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Uploaded on Mar 4, 2010
Why have free markets failed so many people? How could the power of free markets be harnessed to solve social problems of poverty, hunger, inequality and the like?
The solution, according to Professor Muhammad Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank, is recognizing the fact that human beings are inherently multi-dimensional in nature and may not solely be concerned with the pursuit of maximum profit. They may also be interested in a new type of business, called social business, dedicated to solving social and environmental problems.
The idea of social business did not arise in a vacuum. It grew out of Professor Yunuss life-long experience on the frontlines of the battle against poverty, first in Bangladesh and later in countries around the world. Professor Yunuss vision is to inspire young people all around the world and particularly in rich countries to make a difference by embracing the concept of social business.
This lecture was the Spring Public Affairs Convocation Lecture at Missouri State University.
Professor Muhammad Yunus established the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh. His objective was to help poor people escape from poverty by providing loans without collateral to support income generating activities. From Professor Yunus' personal loan of small amounts of money to destitute basket weavers in Bangladesh in the mid-70s, the Grameen Bank has advanced to the forefront of a burgeoning world movement toward eradicating poverty through micro-lending. Grameen Bank now has 8 million borrowers, 97% of whom are women, and has lent over $8.26 billion with a near 100% repayment rate.
Professor Yunus is the recipient of the World Food Prize (1994) and the Sydney Peace Prize (1998). In 2006, Professor Yunus received the Seoul Peace Prize and the Nobel Peace Prize. On August 12, 2009 Professor Yunus was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama at a White House ceremony.