Monday, October 16, 2006

My favorite story in a long time

Yunus' smiling faceThis year's Nobel Peace Prize was awarded this weekend to Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank, who together pioneered the idea of "microcredit" -- tiny loans of $50 or $100 that allow people to pull themselves out of poverty, often by starting a small business raising chickens or rabbits. Many of the success stories involve women -- married, widows, single -- who have gone from begging for food to supporting their families and even employing several of their neighbors. The system uses social pressures to make sure that ideas are sound and loans are repaid, and it's been hugely successful, as a business and as a mechanism to improves lives in many impoverished regions (and it has spawned many related charities and businesses specializing in microfinance, such as this, which I support). A great concept, and an apt recognition. And wow! what a smile...

No comments: