Banker to the Poor: Micro-Lending and the Battle against World Poverty

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Overview

Muhammad Yunus has a dream: the total eradication of poverty. In 1983, against the advice of banking and government officials, Professor Yunus established Grameen, a bank devoted to providing the poorest of Bangladesh with minuscule loans. His objective was not just to help the poor survive, but to create the spark of personal initiative and enterprise that would help them lift themselves out of poverty forever. In Banker to the Poor, Yunus describes the many hurdles to putting his ideas into action - battles ...
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Banker To The Poor: Micro-Lending and the Battle Against World Poverty

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Overview

Muhammad Yunus has a dream: the total eradication of poverty. In 1983, against the advice of banking and government officials, Professor Yunus established Grameen, a bank devoted to providing the poorest of Bangladesh with minuscule loans. His objective was not just to help the poor survive, but to create the spark of personal initiative and enterprise that would help them lift themselves out of poverty forever. In Banker to the Poor, Yunus describes the many hurdles to putting his ideas into action - battles with bank bureaucrats, the deep-rooted fears of his first, tentative borrowers, devastating floods and famines - as well as the victories - the first Grameen branch opening in Jobra village and the first cell phone delivered to a proud village "telephone lady." He challenges our common perceptions of the economic relationship between rich and poor, their respective rights and obligations, their origins, and their future.
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Editorial Reviews

Vision Magazine
... Lays out a convincing argument from the need to nourish and better understand the 'people's economy'...A hopeful and inspiring read
Gracious Rants
An interesting story of beginning and hope . . . I would recommend this book to anyone interested in the problem of poverty . . .
KLIATT
Newly appointed economics professor at Chittagong University in Bangladesh, Yunus began to feel frustrated by the abject poverty of his neighbors in contrast to the lofty economic theories he was imparting to his students. Subsequent research in the villages revealed that lack of credit was the poor people's problem. Local moneylenders also working as middlemen kept them from making a fair profit. In utter frustration one day, handing $27 to an assistant to go and make the loans, Yunus determined to do more. Working with his local bank revealed a firmly entrenched lending policy that contributed to the problem. His struggle began. Some years later Grameen Bank was granted a constitution and the legal protection of the Ministry of Finance. Yunus' book begins with a brief description of his childhood and education in Chittagong and relates how he became involved in the liberation of Bangladesh while a professor in the US. His incredible story is told in a simple, straightforward manner; no need to understand complicated economic theory to appreciate this book. It is a story of reaching out and improving the lives of poor people and proof that socially conscious-driven businesses can succeed. Grameen (meaning "rural" or "of the village") has grown to 1,190 branches working in 43,258 villages with 11,806 employees since its founding in 1983. It currently provides the same financial services that "real" banks provide. It is 93% owned by its membership with 95% of its borrowers women. Loan repayment percentage is 98.08% and it has realized a profit in all but three of its years in business. Yunus' plan for micro lending has evolved and spread into other parts of the world, including ruralArkansas under Clinton's governorship, gaining popularity among traditional banking institutions. Subject areas for this book are economics, social affairs, poverty, and women's studies. KLIATT Codes: SA-Recommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 1999, PublicAffairs, 273p. illus. index., Ages 15 to adult.
— Ann Hart
Library Journal
Bangladesh, a country the size of Florida with a population of over 120 million people, is the home of Grameen Bank, the inspiration of economist Yunus, Bangladesh-born and U.S.-trained. Instead of spending his life as a university economics professor, Yunus decided in the mid-1970s to develop a micro-lending program to help the poorest people of his country. Yunus based the program on his strong belief that the very poor do not need complicated training programs to improve their economic lot. They need money, in the form of loans. This program has empowered thousands of people--many of them women--and surprised experts in economic development who never believed that the very poor would find the initiative and ability to repay even the smallest ($25-$500) loans. Grameen ("of the village") Bank has developed into an internationally acclaimed and replicated method for assisting the impoverished in Malaysia, the Philippines, Nepal, and even the United States. Definitely recommended for larger public and academic libraries.--Olga B. Wise, Compaq Computers, Austin Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786157921
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/28/2007
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged, 7 CDs, 330 minutes
  • Sales rank: 1,104,207
  • Product dimensions: 5.24 (w) x 5.78 (h) x 0.71 (d)

