Best Muhammad Yunus Quotes I Wish I Had Read

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Muhammad Yunus Quotes

I am in favor of strengthening the freedom of the market. At the same time, I am very unhappy about the conceptual restrictions imposed on the players in the market. This originates from the assumption that entrepreneurs are one- dimensional human beings, who are dedicated to one mission in their business lives − to maximize profit. This interpretation of capitalism insulates the entrepreneurs from all political, emotional, social, spiritual, environmental dimensions of their lives. This was done perhaps as a reasonable simplification, but it stripped away the very essentials of human life.

Human beings are a wonderful creation embodied with limitless human qualities and capabilities. Our theoretical constructs should make room for the blossoming of those qualities, not assume them away.

“Muhammad Yunus – Nobel Lecture”. Nobelprize.org. 20 Nov 2012

 

The first thing I did was to try to persuade the bank located in the campus to lend money to the poor. But that did not work. The bank said that the poor were not creditworthy. After all my efforts, over several months, failed I offered to become a guarantor for the loans to the poor. I was stunned by the result. The poor paid back their loans, on time, every time! But still I kept confronting difficulties in expanding the program through the existing banks. That was when I decided to create a separate bank for the poor, and in 1983, I finally succeeded in doing that. I named it Grameen Bank or Village bank.

 

Today, Grameen Bank gives loans to nearly 7.0 million poor people, 97 per cent of whom are women, in 73,000 villages in Bangladesh. Grameen Bank gives collateral-free income generating, housing, student and micro-enterprise loans to the poor families and offers a host of attractive savings, pension funds and insurance products for its members. Since it introduced them in 1984, housing loans have been used to construct 640,000 houses. The legal ownership of these houses belongs to the women themselves. We focused on women because we found giving loans to women always brought more benefits to the family.

“Muhammad Yunus – Nobel Lecture”. Nobelprize.org. 20 Nov 2012

 

I became involved in the poverty issue not as a policymaker or a researcher. I became involved because poverty was all around me, and I could not turn away from it. In 1974, I found it difficult to teach elegant theories of economics in the university classroom, in the backdrop of a terrible famine in Bangladesh. Suddenly, I felt the emptiness of those theories in the face of crushing hunger and poverty. I wanted to do something immediate to help people around me, even if it was just one human being, to get through another day with a little more ease. That brought me face to face with poor people’s struggle to find the tiniest amounts of money to support their efforts to eke out a living

“Muhammad Yunus – Nobel Lecture”. Nobelprize.org. 20 Nov 2012

 

Poverty is the absence of all human rights. The frustrations, hostility and anger generated by abject poverty cannot sustain peace in any society. For building stable peace we must find ways to provide opportunities for people to live decent lives.

“Muhammad Yunus – Nobel Lecture”. Nobelprize.org. 20 Nov 2012

 

Peace should be understood in a human way − in a broad social, political and economic way. Peace is threatened by unjust economic, social and political order, absence of democracy, environmental degradation and absence of human rights.

“Muhammad Yunus – Nobel Lecture”. Nobelprize.org. 20 Nov 2012

 

I believe terrorism cannot be won over by military action. Terrorism must be condemned in the strongest language. We must stand solidly against it, and find all the means to end it. We must address the root causes of terrorism to end it for all time to come. I believe that putting resources into improving the lives of the poor people is a better strategy than spending it on guns.

“Muhammad Yunus – Nobel Lecture”. Nobelprize.org. 20 Nov 2012

 

Poverty is a threat to peace. The world’s income distribution gives a very telling story. Ninety four percent of the world income goes to 40 percent of the population while sixty percent of people live on only 6 per cent of world income. Half of the world population lives on two dollars a day. Over one billion people live on less than a dollar a day. This is no formula for peace.

“Muhammad Yunus – Nobel Lecture”. Nobelprize.org. 20 Nov 2012

 

The one message that we are trying to promote all the time, that poverty in the world is an artificial creation. It doesn’t belong to human civilization, and we can change that, we can make people come out of poverty and have the real state of affairs. So the only thing we have to do is to redesign our institutions and policies, and there will be no people who will be suffering from poverty.

“Muhammad Yunus – Interview”. Nobelprize.org. 15 Nov 2012

 

The more money we lent to poor women, the more I realized that credit given to a woman brings about change faster than when given to a man.

Banker to the Poor: Micro-Lending and the Battle Against World Poverty by Muhammad Yunus

 

When we want to help the poor, we usually offer them charity. Most often we use charity to avoid recognizing the problem and finding a solution for it. Charity becomes a way to shrug off our responsibility. But charity is no solution to poverty. Charity only perpetuates poverty by taking the initiative away from the poor. Charity allows us to go ahead with our own lives without worrying about the lives of the poor. Charity appeases our consciences.

Banker to the Poor: Micro-Lending and the Battle Against World Poverty by Muhammad Yunus

 

To my great surprise, the repayment of loans by people who borrow without collateral has proven to be much better than those whose borrowings are secured by assets. Indeed, more than 98 percent of our loans are repaid. The poor know that this credit is their only opportunity to break out of poverty. They do not have any cushion whatsoever to fall back on. If they fall afoul of this one loan, they will have lost their one and only chance to get out of the rut.

Banker to the Poor: Micro-Lending and the Battle Against World Poverty by Muhammad Yunus

 

When a destitute mother starts earning an income, her dreams of success invariably center around her children. A woman’s second priority is the household. She wants to buy utensils, build a stronger roof, or find a bed for herself and her family. A man has an entirely different set of priorities. When a destitute father earns extra income, he focuses more attention on himself. Thus money entering a household through a woman brings more benefits to the family as a whole.

Banker to the Poor: Micro-Lending and the Battle Against World Poverty by Muhammad Yunus

 

In a social business an investor aims to help others without making any financial gain himself. The social business is a business because it must be self- sustaining—that is, it generates enough income to cover its own costs. Part of the economic surplus the social business creates is invested in expanding the business, and a part is kept in reserve to cover uncertainties. Thus, the social business might be described as a “non-loss, non-dividend company,” dedicated entirely to achieving a social goal.

Building Social Business: The New Kind of Capitalism That Serves Humanity’s Most Pressing Needs by Muhammad Yunus

 

Immerse yourself in the culture of the people you intend to serve.

Building Social Business: The New Kind of Capitalism That Serves Humanity’s Most Pressing Needs by Muhammad Yunus

 

We must replace the one-dimensional person in economic theory with a multidimensional person—a person who has both selfish and selfless interests at the same time.

Building Social Business: The New Kind of Capitalism That Serves Humanity’s Most Pressing Needs by Muhammad Yunus

 

Mainstream free-market theory suffers from a “conceptualization failure,” a failure to capture the essence of what it is to be human.

Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism by Muhammad Yunus

 

I believe in free markets as sources of inspiration and freedom for all, not as architects of decadence for a small elite.

Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism by Muhammad Yunus

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