Banker To The Poor: Micro-Lending and the Battle Against World Poverty

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Muhammad Yunus is that rare thing: a bona fide visionary. His dream is the total eradication of poverty from the world. In 1983, against the advice of banking and government officials, Yunus established Grameen, a bank devoted to providing the poorest of Bangladesh with minuscule loans. Grameen Bank, based on the belief that credit is a basic human right, not the privilege of a fortunate few, now provides over 2.5 billion dollars of micro-loans to more than two million families in rural Bangladesh. Ninety-four percent of Yunus's clients are women, and repayment rates are near 100 percent. Around the world, micro-lending programs inspired by Grameen are blossoming, with more than three hundred programs established in the United States alone.

Banker to the Poor is Muhammad Yunus's memoir of how he decided to change his life in order to help the world's poor. In it he traces the intellectual and spiritual journey that led him to fundamentally rethink the economic relationship between rich and poor, and the challenges he and his colleagues faced in founding Grameen. He also provides wise, hopeful guidance for anyone who would like to join him in "putting homelessness and destitution in a museum so that one day our children will visit it and ask how we could have allowed such a terrible thing to go on for so long." The definitive history of micro-credit direct from the man that conceived of it, Banker to the Poor is necessary and inspirational reading for anyone interested in economics, public policy, philanthropy, social history, and business.

Muhammad Yunus was born in Bangladesh and earned his Ph.D. in economics in the United States at Vanderbilt University, where he was deeply influenced by the civil rights movement. He still lives in Bangladesh, and travels widely around the world on behalf of Grameen Bank and the concept of micro-credit.
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About the author

Muhammad Yunus was born in 1940 in Chittagong, a seaport in Bangladesh. The third of fourteen children, five of whom died in infancy, he was educated at Dhaka University and was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to study economics at Vanderbilt University. In 1972 he became the head of the economics department at Chittagong University. He is the founder and managing director of the Grameen Bank.
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Additional Information

Publisher
PublicAffairs
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Published on
Mar 31, 2007
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Pages
312
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ISBN
9781586485467
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Business
Business & Economics / Development / Economic Development
Social Science / Developing & Emerging Countries
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Zéro pauvreté, Zéro chômage, Zéro émission carbone
Muhammad Yunus, l’économiste du Bangladesh qui a inventé le microcrédit et reçu le prix Nobel de la paix est l’un des plus sévères critiques du monde économique contemporain.
Dans son nouveau livre, il affirme qu’il est temps de reconnaître que le moteur du capitalisme, ne fonctionne plus. Il accroît les inégalités, le chômage ainsi que la destruction de l’environnement.
Pour sauver l’humanité et la planète, nous avons besoin d’un nouveau système fondé sur l’altruisme et la générosité comme forces de construction aussi puissantes que l’intérêt personnel.
Ne s’agit-il que d’un rêve ? Pas du tout. Dans la décennie qui a suivie les premières réflexions de Yunus sur un autre capitalisme, des milliers d’entreprises, des entrepreneurs individuels ont suivi ses nouvelles idées. De l’Albanie à la Colombie, de l’Inde à l’Allemagne, de la France à la Malaisie, de Haïti au Cambodge, des entreprises ont été créées avec la perspective de réduire la pauvreté, d’améliorer les soins médicaux et l’éducation, de lutter contre la pollution et de participer au progrès par des innovations pleine d’ingéniosité.
Dans Vers une économie à trois zéros, Yunus dresse le portrait de cette nouvelle civilisation qui émerge à partir des multiples expériences inspirées de son travail. Un défi pour les jeunes entrepreneurs, les chefs d’entreprises, les hommes politiques et pour l’ensemble des citoyens qui se battent pour un monde débarrassé des trois effets pervers d’un capitalisme hors contrôle : la pauvreté, le chômage, les émissions de carbone.

Traduit de l’anglais Olivier Lebleu
Un an après avoir reçu le prix Nobel de la paix, Muhammad Yunus présente sa vision d’un nouveau modèle économique associant le libre fonctionnement du marché à la recherche d’un monde plus humain. La domination sans partage exercée par le libéralisme économique depuis deux décennies a certes autorisé un accroissement significatif du bien-être d’une large partie de la population mondiale. Mais la recherche exclusive du profit placée à sa racine ne lui permet pas d’apporter de solution au creusement des inégalités et à la persistance de la pauvreté.
S’appuyant sur le succès de la « révolution du microcrédit » qu’il initia au Bangladesh voilà trente ans en créant la Grameen Bank, le
« banquier des pauvres » propose de créer des entreprises d’un type nouveau. Financées par des investisseurs qui renonceraient explicitement à toutes formes de profits, ces « entreprises à vocation sociale » fourniraient aux populations des biens et des services à des prix inférieurs à ceux pratiqués par les entreprises mues par la recherche de bénéfices. En agissant de la sorte, elles contribueraient à faire reculer la pauvreté. Au fil des nombreux exemples d’entreprises à vocation sociale qu’il évoque – en particulier son association avec Danone – Muhammad Yunus montre que ce nouveau modèle économique peut être appliqué dans le monde entier. En poursuivant l’œuvre entamée au moyen de la diffusion du microcrédit, l’auteur espère continuer à placer les talents qui sommeillent en chaque individu au service d’un objectif : l’éradication de la pauvreté.

Traduit de l'anglais (Etats-Unis) par Béatrice Merle d'Aubigné et Annick Steta
A winner of the Nobel Peace Prize and bestselling author of Banker to the Poor offers his vision of an emerging new economic system that can save humankind and the planet
Muhammad Yunus, who created microcredit, invented social business, and earned a Nobel Peace Prize for his work in alleviating poverty, is one of today's most trenchant social critics. Now he declares it's time to admit that the capitalist engine is broken--that in its current form it inevitably leads to rampant inequality, massive unemployment, and environmental destruction. We need a new economic system that unleashes altruism as a creative force just as powerful as self-interest.
Is this a pipe dream? Not at all. In the last decade, thousands of people and organizations have already embraced Yunus's vision of a new form of capitalism, launching innovative social businesses designed to serve human needs rather than accumulate wealth. They are bringing solar energy to millions of homes in Bangladesh; turning thousands of unemployed young people into entrepreneurs through equity investments; financing female-owned businesses in cities across the United States; bringing mobility, shelter, and other services to the rural poor in France; and creating a global support network to help young entrepreneurs launch their start-ups.
In A World of Three Zeros, Yunus describes the new civilization emerging from the economic experiments his work has helped to inspire. He explains how global companies like McCain, Renault, Essilor, and Danone got involved with this new economic model through their own social action groups, describes the ingenious new financial tools now funding social businesses, and sketches the legal and regulatory changes needed to jumpstart the next wave of socially driven innovations. And he invites young people, business and political leaders, and ordinary citizens to join the movement and help create the better world we all dream of.
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