Network of Men Leaders
Members of the Secretary-General’s Network of Men Leaders
Born in 1940 in Chittagong, Bangladesh, Muhammad Yunus studied at Dhaka University before receiving a Fulbright scholarship to study economics at Vanderbilt University in the United States, where he received his Ph.D. in Economics in 1969. The following year he became an Assistant Professor of Economics at Middle Tennessee State University, and later headed the Economics department at Chittagong University.
Professor Yunus established the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh in 1983, fueled by the belief that credit is a fundamental human right. His objective was to help poor people escape from poverty by providing loans on terms suitable to them and by teaching them a few sound financial principles so they could help themselves. From loaning small amounts of money to destitute basket-weavers in Bangladesh in the mid-1970s, the Grameen Bank has advanced to the forefront of a world movement working to eradicate poverty, with replicas of the Grameen Bank model now operating in more than 100 countries worldwide.
From 1993 to 1995, Professor Yunus was a member of the International Advisory Group for the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing. He has also served on the Global Commission of Women’s Health and the UN Expert Group on Women and Finance. In 2006, Professor Yunus and his Grameen Bank won the Nobel Peace Prize for pioneering the use of micro-credit to benefit poor entrepreneurs, many of them women. Professor Yunus is currently co-chair of the Women, Faith and Development Alliance.