Professor Muhammad Yunus

Co-founder Professor Muhammad Yunus is a Nobel Peace Laureate, Olympic Laurel awardee, Bangladeshi economist, and founder of the Grameen Bank, the world’s first dedicated microcredit institution for the poor. He is also known as the "father of social business" and as one of the greatest entrepreneurs of our time.

Professor Muhammad Yunus established the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh in 1983, fueled by the belief that credit is a fundamental human right. His objective was to help poor people escape from poverty by providing loans on terms suitable to them and by teaching them a few sound financial principles so they could help themselves. From Dr. Yunus’ personal loan of small amounts of money to destitute basketweavers in Bangladesh in the mid-70s, the Grameen Bank has advanced to the forefront of a burgeoning world movement toward eradicating poverty through microlending. Replicas of the Grameen Bank model operate in more than 100 countries worldwide. In 2006, the Nobel Committee jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Peace to Professor Yunus and the Grameen Bank “for their efforts to create economic and social development from below.”

Widely regarded as the creator of social business, Professor Yunus has published four books about micro-lending and social business: “Banker to the Poor” (2003), “A World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism” (2008) and “Building Social Business” (2010) and “A World of Three Zeros” (2017). Professor Yunus is the recipient of numerous international awards for his ideas and endeavors. In addition to the Nobel Peace Prize, he has received all three highest US Civilian awards (Presidential Citizens Medal, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal). He is one of only seven people in history that has received these awards, along with recipients Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teresa and Nelson Mandela. In 2009, Forbes named Professor Yunus one of its “10 Most Influential Business Gurus.”