|Topics:||Goal 1: Poverty & Hunger|
What if you could harness the power of the free market to solve the problems of poverty, hunger, and inequality?
To some, it sounds impossible. But Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus is doing exactly that. As founder of Grameen Bank, Yunus pioneered microcredit, the innovative banking program that provides poor people (mainly women) with small loans they use to launch businesses and lift their families out of poverty.
Listen to what Dr. Yunus has to say, and how his Grahmeen Bank has become a model for micro financing loans around the world.
Over the past centuries practical visionaries from the Franciscan monks who founded the community-oriented pawnshops of the fifteenth century, to the founder of the credit union movement in the nineteenth century (Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen) and the founders of the microcredit movement in the 1970s (such as Muhammed Yunus) have tested practices and built institutions designed to bring the kinds of opportunities and risk management tools that financial services offer to the doorsteps of poor people. While the success of Grameen Bank (which now serves over 7 million poor Bangladeshi women) has inspired the world, in practice it has proved difficult to replicate this success. In nations with lower population densities, meeting the operating costs of a retail branch by serving nearby customers has proven considerably more challenging.
Although much progress has been made, the problem has not been solved yet, and the overwhelming majority of people who earn less than $1 a day, especially in the rural areas, continue to have no practical access to formal sector finance. Perhaps the FDU can help solve that issue.