October 13, 2006 on CNN – DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — Bangladeshi Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus on Friday called the award “great news” for his homeland, where his microcredit finance programs have helped improve the lives of millions of poor people.
Yunus and the Grameen Bank he founded won the award for advancing economic and social opportunities for the poor, especially women, through their pioneering microcredit work. The 65-year-old economist said he would use part of his share of the 10 million kronor ($1.4 million) award money to create a company that would make low-cost, high-nutrition food for the poor. The rest of his share would go toward setting up an eye hospital for the poor in Bangladesh, he told reporters. (Bankers to poor win peace Nobel). … // …
The following day, he and his students did a survey in the woman’s village, Jobra, and discovered that 43 of the villagers owed a total of 856 taka (about $27). “I couldn’t take it anymore”.
I put the $27 out there and told them they could liberate themselves,” he said, and pay him back whenever they could. The idea was to buy their own materials and cut out the middleman. They all paid him back, day by day, over a year, and his momentary generosity grew into a full-fledged concept that came to fruition in 1976 when he began to set up experimental microfinance projects in rural parts of Bangladesh. Grameen Bank was formally founded in 1983. (Read the whole article on CNN).