A BIOGRAPHY OF MUHAMMAD YUNUS
(Chairman of Yunus Centre and Founder of Grameen Bank)
(28 June 1940)
A BIOGRAPHY OF MUHAMMAD YUNUS
Muhammad Yunus (born June 28, 1940) is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning Bangladeshi social entrepreneur, banker, economist, and civil society leader who founded the Grameen Bank and pioneered the concepts of microcredit and microfinance. These loans are granted to entrepreneurs that are unable to get standard bank loans due to their financial situation. The Nobel Peace Prize was shared by Yunus and the Grameen Bank “for their efforts through microcredit to achieve economic and social development from below.”
The Norwegian Nobel Committee stated that “lasting peace cannot be achieved unless large populations groups find ways to escape poverty” and that “across cultures and civilizations, Yunus and Grameen Bank have demonstrated that even the poorest of the poor can work to bring about their own development.”
He has also garnered several national and international awards. He was awarded the United States Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009 and the Congressional Gold Medal in 2010.He was ranked second on Foreign Policy magazine’s list of the “Top 100 Global Thinkers” in 2008.
Muhammad Yunus, SaskiaBruysten, Sophie Eisenmann, and Hans Reitz co-founded Yunus Social Business – Global Initiatives (YSB) in February 2011. YSB develops and enables social companies to confront and solve global social issues. YSB maintains incubation funds for social firms in poor countries and provides consultancy services to corporations, governments, foundations, and NGOs as the international implementation arm for Yunus’ vision of a new, compassionate capitalism.
He became Chancellor of Glasgow Caledonian University in Scotland in 2012, and he retained that role until 2018. He was previously an economics professor at Chittagong University in Bangladesh. He wrote numerous books on his finance career. He is a founding board member of the microcredit organizations Grameen America and Grameen Foundation.
Yunus is also a member of the board of directors of the United Nations Foundation, a public foundation established in 1998 with a $1 billion grant from American entrepreneur Ted Turner to assist UN projects.
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Name: Professor Muhammad Yunus
✦ Nobel Peace Laureate
✦ Social entrepreneur
✦ Civil society leader
✦ Founder of Grameen Bank
✦ Chairman of Yunus Centre
Date of Birth: June 28, 1940
Place of Birth: Chittagong, Bengal Presidency, British India(now Chittagong, Bangladesh)
✦ University of Chittagong
✦ Middle Tennessee State University
✦ Glasgow Caledonian University
✦ Microcredit theory
✦ Development economics
School or tradition : Microcredit
Alma mater :
✦ University of Dhaka (BA, MA)
✦ Vanderbilt University (PhD)
Father: Hazi Dula Mia Shoudagar,
Mother: Sufia Khatun
✦ Afrozi Yunus, professor of physics at Jahangirnagar University
✦ Vera Forostenko (Ex-wife), daughter of Russian immigrants to Trenton, New Jersey, United States
✦ Monica Yunus (operatic soprano based in New York City)
✦ Deena Yunus
✦ Muhammad Abdus Salam
✦ Dr. Muhammad Ibrahim
✦ Muhammad Ayub
✦ Muhammad Azam
✦ Muhammad Jahangir
✦ Muhammad Moinul Anam
✦ Momtaz Begum
✦ Grameen Bank
✦ Social business
Scholarships / Fellowships:
✦ Awarded Fulbright Fellowship to study in the U.S.A. for 1965-66
✦ Awarded Vanderbilt University research and teaching fellowships during 1966-69
✦ Awarded Eisenhour Exchange Fellowship for 1984
✦ Senior Fellow, The Institute of Mediterranean Studies,UniversitadellaSvizzeraItaliana, Lugano, Switzerland (2000).
