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What are some of the key ideas associated with economist Mohammad Yunus?

A-Level, IB
AQA, Edexcel, OCR, IB, Eduqas, WJEC

Last updated 17 Jul 2023

Mohammad Yunus is an economist and social entrepreneur known for his pioneering work in the field of microfinance and poverty alleviation.

Here are some key ideas associated with Mohammad Yunus:

  1. Microfinance and Grameen Bank: Yunus founded Grameen Bank in Bangladesh in 1983, which became one of the most prominent and successful microfinance institutions in the world. The concept of microfinance involves providing small loans, primarily to the poor and marginalized, to help them start their own businesses and lift themselves out of poverty. Yunus's work with Grameen Bank popularized the idea of microcredit and demonstrated its potential to empower individuals and communities.
  2. Social Business: Yunus introduced the concept of social business, which emphasizes using business principles to address social problems. Social businesses are non-dividend companies that aim to achieve specific social objectives while being financially self-sustainable. The profits generated by social businesses are reinvested to expand their social impact, rather than being distributed to shareholders. Yunus believes that social business can be a powerful tool for solving societal challenges.
  3. Poverty Alleviation: Yunus has dedicated his career to finding innovative solutions to alleviate poverty. He believes that poverty is not the fault of the poor but a result of systemic issues and structural inequalities. Yunus's approach involves providing access to financial services, education, healthcare, and other essential resources to empower individuals to improve their economic conditions and break the cycle of poverty.
  4. Social Entrepreneurship: Yunus is a strong advocate for social entrepreneurship, which involves using entrepreneurial skills and principles to create sustainable and impactful social ventures. He encourages individuals to combine their business acumen with a focus on social and environmental objectives to address pressing social challenges effectively.
  5. Empowerment of Women: Yunus recognizes the crucial role of women in poverty alleviation and social development. He actively promotes women's empowerment and gender equality, as he believes that empowering women has a multiplier effect on families and communities. Grameen Bank has a particular emphasis on providing financial services to women, as they are often marginalised and face significant barriers to accessing resources and opportunities.

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