Professor Muhammad Yunus
The Grameen Bank is a microfinance organization and community development bank started in Bangladesh
that makes small loans known as microcredit or 'grameencredit'.
Professor Muhammad Yunus, the bank's founder, earned a doctorate in economics from Vanderbilt
University in the US. The origin of Grameen Bank can be traced back to 1976 when Yunus, a Fulbright
scholar and Professor at University of Chittagong, launched a research project to examine the possibility
of designing a credit delivery system to provide banking services targeted to the rural poor.
Yunus was inspired during the terrible Bangladesh famine of 1974 to make a small loan of $27 to a group of
42 families so that they could create small items for sale without the burdens of predatory lending.
Grameen Bank is best known for its system of solidarity lending. The Bank also incorporates a set of values
embodied in Bangladesh by the Sixteen Decisions. As a result of the Sixteen Decisions, Grameen
borrowers have been encouraged to adopt positive social habits. One such habit includes educating children
by sending them to school.