✦ Ramon Magsaysay Award (1984)
✦ Independence Day Award (1987)
✦ Aga Khan Award for Architecture (1989)
✦ World Food Prize (1994)
✦ Pfeffer Peace Prize (1994)
✦ International Simón Bolívar Prize (1996)
✦ Prince of Asturias Award (1998)
✦ Gandhi Peace Prize (2000)
✦ Volvo Environment Prize (2003)
✦ Seoul Peace Prize (2006)
✦ Nobel Peace Prize (2006)
✦ Presidential Medal of Freedom (2009)
✦ Congressional Gold Medal (2010)
✦ Olympic Laurel (2021)
✦ Yunus, Muhammad (1974). Three Farmers of Jobra. Department of Economics, Chittagong University.
✦ Planning in Bangladesh (1976): Format, Technique, and Priority, and Other Essays; Rural Studies Project, Department of Economics. Chittagong University.
✦ Isalama, SaiyadaManajurula; Rahman, Arifa (1991). Jorimon and Others: Faces of Poverty. Grameen Bank.
✦ Grameen Bank, as I See it(1994)Grameen Bank.
✦ Banker to the Poor(1999): Micro-Lending and the Battle Against World Poverty. New York: PublicAffairs. ISBN 978-1-58648-198-8.
✦ Creating a World without Poverty (2007): Social Business and the Future of Capitalism. New York: PublicAffairs. ISBN 978-1-58648-493-4.
✦ Building Social Business(2010): The New Kind of Capitalism that Serves Humanity’s Most Pressing Needs. New York: Public Affairs. ISBN 978-1-58648-824-6.
✦ Yunus, Muhammad, Moingeon, Bertrand and Laurence Lehmann-Ortega (2010), “Building Social Business Models: Lessons from the Grameen Experience”, April–June, vol 43, number 2–3, Long Range Planning, pp. 308–325
✦ A World of Three Zeroes(2017): the new economics of zero poverty, zero unemployment, and zero carbon emissions. Scribe Publications.
✦ 2000 – “16 Decisions”
✦ 2010 – To Catch a Dollar
✦ 2011 – Bonsai People – The Vision of Muhammad Yunus
✦ Indira Gandhi Peace Prize
✦ Nobel Peace Prize
✦ Chosen by Wharton School of Business in Philadelphia as one of The 25 Most Influential Business Persons of the Past 25 Years
✦ Ranked by Time magazine as one of the top 12 business leaders including him among “60 years of Asian Heroes”
✦ voted 2nd on the list of Top 100 Public Intellectuals in an open online poll conducted by Prospect Magazine (UK) and Foreign Policy (United States)
✦ Golden Biatec Award
✦ Olympic Laurel
✦ United Nations Foundation’s Champion of Global Change Award
Early Life of “Muhammad Yunus” :
Muhammad Yunus was born on June 28, 1940, to a Bengali Muslim family in the village of Bathua, along the Kaptai road in Hathazari, Chittagong, in the British Raj’s Bengal Presidency, present-day Bangladesh. His father was a jeweler named Hazi Dula Mia Shoudagar, and his mother was SufiaKhatun. He was the third of nine children of his parents.
His father instilled in his sons the desire to pursue higher education. Yunus liked his father, but he admired his mother much more for constantly assisting the impoverished people who came knocking at their door.He spent his early years in the village.
His family relocated to Chittagong in 1944, and he transferred from his rural school to Lamabazar Primary School. By 1949, his mother was suffering from mental illness. He later completed the Chittagong Collegiate School matriculation exams, placing 16th out of 39,000 pupils in East Pakistan. He was an enthusiastic Boy Scout during his school years, traveling to West Pakistan and India in 1952 and to Canada in 1955 to attend Jamborees. Yunus later became involved in cultural events and received honors for play while attending Chittagong College. At 1957, he enrolled in Dhaka University’s Department of Economics, where he earned his BA in 1960 and his MA in 1961.
Yunus joined the Bureau of Economics as a research assistant to Nurul Islam and Rehman Sobhan’s economics research after graduation. In 1961, he was employed as an economics instructor at Chittagong College. He also set up a thriving packaging plant on the side during that period. He was given a Fulbright grant to study in the United States in 1965. In 1971, he earned a doctorate in economics from Vanderbilt University’s Graduate Program in Economic Development (GPED). Yunus was an associate professor of economics at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro from 1969 to 1972.