Meet the Author

Muhammad Yunus

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.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
1 Number 20 Boxirbat Road, Chittagong 1
2 A Bengali in America 13
3 Back in Chittagong 31
4 The Stool Makers of Jobra Village 43
5 A Pilot Project Is Born 59
6 Expanding Beyond Jobra into Tangail 85
7 A Bank for the Poor Is Born 115
8 Growth and Chllenges for the Bank for the Poor, 1984-1990 131
9 Applications in Other Poor Countries 153
10 Applications in the United States and Other Wealthy Countries 173
11 Grameen in the Nineties 193
12 Beyond Micro-credit: A New World of Grameen Enterprises 213
13 Grameen Bank II 233
14 The Future 245
For Further Information 263
Index 265
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Customer Reviews

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( 25 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 25 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2008

    Great Book

    This was a wonderful and inspiring book. It makes you believe that there are answers for the world problems. It also was very captivating. I don't read much nonfiction, but plan on reading more now. I would highly recommend this book to anyone. You can¿t complain about the world¿s problem if you aren¿t making an effort to change them. Here is a man that is changing the world.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2007

    Concise, clear, powerful

    Yunus writes in a concise, clear style. Read this book for the concepts and ideas - Yunus provides a wonderful overview of microcredit and its impact on thousands of the world's poorest women. Inspiring introduction to microcredit and to this modern economic genius who refused to take no for an answer.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2007

    Illuminating saga of Nobel-winning microcredit hero

    In 1974, while Muhammad Yunus was teaching economics in Bangladesh, the country was ravaged by famine. Increasingly uncomfortable teaching abstract theories while starving people shuffled by outside his classroom, Yunus realized his economic education was incomplete. To complete it, he went to local villages to 'learn from the poor' about what they actually needed rather than what a textbook said they should have. The answer was credit, so Yunus founded a bank to provide it - Grameen Bank. The name means the 'bank of the village.' Today, Yunus is a Nobel Peace Price winner and Grameen Bank has extended credit to more than 2.6 million people. This down-to-earth, unsentimental autobiography recounts what inspired him, the obstacles he overcame and the ultimate success of this project, his life's work. We highly recommend it to anyone who wants to know how one person's efforts can have a huge impact.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2007

    Compulsory reading!

    This book eloquently describes the political and economic systems that keep the poor impoverished ¿ and it describes the problems encountered in solving the problem. Muhammad Yunus is an inspirational, compassionate, intelligent role model who has lived and `walked his talk¿ in every way. I think this book should be compulsory reading for every senior school student born into a privileged, first world country. The fourteen-year old who whines for more pocket money would do well to understand and respect how it is for those born less fortunate - and we may benefit from their increased social awareness.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2000

    A Long March to End Global Poverty?

    With a rare sense of moral indignation coupled with analytical clarity, Prof. Yunus of Bangladesh set out to eradicate worldwide poverty. That was back in 1976. Starting out with a personal mini-loan of $27 to 42 impoverished villagers, his Grameen('of the village') Bank has now extended over a billion dollars of loans to 2 million borrowers, and with a repayment rate of over 98%! This stunning record has stood traditional development economists on their heads. Even more provocative, Yunus believes in the promotion of a 'socially-conscious driven private sector.' A short review of Banker to the Poor can hardly do justice to this stimulating and well-wriiten book. (Some of his pithy anecdotes & scathing crtiques of mainstream capitalist economics alone are well worth the book's list price of $24.) If the long march of ten thousand li begins with the first step, then reading this motivational life story must be happy trails for those pioneers aspiring to a new collective economy of the 21st century.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2012

    A must read for business students, young entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs.

    Banker to the Poor is Mohammed Yunus' chronicle on how the birth of microfinance took place. This is is a very light read, but it's quirky and very informational!

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  • Posted July 21, 2010

    Inspiring real life story which tells you how one can make a BIG difference once you set your mind on doing something.

    There are many people who conceptualise & write theories about the problems faced by the world. But there are very few academics who actually can claim to have done somthing about it. This is truly an inspiring story of the founder of Grameen Bank, his tough childhood, evolution thru his education in East Pakistan & in the US and finally return to his roots when a fledgling new country was founded, namely Bangladesh. The description on the start of a new concept & the efforts put in by Muhammad to create a micro-credit organisation are a testimony of the fact that almost anything can be achieved if you set your mind to it. The amazing success of this concept & the Grameen imitators which have started up across the world make for very interesting reading too. Hat's off to someone who could achieve so much in his own lifetime.

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