The Banker to the Poor
Muhammad Yunus is a Bangladeshi banker and economist. 1) __________ a professor of economics, he is most famous for his successful application of the concept of microcredit, the 2) __________ of small loans to entrepreneurs too poor to qualify for traditional bank loans. He is the 3) __________ of Grameen Bank, and he and the bank were 4) __________ awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to create economic and social development among the poor.
During visits to the poorest households in the village of Jobra near Chittagong University, Yunus discovered that very small loans could make a 5) __________ difference to a poor person. Jobra women who made bamboo furniture had to take out usurious loans to buy the bamboo. He made a loan of USD 27.00 from his 6) __________ pocket to 42 women in the village, who made a net profit of USD 0.02 each on the loan.Yunus believed that if given the chance the poor would repay the 7) __________ money and hence microcredit could be a 8) __________ business 9) __________. He eventually managed to 10) __________ a loan from the Janata Bank to lend it to the poor in Jobra in December 1976.
By July 2007, the Grameen Bank had 11) __________ USD 6.38 billion to 7.4 million borrowers. To ensure repayment, the bank uses a system of solidarity groups. These small informal groups apply together for loans and its members act as co-guarantors of repayment and support each other's efforts at economic 12) __________.
The 13) __________ of the Grameen model of microfinancing has inspired similar efforts in many countries throughout the developing world, and even in industrialised nations, including the USA. Many, but not all, microcredit projects also retain his emphasis on lending specifically to women. More than 94% of Grameen loans have 14) __________ to women, who suffer disproportionately from 15) __________ and who are more likely than men to devote their earnings to their families.