Yunus created a citizen’s group and operated the Bangladesh Information Center with other Bangladeshis in the United States during the Bangladesh Freedom War in 1971 to gather support for the country’s liberation. From his home in Nashville, he also produced the Bangladesh Newsletter. He returned to Bangladesh after the war and was nominated to the government’s Planning Commission, which was led by Nurul Islam. However, he found the work tedious and quit to become the head of the Economics department at Chittagong University. He became active in poverty reduction after seeing the 1974 famine and launched a rural economic program as a research project.
He created a Nabajug (New Era) Tebhaga Khamar (three-share farm) in 1975, which the government approved as the Packaged Input Program. Yunus and his collaborators suggested the Gram Sarkar (village government) scheme to make the project more effective. President Ziaur Rahman established a fourth tier of administration in the late 1970s, which resulted in the formation of 40,392 village governments in 2003. The High Court deemed village governments illegitimate and unconstitutional on August 2, 2005, in response to a petition filed by Bangladesh Legal Aids and Services Trust (BLAST).
His idea of using microcredit to help inventors in disadvantaged nations inspired programs like the Info Lady Social Entrepreneurship Program.
Professor Muhammad Yunus realized that relatively tiny loans might make a disproportionate impact to a poor individual during visits to the poorest homes in the area of Jobra near Chittagong University in 1976. Village women who created bamboo furniture had to take out usurious loans to purchase the material and then repay the lenders with their profits.Due to the significant risk of default, traditional banks were unable to give small loans to the poor at fair interest rates. However, Yunus thought that if given the opportunity, the impoverished would return the loan, making microcredit a viable business model. Yunus lent US$27 to 42 women in the hamlet, who profited from the loan by BDT 0.50 (US$0.02) apiece. As a result, Yunus is credited with inventing microcredit.
Muhammad Yunus ultimately got a loan from the government Janata Bank in December 1976, which he used to help the impoverished in Jobra. The institution continued to exist, obtaining funding for its programs from other financial institutions. It had 28,000 members when it was founded in 1982. The pilot initiative was renamed Grameen Bank on October 1, 1983, and it started operating as a full-fledged bank for underprivileged Bangladeshis (“Village Bank”). Grameen has lent US$6.38 billion to 7.4 million borrowers as of July 2007. A system of “solidarity groups” is used by the bank to secure repayment. These small informal organizations apply for loans jointly, and members act as co-guarantors of repayment and encourage one another’s attempts to improve their financial situation.
Grameen began diversifying in the late 1980s by focusing on underused fishing ponds and irrigation pumps, such as deep tube wells. These disparate interests began to coalesce into different organizations in 1989. GrameenMotsho (“Grameen Fisheries Foundation”) took over the fisheries project, while GrameenKrishi took over the irrigation project (“Grameen Agriculture Foundation”).Grameen Trust and Grameen Fund, which run equity projects like GrameenSoftware Limited, GrameenCyberNet Limited, and Grameen Knitwear Limited, as well as Grameen Telecom, which owns a stake in Grameenphone (GP), Bangladesh’s largest private phone company, grew into a multi-faceted group of profitable and non-profit ventures over time. Between March 1997 and March 2007, GP’s Village Phone (Polli Phone) programme provided mobile phones to 260,000 rural impoverished people in over 50,000 communities.
The Grameen microfinance model’s success sparked similar attempts in more than 100 poor nations, as well as industrialized ones such as the United States. Many microcredit programs follow Grameen’s lead in emphasizing women’s financing. Women, who suffer disproportionately from poverty and are more inclined than males to commit their incomes to their families, have received almost 94 percent of Grameen loans.
Muhammad Yunus was appointed an Ashoka: Innovators for the Public Global Academy Member in 2001 for his work with Grameen. According to Rashidul Bari, the author of Grameen Social Business Model, “Grameen’s social business model (GSBM) has gone from being a theory to an inspiring practice adopted by leading universities (e.g., Glasgow), entrepreneurs (e.g., Franck Riboud), and corporations (e.g., Danone) around the world.”According to Rashidul Bari, Yunus illustrated how the Grameen Social Business Model can harness the entrepreneurial spirit to empower impoverished women and relieve poverty through Grameen Bank. One conclusion Bari drew from Yunus’ ideas is that the poor are like a “bonsai tree,” capable of great things if they have access to the social enterprise that has the capacity to enable them to become self-sufficient.
Professor Muhammad Yunus and Grameen Bank were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 for their efforts to promote economic and social development. Muhammad Yunus has demonstrated himself to be a leader who has been able to transform visions into real action for the benefit of millions of people, not just in Bangladesh but also in many other countries, according to the Norwegian Nobel Committee.
Loans to impoverished individuals with no financial stability seemed like an impossibility at the time. Yunus has transformed micro-credit into an even more essential tool in the fight against poverty, first and primarily through Grameen Bank, which he founded three decades ago.
Muhammad Yunus is the first Bangladeshi to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Yunus announced that he would use part of his $1.4 million (equivalent to $1.8 million in 2020) award money to start a company that would make low-cost, high-nutrition food for the poor, while the rest would go toward establishing the Yunus Science and Technology University in his home district and establishing an eye hospital for the poor in Bangladesh after receiving the news of the important award.
Only seven people have received the Nobel Peace Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the Congressional Gold Medal. The Ramon Magsaysay Award, the World Food Prize, the International Simon Bolivar Prize (1996), the Prince of Asturias Award for Concord, and the Sydney Peace Prize in 1998, and the Seoul Peace Prize in 2006 are among the other important honors.
Yunus has also received 50 honorary doctorates from universities in 20 countries, as well as 113 international prizes from 26 nations, including state honors from ten of them. To commemorate his Nobel Prize, the Bangladesh government issued a commemorative stamp.
In March 2012, Fortune Magazine selected Yunus as one of the 12 greatest entrepreneurs of our time. “Yunus’ vision encouraged huge thousands of young people to commit themselves to social causes all around the world,” Fortune Magazine wrote in its citation.
Houston, Texas announced 14 January 2008 to be “Muhammad Yunus Day.” The FP 100 (the world’s most influential elite) ranked Yunus among the most sought intellectuals the world should listen to in the December 2009 issue of Foreign Policy magazine.
Muhammad Yunus was ranked 40th on the list of “The World’s 50 Most Influential Figures 2010” published by the British magazine New Statesman in 2010.
He was awarded honorary doctorates from universities in Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Canada, Costa Rica, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Lebanon, Malaysia, Peru, Russia, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Ban Ki-Moon, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, invited Yunus to serve as an MDG Advocate. Yunus is a member of the United Nations Foundation, the Schwab Foundation, the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, and the Grameen Credit Agricole Microcredit Foundation’s Board of Directors. Since the foundation was founded in 2008 by former French President Jacques Chirac to promote international peace, he has been a member of the honor committee of Fondation Chirac.
Yunus has become a globally recognized person. He has appeared on popular television shows such as The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Oprah Winfrey Show in 2006, The Colbert Report in 2008, Real Time with Bill Maher in 2009, and The Simpsons in 2010. He has delivered numerous lectures around the world and has appeared on popular television shows such as The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Oprah Winfrey Show in 2006. Yunus has almost two million Google+ followers, making him one of the most popular persons on the platform.
Muhammad Yunus met Vera Forostenko, a Russian literature student at Vanderbilt University and the daughter of Russian immigrants to Trenton, New Jersey, in 1967 while he was a student there. In 1970, they tied the knot. Yunus’ marriage to Vera ended just months after Monica Yunus was born in Chittagong in 1979, with Vera returning to New Jersey, stating that Bangladesh was not a proper environment to raise a child.
Monica went to New York City to pursue a career as an operatic singer. Yunus later married AfroziYunus, a physics researcher at Manchester University at the time. She went on to become a physics professor at Jahangirnagar University. Deena AfrozYunus, their daughter, was born in 1986.
Muhammad Ibrahim, Yunus’s brother, is a former physics professor at the University of Dhaka and the founder of The Center for Mass Education in Science (CMES), which teaches science to teenage females in communities. His other brother, Muhammad Jahangir (d. 2019), was a Bangladeshi television host and social activist.
