The Stroumboulopouli

The Stroumboulopouli

The place to get the latest news on what’s coming up on #Gtonight. Find out what Canada’s boyfriend is up to. Share stories, pictures, favourite tv and radio episodes.

CBC TV & Radio shows plus HNIC

His work with Artists for Peace and Justice

UN Ambassadorship for The World Food Programme

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Hour Books: Creating a World Without Poverty

It was serendipitous that I started reading this book the week that Muhammad Yunus received the Medal of Freedom from President Obama. At the ceremony on August 13, President Obama gave the following outline of Yunus' work:

Thirty-five years ago, a young economics professor at a university in Bangladesh was struck by the disconnect between the theories he was teaching in class and the reality of the famine outside. So, determined to help, Mohammed Yunus left the classroom for a village, and discovered that just $27 would free dozens of artisans, vendors, and rickshaw pullers from debt. Offering himself as a guarantor, he withdrew a loan, paid off their debts, and founded Grameen Bank -- a bank that has disbursed over $8 billion, lifting millions of people from poverty with microloans. Mohammed Yunus was just trying to help a village, but he somehow managed to change the world.

The concept of microcredit is simple: loan a small amount of cash to start up their own business, let them make some money and then pay back the loan within a year. And it worked. But now there's another layer to add to this concept: social business.

Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism
takes the concept of microcredit that Yunus lined out in his first book, Banker to the Poor, and introduces a fairly simple idea: harnessing the power and opportunities offered by the free market to eradicate poverty.

When I think of poverty and trying to eradicate poverty it boggles my mind. It just seems so complicated and hard to do. But reading this book made me realise that it is possible, that we could eradicate poverty though the tools that microlending and social business offer. It just makes sense.

As with all the other Hour Books I've read, I do suggest this book, for the simple fact that it makes sense. It outlines a plan that could actually work.

Muhammad Yunus has visited The Hour twice. Once, just after he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 and then in 2o08, just after the release of Creating a World Without Poverty.

1 comment:

Tracy said...

I have such great admiration for this man. Empowering people to control their own destiny and build a successful future is profoundly important work.Was so glad to see him awarded the medal of freedom a couple weeks ago!