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

4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  5,554 ratings  ·  693 reviews
In 1983 Muhammad Yunus established Grameen, a bank devoted to providing the poorest of Bangladesh with miniscule loans. He aimed to help the poor by supporting the spark of personal initiative and enterprise by which they could lift themselves out of poverty forever.
Audio CD, 200 pages
Published January 1st 2007 by Blackstone Audiobooks (first published 1991)
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Muhammad Yunus and I are best friends. (Oops, I had to double check, and I'd spelled "Muhammad" wrong. Sorry, buddy!)

Anyways, me and Mr. Yunus are best friends because once he spoke at the library in Salt Lake City, and when I heard about it I drove down and sat shyly on the back row of the auditorium and clapped really hard for him. Then after it was all over, I saw him just kind of hanging out all alone on the stage, and thought, "Maybe I could go and meet him and we could be best friends!" So
This book provides an informative overview of Grameen Bank and micro-lending, but I think that its argument in favor of micro-lending would be stronger if Yunus spent more time addressing the arguments of critics. Although some criticisms are mentioned briefly, Yunus brushes them off quickly. As one example, I think that Yunus far too quickly rejects the arguments that poor people living in the developed world would not benefit from micro-lending in the same ways as the poor of Bangladesh. I thi ...more
Riku Sayuj
Highly recommended. A true must-read book.
Azwa Ahmad
I read a 20+ pages report written by a group of MBA students from Columbia Business School and it was as concise, succinctly put as this 200+ pages book on Grameen Bank/microcredit.

The importance of open access to resources is indispensable. Hence, I agree with Muhammad Yunus that the current financial system has inevitably, and is successful in sidelining the neediest, which eventually gives birth to the need to establish alternative institutions that work on social benefits as the underlying
Baru mulai beberapa hari lalu bacanya dan langsung suka. Ekonomi yang terkenal sebagai "fisikanya ilmu sosial" ditangan Yunus berubah menjadi antropologi ekonomi. Ilmu yang sarat identik dengan asumsi nomethetik sebagai kacamata paradigmatiknya, di tangan Yunus dikemas menjadi sangat ideografis, sarat dengan muatan lokal melalui pendekatan kasuistik dan misi perubahan sosial.

Yah, Pak Yunus dengan sangat rendah hati telah mengubah dirinya dan lingkungan akademisnya untuk mau menjadi mahasiswa di
Miss GP
This book has much in common with Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a Time. In it, Mohammad Yunus seeks to alleviate poverty one person at a time, with micro-loans. It's a fascinating look at how the system works, and the enterprise's founding and history were equally absorbing. Like Three Cups of Tea, however, the writing is just so-so. Yunus comes across as a bit self-righteous and a bit pedantic, and the writing at times is repetitive. Overall it's an i ...more
Donovan Richards
How to Eliminate Poverty

This weekend I attended the Bottom Billions | Bottom Line Conference hosted by Seattle Pacific University’s Center for Integrity in Business. The event served as a convergence zone between business, nonprofit organizations, and the academy seeking to better understand ways that business can help alleviate world poverty.

Of the many interesting subjects discussed at the conference, the topic of microfinance seemed to continuously echo through my head. For those unfamiliar w
Noah Enelow
Jun 10, 2007 Noah Enelow rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone

Just an amazing story, how an economics professor from Bangladesh, trained in the U.S., goes back to his country to do "nation-building" and finds enormous untapped potential among the poor. Harnesses a stripped-down, modified version of traditional banking to start a bank that eventually gains a client base of over 2 million people. That's nuts! How do you start anything that big? One person at a time, apparently - that's how he did it. At a certain point the book stops being a life story and s
Jul 08, 2008 Tyler rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: businessmen, economists, policymakers, hopeful idealists, and cynics
Recommended to Tyler by: Stumbled upon it at bookstore and bought it immediately
I LOVED THIS BOOK -- six stars. It tells the story of Grameen and microcredit from the beginning until now.

Forget theories, classrooms, and endless postulating. Acting on a desire to help others will go so much further than all of aggrandized theories and reticent intentions.

Muhammad Yunus changed the world with a simple idea spurned from his moral sense.

