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

4.07  ·  Rating Details  ·  6,952 Ratings  ·  760 Reviews
Winner of the 2006 Nobel Peace PrizeThis autobiography of the world-renowned, visionary economist who came up with a simple but revolutionary solution to end world poverty--micro-credit--has become the classic text for a growing movement
Kindle Edition
Published (first published 1991)
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Diwash Ghimire The book was published in 1999 for the first time.
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Abby
Apr 18, 2008 Abby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Lyn
Jul 27, 2015 Lyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After finishing this book, I wanted to shout, "Yeah! Preach it, brother!"

Really cool book. Yunus won the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize for his decades of work. He is an academic who roles up his sleeves and produces something practical. His book should be embraced by Christians, conservatives, liberals, libertarians, and Dave Ramsey.

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Riku Sayuj
Nov 12, 2011 Riku Sayuj rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Highly recommended. A true must-read book.
Christine
Aug 19, 2013 Christine rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult-and-ya
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
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
...more
nanto
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
...more
PDXReader
Mar 08, 2010 PDXReader rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Bunly
May 02, 2015 Bunly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dr. Yunus could prove it is possible to lift the poorest out of poverty. He could open eyes of bankers who stick with the idea that lending could happend only when collateral is secured. His experience ilustrates the private sector is not only for the greedy but also for social-minded individuals. I would recommend the book to anyone who wish for a poverty-free world.
Donovan Richards
Apr 12, 2011 Donovan Richards rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Noah Enelow
Jun 10, 2007 Noah Enelow rated it really liked it  ·  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
...more
Sunil
Feb 29, 2016 Sunil rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yunus would have made a great candidate for a Nobel in Economics. Unlike the theoretical university researchers who dominate the list today, Yunus’s defining traits are a supremely practical and field oriented. And like all pioneers his success comes from questioning the absolute fundamentals- why need collateral for credit? How can you be sure that the poor can’t pay? But he is also aware that the success of his experiments have been aided by his being ‘elite’. Only someone with his kind of con ...more
Ashish
Aug 02, 2016 Ashish rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mohammed Yunus is a revolutionary for championing the concept of micro-lending. Micro-lending means lending loans to extremely poor people so that they can use that credit to rise above the poverty line. As the term “micro” suggests, these loans are very small. But, the difference that small credit can make upon the lives of people is immense. Yunus started by handing out loans to the poorest because according to him, the term “poor” is vague and often overused. So, focusing on "poor" is not suf ...more
Tyler
Jul 08, 2008 Tyler rated it it was amazing  ·  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.
Vikas Garud
This is an autobiography of a great man Mohammed Yunus who is also a recipient of Nobel Peace Prize.
This is a story of a miraculous work done by Dr Yunus for the upliftment of downtrodden Bangladeshis through his exceptionally creative Grameen Bank which was a path breaking experiment.
The book also gives glimpses of the contemporary rural society of Bangladesh.
Mónica Delgado
May 22, 2015 Mónica Delgado rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
La escritura/traducción no son increíbles pero lo grandioso de este libro es la historia que cuenta. Me hizo recuperar mi espíritu juvenil de "quiero salvar el mundo". Sólo necesito poner manos a la obra antes de que ese espíritu se vuelva a oxidar en mí
Vishal Goel
Dec 21, 2015 Vishal Goel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: list-of-recs
Yunus is a God among men.
Ernest
Mar 29, 2016 Ernest rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is amazing what perseverance and singleness of purpose can do for mankind. It has been a long journey in trying to alleviate poverty of people all over the world. As the maxim states, a journey of a thousand steps always starts with one. The biggest take aways in the book include the fact that being poor does not mean not having the ability to turn financial fortunes around with a little encouragement and help.
Humans are innately resourceful, intelligent, adaptive and extremely resilient spec
...more
Shira
Feb 19, 2016 Shira rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
by the recent Nobel Prize winner Muhamad Yunus
founder of the Grameen Bank



On Pages 140 - 147, Dr. Yunus describes setting up the Tangail branch of Grameen bank, and how the terrorist situation made it very dangerous. In the end the presence of the bank directly contributed to the safety and lessening of terrorist activity in that province.



Elsewhere he mentions that job applicants in Bangladesh had to pay an application fee and another fee to have a job interview! Talk about participating in your
...more
Oliver Vugusu
Got a very different view of world poverty. Yunus has both an idealist and practical mastery on the subject.
From my bookmarks;
•Brilliant theorists of economics do not find it worthwhile to spend time discussing issues of poverty and hunger. they believe that these will be resolved when general economic prosperity increases
•The poorest of the poor work 12hrs a day. they need to sell and earn income to eat. they have every reason to pay you back, just to take another loan and live another day! tha
...more
Borna Safai
May 01, 2015 Borna Safai rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, non-fiction
If you think there is no good left in the world, you should read Banker to the Poor. Muhammad Yunus takes us through his experience, going from a university teacher to a worker at the grassroots level, lending money to the poorest of village people, to help them get started through offering microcredit loans.

It's a fascinating story, of how an initial $27 helped 42 people get their life back on track again, to break free from the vicious circle of poverty. The Grameen organization has now spread
...more
Elizabeth
Jan 23, 2015 Elizabeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is about the Grameen Bank and their effort to give micro-credit loans to the poorest of the poor. I heard about it during college, but really enjoyed learning its history and progress. The edition my library had was from 1999, so I will research online for updates in the last 15 years.

I love the idea of empowering people using the talents they already have to find income.

One note, Dr. Yunus is a very pompous man. BUT, if these programs are working as well as he says they are, then goo
...more
Jacob
This is a very interesting and unusual book about an economist dedicated to helping the poor. As in, trying some things to help the poor, watching the effects, and figuring out whether they really are reaching the poorest that he is trying to help. I found his discussion of real-life effects engaging and basic, i.e. you don't need to be an economics expert to understand what he is saying. For example, the author first tried helping a collective of farmers and sharecroppers with improved irrigati ...more
Gwenyth
Aug 27, 2009 Gwenyth rated it really liked it
Shelves: global-health
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
...more
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
...more
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 audible.com.

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
...more
Asri Wijayanti
May 31, 2011 Asri Wijayanti rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Mustafa
Jan 14, 2011 Mustafa rated it it was amazing  ·  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
...more
Grace
Oct 30, 2015 Grace rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Grace by: Social Enterprise: Solutions and Startups class
Shelves: for-class
After reading this book, I am surprised that I had never heard of Muhammad Yunus, Grameen Bank, or micro-credit (or if I had heard of them, it was fleeting and not remembered). Professor Yunus's accomplishments and drive are astounding and I admire and applaud him. One of my critiques of this book is that I felt it was a bit too lengthy and detailed for the subject matter. I personally did not care to know so many details and stories about the development of Grameen Bank. However, my opinion reg ...more
Linda
Mar 25, 2016 Linda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Linda by: Lamia
Shelves: memoir

Although originally written more than fifteen years ago, this book by Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus, has much to say to our current times. History, information, and creative ideas are put forth. Yunus is a man who didn't just talk the talk, he walked the walk, and the results improved the lives of the poor around the world, beginning in his country, Bangladesh. Here is his philosophy in a nutshell: "In Bangladesh, there is no reason why people should remain poor. Our problem is one of
...more
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
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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...

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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.” 116 likes
“People.. were poor not because they were stupid or lazy. They worked all day long, doing complex physical tasks. They were poor because the financial institution in the country did not help them widen their economic base.” 69 likes
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