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Muhammed Yunus: Banking the Unbankable

In seeking to help the poor, Grameen Bank founder Muhammed Yunus showed the world the value of microlending.

Economist, author, Nobel Laureate and the visionary who saw opportunity in a business model that traditional banks wouldn't touch. Muhammed Yunus founded Grameen Bank in 1983 on the concept that making small loans with reasonable rates to the impoverished population of Bangladesh would create financial independence among the previously unbankable and ultimately strengthen his home country's economy. In the process of empowering the poor to help themselves, he gave credence to the microlending model.

According to Yunus, there are two types of businesses: those that exist to make money for themselves, and those that exist instead for the purpose of social goals. "It's all about others," Yunus said during a lecture at the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School in 2010. "Business to do good to the people, do good to the planet."