“You alone can change the world – don’t wait for anybody else. You alone can change the world. Not because you will actually be alone but because you will be such a power, like a magnet you will bring everybody to your ideas. Ideas are the power, demonstration is the power: then you make it happen,” says the inspirational Nobel Peace Prize winner Professor Muhammad Yunus on today’s 100th episode of Inside Ideas.
A Nobel Laureate for a landmark show, Professor Yunus was jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize with the Grameen Bank in 2006 for the impact they were making in creating ‘economic and social development from below’. The Professor, dubbed the banker to the poor, founded the bank in 1983 with the objective to provide poorer people with micro-credit: access to ‘small loans on easy terms’.
Change the world
Appointed professor of economics at the University of Chittagong in 1972, Yunus decided after the Bangladesh famine in 1974 he had to do more to help those in need than teach. And so he started to provide long-term loans to those trying to set up small enterprises. A scheme that was scaled up through the Grameen Bank.
For Yunus such financial flexibility was critical to tackling the poverty he saw robbing people of their ‘human value’. Micro-credit being the human right and idea powerful enough to lift people out of poverty. This and a few simple financial tips, Yunus demonstrated, was enough to enable people to manage and excel on their own.
Professor Yunus is the father of both social business and microcredit, and of more than 50 other companies in Bangladesh. For his constant innovation and enterprise, the Fortune Magazine named him in 2012 one of the greatest entrepreneurs of our time.
Professor Yunus has appeared on the cover of Time Magazine, Newsweek, Forbes Magazine, and today he is the face of Innovators Magazine Online. The recipient of 61 honorary degrees from universities across 24 countries, he has also received 136 awards from 33 countries including state honours from 10 countries. Professor Yunus 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.
What an honour for me to have him on this 100th show to step Inside the powerful Ideas that can transform our world.