Thursday, June 12, 2008

Poverty Free World?

Is it possible for the world to be without poverty? Can people be empowered to rise above financial constraints? One man believes it is surely possible, and his name is Muhammad Yunus. I watched an interview with him on the Canadian show, The Hour, last night. It was compelling.

It is the vision of Muhammad Yunus to totally eradicate poverty from the world. He started the Grameen Bank Project in 1976 with a mere $27 from his own pocket. Owned by the poor borrowers of the project became an actual bank in 1983 under a new law created especially for its creation in Bangladesh. Now the Grameen Bank serves more than 7 million families in over 81,000 villages.

Muhammad Yunus recently won the Nobel Peace Prize for his unique concept of micro credit. Micro credit has been used in Bangladesh, India to dramatically change the lives of many families. The concept is to empower families with small loans to get out of debt and become entrepreneurs. Women make up 97% of the loan holders through Grameen Bank.

The difference is changing our thinking from consumer business to social business. Consumer business benefits the company and it's share holders. Social business benefits the community at large. The commitment of a social business entrepreneur is to make a difference in the world as opposed to the consumer business entrepreneur whose sole purpose is to maximize profits. Which kind of entrepreneur would you like to be?

For further study read, Creating a World Without Poverty byMuhammad Yunus.

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