Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Inspired by Muhammad Yunus

Had the great good fortune to hear Muhammad Yunus speak at the SRI Conference this evening.  What a gift to our civilization!  Here is a man who turned the banking system upside down and showed us what one person can do by focusing on making a difference rather than a profit.

He spoke about his first business, Grameen Bank, which earned him the Nobel Peace Prize for building a bank which lends money, not to make money, but to help people.  He started Grameen Bank with $27 dollars and today it has over 13 Billion in annual revenues, loaning primarily to women with no collateral.

Here are a few tidbits:

  • "Whenever I see a problem I create a business to solve it."
  • "The problem with philanthropy is that the money only goes one way.  Repetition and expansion become difficult."
  • "Making money makes you happy, but helping others makes you super happy."
  • "We are at the stage in human existence where the distance between possible and impossible is shrinking.   No one should be poor, illiterate, unemployed."
  • "These things exist because of the system and we need to change that system!"
  • "Come up with an idea that will solve the problem for 5 people.   Then repeat it."

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