Friday, October 13, 2006

Banker for the Poor

Today, my Bangladeshi officemate said to me as I came and she headed out, "We won the nobel prize!" To which I responded "Yeah, I saw that! I thought of you when I noticed it but I didn't read much about it yet." We proceeded to have a conversation, albeit brief about Muhammad Yunus, the so called "Banker for the Poor." This guy has done some amazing things! He pioneered the concept of "microcredit," which are tiny loans (usually averaging $200) to help poor enterupenurs get stated. His very first microloans were to a set of weavers in Bangladeshi villiage to help them purchase bamboo so make stools. Overtime they were able to pay him back, but the concept caught. He now runs Grameen which continues to lend small amounts of money to get people off on the right foot. 96% of his lenders are women.

I am totally inspired by this man. What an incredible bottom up way to help people "learn to fish."

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