Summary of Banker to the Poor

Micro-Lending and the Battle Against World Poverty

Public Affairs,
First Edition: 1999 more...

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Banker to the Poor book summary
How Nobel Prize winner Muhammad Yunus pioneered microcredit to make a revolutionary difference in the lives of the poor.


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In 1974, while Muhammad Yunus was teaching economics in Bangladesh, the country was ravaged by famine. Increasingly uncomfortable teaching abstract theories while starving people shuffled by outside his classroom, Yunus realized his economic education was incomplete. To complete it, he went to local villages to "learn from the poor" about what they actually needed rather than what a textbook said they should have. The answer was credit, so Yunus founded a bank to provide it - Grameen Bank. The name means the "bank of the village." Today, Yunus is a Nobel Peace Price winner and Grameen Bank has extended credit to more than 2.6 million people. This down-to-earth, unsentimental autobiography recounts what inspired him, the obstacles he overcame and the ultimate success of this project, his life's work. getAbstract highly recommends it to anyone who wants to know how one person's efforts can have a huge impact.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why Muhammad Yunus established Grameen Bank;
  • How he did it;
  • What obstacles he faced;
  • How the bank has succeeded; and
  • How "microcredit" and other market-based programs can improve the lives of the poor.


A Creative Childhood
Muhammad Yunus was born in 1940. He grew up in Chittagong, a commercial city of some three million people in the southeast of the Indian state of East Bengal (which became part of Pakistan in 1955 and then of Bangladesh in 1971). The third of 14 children (five died...
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About the Author

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Muhammad Yunus is the founder and managing director of Grameen Bank. He chaired economics at Bangladesh's Chittagong University.

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