Muhammad Yunus Speaker Profile:
Professor Muhammad Yunus is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning social entrepreneur.
He established the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh in 1983, driven by the belief that credit is a fundamental human right. The bank’s objective is to provide loans to poor people on terms suitable to them, and to teach them a few sound financial principles so they could help themselves. Since Yunus’ personal loan of small amounts of money to destitute basket weavers in Bangladesh in the mid-70s, the Grameen Bank has pioneered microfinance as an effective tool to combat poverty.
Yunus has held a number of distinguished academic and policy-making positions. He was head of the economics department at Chittagong University, and from 1993 to 1995 he was a member of the International Advisory Group for the Fourth World Conference on Women, a post to which he was appointed by the UN secretary general. He has served on the Global Commission of Women’s Health, the Advisory Council for Sustainable Economic Development and the UN Expert Group on Women and Finance.
As well as the winning the Nobel Peace Prize, Professor Yunus has won several other international awards, including the Franklin D. Roosevelt Freedom Award from the Roosevelt Institute of The Netherlands, also in 2006.
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