PROFESSOR MUHAMMAD YUNUS
Professor Muhammad Yunus is the founder and Managing Director of Grameen Bank which currently operates 2,564 branches providing credit to 8.29 million poor people residing in 81,367 villages in Bangladesh. He originated the concept of Grameen Bank, i.e. banking without collateral for the poorest of the poor.
Professor Yunus studied economics in the Vanderbilt University, USA and received his Ph.D. in Economics in 1970. He taught economics in the Middle Tennessee University from 1969 to 1972. Returning to Bangladesh in 1972, he joined the University of Chittagong as Head of the Economics Department. He started the Grameen Bank Project in 1976. It was transformed into a formal bank in 1983. The Grameen Bank offers small loans for self employment for the rural poor, especially poor women.
Following are among the many international awards Prof. Yunus has received : Ramon Magsaysay Award (1984) from Philippines; Aga Khan Award for Architecture (1989) from Switzerland; Mohamed Shabdeen Award for Science, Socio Economic (1993) from Sri Lanka; World Food Prize (1994) from U.S.A.; Simon Bolivar Prize (1996) from Venezuela; Man for Peace Award (1997) from Italy, Prince of Austurias Award for Concord (1998) from Spain; Ozaki(Gakudo) Award (1998) from Japan; Indira Gandhi Award (1998) from India; Sydney Peace Prize (1998) from Australia, Rotary Award for World Understanding (1999) from U.S.A., Golden Pegasus Award (1999) from Italy, Roma Award for Peace and Humanitarian Action (1999) from Italy, King Hussein Humanitarian Leadership Award (2000) from Jordan, International Cooperation Prize Caja de Granada (2001) from Spain, “NAVARRA” International Aid Award (2001) from Spain , Grand Prize of the Fukuoka Asian Culture Prize (2001) from Japan, Mahatma Gandhi Award (2002) from U.S.A., Volvo Environment Prize (2003) from Sweden, Citta di Orvieto Award (2004) from Italy, Nikkei Asia Prize (2004) from Japan, The Economist Award for Social and Economic Innovation (2004) from U.S.A., Golden Cross of the Civil Order of the Social Solidarity (2005) from Spain, Freedom Award (2005) from U.S.A., Prize Il Ponte (2005) from Italy, Foundation of Justice (2005) award from Valencia, Spain, Neustadt Award (2006) from U.S.A, Global Citizen of the Year Award (2006) from U.S.A., Franklin D. Roosevelt Freedom Award (2006) from Netherlands, ITU World Information Society Award (2006) from Switzerland, Seoul Peace Prize (2006) from Korea, Convivencia (Good Fellowship) of Ceuta Award (2006) from Spain, Nobel Peace Prize (2006) from Norway, Disaster Mitigation Award (2006) from India, SHERA BANGALEE Award (2006) from Kolkata, India, Global Trailblazer Award (2007) from USA, ABICC Award For Leadership in Global Trade (2007) from U.S.A., Social Entrepreneur Award (2007) from U.S.A., Global Entrepreneurship Leader Award (2007) from U.S.A., Red Cross Gold Medal (2007) from Spain, Rabindra Nath Tagore Birth Centenary Plaque (2007) from Kolkata, India, EFR-Business Week Award (2007) from Netherlands, Nichols-Chancellor’s Medal (2007) from U.S.A., Vision Award (2007) from Germany, BAFI Global Achievement Award (2007) from U.S.A.
Within Bangladesh, he received the President's Award (1978); Central Bank Award (1985); and Independence Day Award (1987), the highest national award. He was the first chair of the Policy Advisory Group of CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poorest). He has been appointed as an International Goodwill Ambassador for UNAIDS by the United Nations. He has been inducted as a member of the Legion d'Honneur by President Chirac of France.
Professor Yunus has received honorary doctorate degrees from the following universities : University of East Anglia, U.K. (1992), Oberlin College, U.S.A. (1993), University of Toronto, Canada (1995), Haverford College, U.S.A. (1996), Warwick University, U.K.(1996), Saint Xaviers' University, U.S.A. (1997), University of the South, U.S.A. (1998), Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium (1998), Yale University, U.S.A. (1998). Brigham Young University, U.S.A. (1998), University of Sydney, Australia (1998), Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia (2000), University of Turin, Italy (2000), Colgate University, Hamilton, U.S.A. (2002), University Catholique of Louvain, Belgium (2003), Universitad Nacional De Cuyo, Argentina (2003), University of Natal, South Africa (2003), Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswayvidyalaya, India (2004), Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand (2004), University of Florence, Italy (2004), University of Bologna, Italy (2004), University of Complutense, Spain (2004), University of Venda, South Africa (2006), American University of Beirut, Lebanon (2006), University of Alicante, Spain (2006), University of Valencia, Spain (2006), University of Jaume I, Spain (2006).
Professor Yunus serves in the boards of many national and international organisations.
Besides Grameen Bank he has created a number of companies in Bangladesh to address diverse issues of poverty and development. Among the companies are :
Grameen Phone (a mobile telephone company), Grameen Cybernet (Internet Service Provider), Grameen Communications (Rural Internet Service Provider), Grameen Software company, Grameen Information Technology Park, Grameen Fund (Social Venture Capital Company), Grameen Capital Management company, Grameen Textile company, Grameen Knitwear company, Grameen Renewable Energy company, Grameen Health company, Grameen Education company, Grameen Agriculture company, Grameen Fisheries and Livestock company, Grameen Business Promotion company etc.