharmer on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A first hand take on success stories and pit falls in micro-finance institutions. The books captures Younis's and Grameen Banks spirit very well and does justice to its goal of winning over people to this economic philosophy. But the book is not very well structured. Goes back and forth while discussing ideas and comes out as a some what scattered collection of thoughts. And also towards the end , the attempt to project micro finance as a panacea for all economic issues of the world sounds a bit lame. It depends heavily on emotional appeal and not economic wisdom.
LCoale1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book was incredibly interesting and really made me question a lot of the concepts and policies I'm learning in my macroeconomics class. It also gave me hope. It's the [true] story of the Grameen bank, which caters specifically to the most impoverished people in the world, and how the bank grew from the author lending $27 to people in his town to a million / billion dollar corporation. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to truly help the needy and destitute, anyone who feels like reading a smart book, or anyone who's interested in economics. The only critisism I have would be that the last few chapters sound a little bit communist-like to me, but that's probably just because I'm not a fan of utopianism, but Yunus is. I wanted him to be right about the final chapters, though.
tibobi on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Fascinating look at how a professor of economics dealt with poverty in Bangladesh. Towards the middle I was a bit lost with the details as there are many, but once he began to address the issues within the U.S., my interest was renewed. I am surprised after reading this book that I had never heard of his work prior to this reading.
sdjurek17 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Great book. I would love to have a conversation with Mr. Yunus about his journey and the implications of micro-lending in America. My non-economic brain left me re-reading a few passages but overall it was fantastic and well-written!
Joe Johnson More than 1 year ago
Finished this book over the summer. Parts of it were a little dry but I loved the concept of micro-lending. It's written from an academic standpoint, but I really feel this book tells a great feel good narrative.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Banker to the Poor is Mohammed Yunus' chronicle on how the birth of microfinance took place. This is is a very light read, but it's quirky and very informational!
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AjayHiraskar More than 1 year ago
There are many people who conceptualise & write theories about the problems faced by the world. But there are very few academics who actually can claim to have done somthing about it. This is truly an inspiring story of the founder of Grameen Bank, his tough childhood, evolution thru his education in East Pakistan & in the US and finally return to his roots when a fledgling new country was founded, namely Bangladesh. The description on the start of a new concept & the efforts put in by Muhammad to create a micro-credit organisation are a testimony of the fact that almost anything can be achieved if you set your mind to it. The amazing success of this concept & the Grameen imitators which have started up across the world make for very interesting reading too. Hat's off to someone who could achieve so much in his own lifetime.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago