Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus is the father of microcredit and social business, and the founder of Grameen Bank and more than 50 other companies in Bangladesh. For his constant innovation and enterprise, in March Fortune Magazine named him ‘one of the 12 greatest entrepreneurs of our time.’
An MDG Advocate, Muhammad Yunus sits on the Board of the United Nations Foundation, the Schwab Foundation, the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, the Grameen Credit Agricole Microcredit Foundation, the Chirac Foundation, and is one of the founding members of The Elders.
Professor Yunus serves as Nobel Laureate in Residence at the National University of Malaysia and in June 2012 was named Chancellor of Glasgow Caledonian University.
Grameen Bank Project: Muhammad Yunus studied economics at Vanderbilt University on a Fulbright Scholarship, completing his PhD in 1969. He returned to his native Bangladesh in 1972, joining the Department of Economics at the University of Chittagong as its chairman, and in 1976 started to experiment with providing collateral free loans to the poor. In 1983 the Grameen Bank Project became a full-fledged bank for providing loans to the poor, mostly women, in rural Bangladesh. Today it has over 8.4 million borrowers, 97% of whom are women, and disburses over one and a half billion US dollars each year. In 2006, Muhammad Yunus and Grameen Bank were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
Degrees: Muhammad Yunus is the recipient of more than 50 honorary degrees from universities across 20 countries, and has received 112 awards from 26 countries including state honours from 10. He is one of only seven individuals to have received the Nobel Peace Prize, the United States Presidential Medal of Freedom and the United States Congressional Gold Medal.
Accolades: Muhammad Yunus was chosen by Wharton School of Business as one of ‘The 25 Most Influential Business Persons of the Past 25 Years’ and by AsiaWeek as one of ‘Twenty Great Asians’ from 1975 to 1995. In 2006, he was listed by Time Magazine in their ’60 years of Asian Heroes’ as one of the top 12 business leaders and in 2008, in an open online poll, he was voted the second most intellectual person in the world. In 2010, The New Statesman listed him as one of ‘The World’s 50 Most Influential Figures’.
Appearances: Muhammad Yunus has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Colbert Report, Real Time with Bill Maher, Hardtalk on BBC… and even The Simpsons. He has appeared on the cover of Time Magazine and Newsweek and is one of the most followed people in the world on Google+, with over two million followers.