Simple goodwill is undervalued.
I picked this up because I was interested in learning a little more about Grameen bank, which as I understand it is pretty much the granddaddy of micro-credit organizations. I very much enjoyed the book. It's divided into about four parts: a quick autobiography of Yunus, a quick history of how Grameen got started and its principles, some criticism of some current (actually now somewhat dated) movements in global development, and a summary of Yunus's vision of social entrepreneurship.

I always fin
Lisa Faye
I live and work in Bangladesh and I've met Grameen borrowers who are so incredibly oppressed and stressed out by the repayment of their loans and women who have been forced to get loans and then hand them over to family members, but I've never yet met a woman who told me that a Grameen loan changed her life for the better.

Professor Yunus is a capitalist and thinks that the capitalist economy is a positive thing, even for the poor. He believes in competition rather than cooperation. He believes
Kathleen Hagen
Banker to the Poor: micro lending and the battle against poverty, by Muhammad Yunus, narrated by Ray Porter, produced by Blackstone Audio, downloaded from

Professor Yunus was an economics professor teaching at a university in what is now known as Bangladesh. In the late ‘70’s, he came to the conclusion that his students needed more hands-on experience in the economics of being poor. He discovered that the very poorest people, mostly women, could never get beyond being poor because no
Asri Wijayanti
A must-read for anyone working in development field. It is loaded with thought-provoking facts and motivation to work on something that will really be useful for what so-called grassroot communities. His explorations reveals important facts on who are "the poor", what they need, how they are at the face of conventional economics, and the breakthrough in cutting the circle of poverty.

His questions on how academic world can give real impacts to the community is the question that remains in many p
Jan 14, 2011 Mustafa rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: EVERYONE!
i wanna give this book 6/5!

Muhammad Yunus is certainly an outstanding thinker and leader. he has a clear view of what he wants to achieve and is a real revolutionary in the way he works to help his society and humans all over. he's highly passionate when it comes to the poor, and he really shows us how we can do a lot of good though social activity rather than going into politics.

the book starts with the an account of his typical childhood and his memories of those days. he finishes school, gets
Crystal Ye
I can now understand why this micro-lending system can only be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize not the Economics. The whole system is based on trust and understandings of the poor in Bangladesh. Actually it's still a surprise for me the repayment rate is as high as 95% even in the forming stage of the bank. Sometimes when i read about the situations of the women in the country who cannot relieve from the dead circle of poverty, I feel grateful that Prof. Yunus has had the gut to break the traditio ...more
Jan 11, 2009 Michelle rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: economists and altruists
Recommended to Michelle by: a professor
Shelves: non-fiction
It was so refreshing to read such an intelligent account and learn about something I know very little about. Yunus stepped down from his ivory tower to eradicate poverty in Bangledesh using micro-loans and in short according to him it worked. He claims that credit is a human right. To me the best aspect of his model was that it was not a gift of money given to the poor, but a loan requiring repayment. The loan gave each person a chance to improve their own business and get out from oppressive mo ...more
Frank Sloth Aaskov
Initially I thought this would be another "development book", but I was quite surprised. Not only is Yunus very market-orientated, but insist on Grameen Bank being a fully commercial.

It was very inspiring to read how easily to give the poorest of the poor a chance by merely giving them monetary credit, and to hear Yunus tell how they found dignity and self-reliance when given an opportunity. The poor do not need training or aid, they only need credit from a bank so they can pool themselves out
I was only vaguely informed about micro-credit programs before reading Yunus. HIs success in Bangledesh is remarkable. I do have some concerns that Grameen may have become too big and too successful. It's cell phone and "insurance" arms look an awful lot like capitalist corporations. On the other hand, if Grameen can encourage the blending of "greed-based" and "socially conscious" motivations, maybe there's hope.

I'm eager to discuss this with Merry, who loaned it.
Disillusioned with the top-down policies he was lecturing at Chittagong University, Yunus began to implement bottom-up economic policies in Jobra, the village closest to Campus in an attempt to combat the Bangladeshi famine of 1976.

