Banker to the Poor

Muhammad Yunus is that rare thing: a bona fide visionary. His dream is the total eradication of poverty from the world. In 1983, against the advice of banking and government officials, Yunus established Grameen, a bank devoted to providing the poorest of Bangladesh with minuscule loans. Grameen Bank, based on the belief that credit is a basic human right, not the privilege of a fortunate few, now provides over 2.5 billion dollars of micro-loans to more than two million families in rural Bangladesh. Ninety-four percent of Yunus’s clients are women, and repayment rates are near 100 percent. Around the world, micro-lending programs inspired by Grameen are blossoming, with more than three hundred programs established in the United States alone.

Banker to the Poor

Banker to the Poor is Muhammad Yunus’s memoir of how he decided to change his life in order to help the world’s poor. In it he traces the intellectual and spiritual journey that led him to fundamentally rethink the economic relationship between rich and poor, and the challenges he and his colleagues faced in founding Grameen. He also provides wise, hopeful guidance for anyone who would like to join him in “putting homelessness and destitution in a museum so that one day our children will visit it and ask how we could have allowed such a terrible thing to go on for so long.” The definitive history of micro-credit direct from the man that conceived of it, Banker to the Poor is necessary and inspirational reading for anyone interested in economics, public policy, philanthropy, social history, and business.

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 still lives in Bangladesh, and travels widely around the world on behalf of Grameen Bank and the concept of micro-credit.

Muhammad Yunus was born in 1940 in Chittagong, a seaport in Bangladesh. The third of fourteen children, five of whom died in infancy, he was educated at Dhaka University and was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to study economics at Vanderbilt University. In 1972 he became the head of the economics department at Chittagong University. He is the founder and managing director of the Grameen Bank.

Foreword by H.R H. The Prince of Wales xv
Part 1: BEGINNINGS 1940-76
Jobra Village: from Textbook to Reality
The World Bank, Washington, DC, November 1993
20 Boxirhat Road, Chittagong
Through the Viewfinder: Boyhood Passions
Campus Years in the US, 1965-72
Marriage and the War of Liberation, 1967-71
Chittagong University, 1972-74
Farming: the Three-Share Farm Experiment, 1974-76
Banking: Climbing the Prison Walls of Collateral, 1976
Who Lend to Women rather than to Men?
Reaching Women Borrowers
Women Bank Workers
The Delivery System: the Mechanics of Joining
The Repayment Mechanism: the World Upside Down
A Comparison with Conventional Banks
Grameen as an Experimental Branch of the Agricultural Bank, 1977-79
Eid-Ul Fitr, 1977
Taking our Time at the Start 1979-83
Against the Mind-Set
Natural Disasters: Our Other Enemies
Training Grameen Staff
Birth of Grameen as a Separate Corporate Entity, 1982-83
Full Independence of the Bank, 1985-90
International Replications
The US Urban Experience
The US Rural Experience
Discovering Economics: the Social Consciousness- Driven Free Market
What Role for Educating and Training the Poor?
On the Population Problem
Poverty : the Missing Issue in Economics
The Housing Loans: a Great Success Story
Health and Retirement
Grameen Check: Weavers are Back in Fashion
Grameen Fisheries Foundation
Grameen Phone: Technology for the Poor
The Grameen Trust: the People’s Fund
A World That Will Assist the Poorest
World Micro-Credit Summit: to Reach 100 million by the Year 2005
A Poverty-Free World: How and When?
What Would it be Like?
Appendix I: A Look at the Balance Sheet
Appendix II: Analysis of Some of the Most Popular Grameen Loans
Appendix III: The Grameen Family of Companies
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