The Price of a Dream: The Story of the Grameen Bankby David Bornstein
The Price of a Dream tells the remarkable story of the Grameen Bank, the groundbreaking "village bank" that has revolutionized the way people around the world fight poverty. The Bank's modelproviding collateral-free "micro-loans" for self-employment to millions of women villagers in Bangladeshhas inspired and shaped the thinking of
The Price of a Dream tells the remarkable story of the Grameen Bank, the groundbreaking "village bank" that has revolutionized the way people around the world fight poverty. The Bank's modelproviding collateral-free "micro-loans" for self-employment to millions of women villagers in Bangladeshhas inspired and shaped the thinking of economists, policy makers, business people, development workers and a generation of social entrepreneurs. Both liberal and conservative policy circles have championed the Bank's ability to transform the lives of its clients and help them escape the vicious cycle of deep economic hardship.
Drawing upon interviews with villagers, development workers, economists, and the Bank's founder Muhammad Yunusa recipient of numerous humanitarian awardsthe book shows how the Grameen Bank grew from an experiment in one village to an organization that lends billions of dollars in small individual loans.
Bangladeshi native Muhammad Yunus came to America to study economics and returned home to aid his countrymen. So poor that it is often called "The Fifth World," Bangladesh has high poverty and birth rates and is frequently devastated by monsoons. Its thousands of villages are poor, but Yunus saw that many of the residents had real skills and came to believe that if they were provided with the means to borrow money they could find ways to support themselves. In 1975, he began what became the Grameen Bank (gram is the Bangla word for village) and distributed small loanssome for as little as five dollarsto the poorest. Most of the loan takers were women. In return, he demanded precise, weekly repayment of the loans and insisted that villagers join together in small groups so that if a member fell behind, the others would encourage her to pay her loan. Yunus kept Grameen bound to its ideals, and today the bank thrives, lending at a fair interest rate while still turning a profit. It has made loans in excess of billion and has over one thousand branch offices. The employees of Grameen have an absolute dedication to the bank, and the bank has had an enormous effect on Bangladesh. Bornstein, a journalist, does an excellent job of tracing the growth of the bank in relationship to the country's recent history. He also cogently explains why large public works projects in developing countries are frequently disasters. Yunus's view, one that he teaches to other countries as well, is that the populace of a developing nation must learn to take care of itself.
A genuinely amazing story and an interesting read in an age when aid to the poor is demonized.
- Oxford University Press, USA
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Meet the Author
David Bornstein is a journalist who has written articles for Atlantic Monthly, Details, Newsday, and Science. He is author of How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas, which was described by the Iew York Times as "must reading" for "anyone who cares about building a more equitable and therefore a more stable world."
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The writer does an excellent job potraying the poor in this book about the Grameen Bank and Bangladesh. A truly wonderful read.