He realised that lending a widow 22 cents could remove her and her children from a cycle of debt, poverty and hunger. The Grameen (Village) Bank, and similar establishments in over a hundred other countries now provide micro-credit to the poorest, those who have no la
Feb 24, 2008 Pera rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fasilitator
Sebuah kutipan menarik dituliskan M Yunus dalam pendahulun bukunya, Kaum miskin mengajarkan saya ilmu ekonomi yang sepenuhnya baru.

Buku ini kisah perjalanan dalam memerangi kemiskinan di negeri yang carut marut dan tantangan budaya yang sulit bagi pemberdayaan perempuan.

Penyampaiannya mirip seperti laporan tapi juga diary. Cukup baik untuk menjadi contoh bagi pelaku2 pemberdayaan masyarakat.
Anna Wilson
If any of you have been wondering why I won't shut up about microfinance, this book will explain it better than I ever could. Muhammad Yunus, recent winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, used his training in economics to provide innovative financial services to the poor. Now being replicated all over the world, his practice of microlending has enabled millions to rise out of poverty.
inspiring.a professor outside university. a struggle to work on poverty. a sense of gender out of a man from Moslem's background. a must read.

I wont say that his approach is the best way to help the poor, but one should learn how theory put into practice by Yunus. 30 years of struggling to work with bureaucracy and profit oriented institution. Thirty years! Imagine that.
Dec 28, 2007 Harfianto rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: pengambil kebijakan, aktivis
benar-benar buku yang menggugah, membalik kesadaran kita soal orang miskin dan penanganannya. Sekaligus juga mempertanyakan metoda pemberantasan kemiskinan selama ini. Yang menarik, Yunus yakin orang miskin tidak perlu diberi pelatihan. Merekalah kelompok masyarakat yang mampu bertahan ditengah-tengah kehidupan ini.
Lauren Edlund
Banker to the Poor is great introduction to mircofinance. However, the efficacy of the Grameen Bank and others like it has been called into question in recent years. Thus, the reader should not take Yunus' depiction as the whole truth, and instead use it as a starting point.
Incredibly inspiring and informative. I love the Sixteen Decisions. And I love how Yunus attempts to get to the real core of poverty and the poverty mentality and break the cycle.
Interesting read about the history of Grameen Bank and some other Grameen initiatives. Professor Yunus tells a compelling story about how Grameen came into being, making it at times personal, at times funny, at times critical, but always keeping an optimistic tone.

This book does not offer specific and in-depth explanations on the mechanisms of microcredit, nor does it provide a comprehensive analysis of its negative aspects. It is rather focused on its positive outcomes, and, more specifically,
Another hero of the modern century. Someone who believes in the most marginalised people, and doing all efforts to help them to believe in themselves.
Brian Kramp
This is a surprisingly good book about the birth of micro lending. Full of surprises and an amazing story of how much good micro lending does for the poor.
CJ Romberger
If Steve Harper recommends it, I'm reading it...although I'm concerned about his Made To Stick review. :)
Tattered Cover Book Store
An important book--how we can help individuals and groups to rise above poverty.

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Dr. Muhammad Yunus is a Bangladeshi banker and economist. He previously was a professor of economics and is famous for his successful application of microcredit--the extension of small loans given to entrepreneurs too poor to qualify for traditional bank loans. Dr. Yunus is also the founder of Grameen Bank. In 2006, Yunus and the bank were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize "for their efforts t ...more
More about Muhammad Yunus...
Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism Building Social Business: The New Kind of Capitalism That Serves Humanity's Most Pressing Needs Empresas para Todos: Hacia un nuevo modelo de capitalismo que atiende las necesidades más urgentes de la humanidad عالم بلا فقر :المشروع الإجتماعى ومستقبل الرأسمالية بنك الفقراء: القروض المتناهية الصغر والمعركة ضد الفقر في العالم

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“When we want to help the poor, we usually offer them charity. Most often we use charity to avoid recognizing the problem and finding the 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.” 102 likes
“If you go out into the real world, you cannot miss seeing that the poor are poor not because they are untrained or illiterate but because they cannot retain the returns of their labor. They have no control over capital, and it is the ability to control capital that gives people the power to rise out of poverty.” 52 likes
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