The Yunus Centre, based in Dhaka, Bangladesh, is a think tank that focuses on social business concerns and works to alleviate poverty and ensure long-term sustainability. It is now chaired by Prof. Muhammad Yunus and is geared largely at promoting and propagating Professor Yunus’ philosophy, with a specific focus on social business.
◉ 1974: Yunus, Muhammad Three Farmers of Jobra. Department of Economics, Chittagong University.
◉ 1976: Planning in Bangladesh: Format, Technique, and Priority, and Other Essays; Rural Studies Project, Department of Economics. Chittagong University.
◉ 1991: Isalama, SaiyadaManajurula; Rahman, Arifa. Jorimon and Others: Faces of Poverty. Grameen Bank.
◉ 1994: Grameen Bank, as I See it. Grameen Bank.
◉ 1999: Banker to the Poor: Micro-Lending and the Battle Against World Poverty. New York: PublicAffairs. ISBN 978-1-58648-198-8.
◉ 2007: Creating a World without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism. New York: PublicAffairs. ISBN 978-1-58648-493-4.
◉ 2010: Building Social Business: The New Kind of Capitalism that Serves Humanity’s Most Pressing Needs. New York: Public Affairs. ISBN 978-1-58648-824-6.
◉ 2010: Yunus, Muhammad, Moingeon, Bertrand and Laurence Lehmann-Ortega “Building Social Business Models: Lessons from the Grameen Experience”, April–June, vol 43, number 2–3, Long Range Planning, pp. 308–325
◉ 2017: A World of Three Zeroes: the new economics of zero poverty, zero unemployment, and zero carbon emissions. Scribe Publications.
◉ 2000 : “16 Decisions”
◉ 2010 : To Catch a Dollar
◉ 2011 : Bonsai People – The Vision of Muhammad Yunus
Legacy and honours:
◉ In 1998, Yunus was awarded Indira Gandhi Peace Prize as the founder of Grameen Bank
◉ In 2006, awarded Nobel Peace Prize for his finance work.
◉ Chosen by Wharton School of Business in Philadelphia as one of The 25 Most Influential Business Persons of the Past 25 Years, covered in a PBS documentary.
◉ In 2006, Time magazine ranked him as one of the top 12 business leaders, including him among “60 years of Asian Heroes.”
◉ In 2008, Yunus was voted 2nd on the list of Top 100 Public Intellectuals in an open online poll conducted by Prospect Magazine (UK) and Foreign Policy (United States).
◉ In 2009, Yunus was awarded the Golden Biatec Award, the highest award bestowed by Slovakia’s Informal Economic Forum Economic Club, for individuals who exhibit economic, social, scientific, educational and cultural accomplishments in the Slovak Republic.
◉ In 2021, Yunus was awarded the Olympic Laurel, for his extensive work in sports for development.
◉ In 2021, Yunus was awarded United Nations Foundation’s Champion of Global Change Award. He was given the award in recognition of his enlightened leadership and innovation to enhance human dignity, equity, and justice
Professor Muhammad Yunusis a “Global Greats” who will be remembered forever to the nation as well as to the whole world
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এই ওয়েবসাইটের সমস্ত বিষয়বস্তু সরল বিশ্বাসে এবং শুধুমাত্র সাধারণ তথ্যের উদ্দেশ্যে প্রদান করা হয়েছে। একটি জীবনী তথ্যের সম্পূর্ণতা, নির্ভরযোগ্যতা বা সঠিকতা সম্পর্কে কোন গ্যারান্টি দেয় না। এই ওয়েবসাইটের উপাদানের ফলস্বরূপ আপনি যে কোনও পদক্ষেপ গ্রহণ করেন তা সম্পূর্ণরূপে আপনার নিজের ঝুঁকিতে। একটি জীবনী আমাদের ওয়েবসাইট ব্যবহার করার ফলে কোনো ক্ষতি বা ক্ষতির জন্য দায়ী নয়।