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Nominee Profile

Name: Muhammad Yunus
Category: Muslim Businessman of the Year
Total Votes: 27

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List of the nominee's achievements:

Muhammad Yunus, founder of the Grameen Bank.

Against the advice of banks and government, Yunus carried on giving out 'micro-loans', and in 1983 formed the Grameen Bank, meaning 'village bank' founded on principles of trust and solidarity. In Bangladesh today, Grameen has 1,084 branches, with 12,500 staff serving 2.1 million borrowers in 37,000 villages. On any working day Grameen collects an average of $1.5 million in weekly installments. Of the borrowers, 94% are women and over 98% of the loans are paid back, a recovery rate higher than any other banking system. Grameen methods are applied in projects in 58 countries, including the US, Canada, France, The Netherlands and Norway.

The impact and influence the nominee had on the Muslim word:

Grameen Bank (GB) has reversed conventional banking practice by removing the need for collateral and created a banking system based on mutual trust, accountability, participation and creativity. GB provides credit to the poorest of the poor in rural Bangladesh, without any collateral. At GB, credit is a cost effective weapon to fight poverty and it serves as a catalyst in the over all development of socio-economic conditions of the poor who have been kept outside the banking orbit on the ground that they are poor and hence not bankable. Professor Muhammad Yunus, the founder of "Grameen Bank" and its Managing Director, reasoned that if financial resources can be made available to the poor people on terms and conditions that are appropriate and reasonable, "these millions of small people with their millions of small pursuits can add up to create the biggest development wonder." As of October, 2011, it has 8.349 million borrowers, 97 percent of whom are women. With 2,565 branches, GB provides services in 81,379 villages, covering more than 97 percent of the total villages in Bangladesh. Grameen Bank's positive impact on its poor and formerly poor borrowers has been documented in many independent studies carried out by external agencies including the World Bank, the International Food Research Policy Institute (IFPRI) and the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS).

The impact and influence the nominee had on the world and humanity:

Who are we?

Since October 2006, when Professor Yunus and Grameen Bank jointly received the Nobel Peace Prize, local and international interest in Professor Yunus' work has continuously increased. In order to address this ever-growing attention, an organization aimed primarily at promoting and disseminating Professor Yunus' philosophy, with a special focus on social business, was created in the form of the Yunus Secretariat. In July 2008, the Yunus Secretariat was renamed the Yunus Centre. The Yunus Centre has since been the one-stop resource centre for all Grameen social business related activities both globally and in Bangladesh. It keeps the spirit of the global social business move ment very high through various events, social media, publications, and websites. The Yunus Centre also helps forge lasting, productive relationships among all social business institutions around the world. The Centre is chaired by Professor Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, and its Executive Director is Ms. Lamiya Morshed.

What is Grameen social business?

Professor Yunus has long been promoting the creation of Grameen social businesses, which he believes will address the problems still left unsolved in the world and not addressed within the present capitalist system. In simple terms, a Grameen social business a non-loss, non-dividend company dedicated entirely to achieve a social goal. In social business, the investor gets his/her investment money back over time, but never receives dividend beyond that amount. The Grameen Bank is a prime example of social business, with poor people being its shareholders! The ultimate goal of the Yunus Centre is to create poverty museums, after bringing an end to poverty in each area --- in villages, cities, counties, provinces, and countries. The Centre strives to engage individuals and organizations in creating, promoting, and maintaining social business by spreading the concept through workshops, internships, projects etc.

What does the Yunus Centre do?

The Yunus Centre's activities include, but certainly are not limited to, the following:

Poverty-Free World Campaign

Professor Yunus has long said that poverty is an unnecessary imposed by society on people, and that creating a poverty-free world is a matter of will. Yunus Centre will coordinate the Poverty-Free World Campaign encompassing partners and networks around the world. Yunus Centre will be working to promote the UN Millennium Development Goals in Bangladesh and around the world, and the campaign for Bangladesh to be free of poverty by 2030.

International Communication and Networking

The Centre also aims to aggrandize Professor Yunus' existing international network of individuals and institutions that work in the field of poverty eradication. The development of social media (including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube) focusing on the work of Professor Yunus will enhance the exposure of his ideas on a global scale.

Social Business

The Yunus Centre acts as a resource centre for existing and potential social businesses by assisting each venture in adhering to social business principles and, by extension, achieving the targeted social goal.

Research & Publications

Disseminating Professor Yunus' ideas on poverty eradication by contributing articles and other media to renowned publications around the world is one of the Centre's primary activities.

Academic Programs

The Yunus Centre assists in the development of academic programs focusing on social business within academic institutions.


The Centre is currently working towards archiving the awards, honors, prizes, degrees and other distinctions that have been received by Professor Yunus, with the aim to create a museum showcasing the milestones of his career since the early 1970's. A digital library comprised of a unique collection of video and audio tapes of Professor Yunus' speeches and publications is also in the works.

How the nominee’s activities and achievement will continue to impact and influence in the future:

Muhammad Yunus is that rare thing: a bona fide visionary. His dream is the total eradication of poverty from the world. 'Grameen', he claims, 'is a message of hope, a programme for 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'. This work is a fundamental rethink on the economic relationship between the rich and the poor, their rights and their obligations. The World Bank recently acknowledged that 'this business approach to the alleviation of poverty has allowed millions of individuals to work their way out of poverty with dignity'.

Credit is the last hope left to those faced with absolute poverty. That is why Muhammad Yunus believes that the right to credit should be recognized as a fundamental human right. It is this struggle and the unique and extraordinary methods he invented to combat human despair that Muhammad Yunus recounts here with humility and conviction. It is also the view of a man familiar with both Eastern and Western cultures — on the failures and potential for good of industrial countries. It is an appeal for action: we must concentrate on promoting the will to survive and the courage to build in the first and most essential element of the economic cycle — Man.

List of any references that support the nomination, i.e books, magazaines, websites, ..etc

The Nobel Peace Prize 2006 was awarded jointly to Muhammad Yunus and Grameen Bank "for their efforts to create economic and social development from below"