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Muhammad Yunus

2006 Nobel Peace Prize

Muhammad Yunus was born in 1940 in Chittagong, a seaport in Bangladesh. The third of 14 children. He was educated at Dhaka University and was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to study economics at Vanderbilt University. In 1972 he became the head of the economics department at Chittagong University. Yunus is the author of a memoir, *Banker to the Poor: Micro-Lending and the Battle Against World Poverty*. Yunus is the founder and managing director of the Grameen Bank, a successful blend of capitalism and social enterprise. The Grameen Bank lends small amounts of money without any collateral to the rural poor in Bangladeshi villages. Most of the low-interest microloans go to women, who use them to start their own profit-making enterprises, mainly in agriculture, crafts, or services. The Nobel Peace Prize for 2006 was divided into two equal parts going to Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank for their efforts to create economic and social development from below.