Friday, April 25, 2008

Yunus Video of month - when Dr Yunus Youtubed in Downing Street for PM Gordon Brown


Scene 1 Greeting

Prime Minister Gordon Brown: Hello How are you, what a pleasure

Muhammad Yunus: It’s a pleasure for me

PM : It’s good to see you

(They Shake Hands)

Scene 2 Muhammad Yunus Introduces himself to the camera from the heart of 10 Downing Street

I am Muhammad Yunus from Bangladesh with Grameen bank. We lend money to extremely poor people for income generating activities. I am suggesting that Africa needs a lot of microfinance programs – tiny loans 30 dollar, 45 dollar 100 dollar – and paid back in weekly installments. It doesn’t need any collateral. It doesn’t need any lawyers into it but the repayment rate is very high: 98% or 99%.

Microfinance is very important because it allows people to bring out their own initiative, bring out their own capability. And they can move on their own speed to cerate income, to get out of poverty. And people in Africa are very enterprising people, particularly women. Microfinance focuses on women. Today in Bangladesh within Grameen Bank we have 7.5 million borrowers a- 97% of them women. The Prime Minister is very much aware of it; very supportative of it. So we will discuss how to make it happen in Africa

Scene 3 PM and Dr Yunus sitting round a cup of tea
PM There is so much goodwill to the work you have been doing, and it is so important

Scene 4 After tea: Muhammad Yunus denouement

At the same time, we will be discussing another concept – the social business : business to do good to people - (show copy of Dr Yunus new bestselling book Creating a World Without Poverty- Social Business, The Future of Capitalism ). This is business where you aim at the social objectives, not for making money for yourself. You cover your cost, make profit but the profit doesn’t go to investors or outsiders but stays with the company to achieve the goal that you set out to help achieve or lead.
Dear Christian

I particularly wanted to follow up your talk with emerging news from Nobel Laureate Dr Yunus whom I have met 4 times this year as it seemed that his views on how citizens can help network sustainability and multiply goodwill flow closely with what I understood of yours. I believe there is also overlap with the presentation made by George Dragnich.

1) I gather from this article that Grameen's solar and biogas services - already in use in over 100,000 households in Bangladesh have been approved by world bank as a carbon offset recommendation Is this what you were recommending?

2) This week I saw Dr Yunus before he jumped into a taxi to do a youtube from 10 Downing Street .
The PM and Yunus discussed the social business map of his new book as well as possible food crisis interventions and directing more aid to africa of the microcredit type. I believe he then flew over to New York and talked about the food crisis with the Deputy Director General at the UN

3) Dr Yunus' leading info tech builder Kazi Islam ceo Grameen Solutions was presenting recently at the UN on the plan to link in 10000 rural telecentres to question the www on 5 community building - health, agriculture, education, community empowering gov, media for needed consumer goods . You may already know his work - otherwise I have a Grameen prosepectus pdf on this if anyone wants a copy

4 In DC my next door neighbour works at the Japanese Embassy and says that Mr Yamamoto who leads JICA in USA is a fan of Dr Yunus. I don't know how to help connect all this possible grassroots momentum. In New York, Peter's monthy tavern for action debriefings around Yunus knowhow seems to be atracting the younger employees ready to run away from the big banks!

5 The thousand-reader Yunus bookclub that I host very much wants to help support any of the flows that can make these initiatives come together on all sides. If you have ideas on what we could do next or need any help in making sure that your ways of improving sustainability blend with Yunus team leaders in USA (headed by Norwegian Vidar Jorgensen) or Dhaka, I am always happy to try to make sure everyone knows who's who etc. We are focusing on obvious stuff that citizens need to rehearse like which 200 videos (half Yunus connecting, half from anywhere) help connect sustainability work and SMBA curricula around 24 worlds: the 3 under-represented populations : poor, women, youth; the 4 hemispheres; the big 6 community compasses, etc

We will probably be running off thousands of dvds now we have several hours of Yunus speeches which everyone can edit to dialogue around their context's deepest meanings and most urgent solutions needs.

Yours sincerely

Chris Macrae
usa 301 881 1655
yunus booktour day in london
romors of what's possible

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Project Snapshot: Bringing Grameen Bank To California
Speaker(s): Isabel Maxwell, Senior Advisor to Grameen America (West Coast) & Grameen Trust
Tuesday, April 15th, 2008 - 7:30PM at The Hollywood Hill Event Center, Hollywood
Grameen America is a microfinance company whose mission is to help alleviate poverty through entrepreneurship by providing loans, savings programs, credit establishment, and other services to the working poor in the United States. Grameen America is built upon the success of the Grameen Bank of Bangladesh. Founded by Professor Muhammad Yunus, the Grameen Bank is the most widely recognized microfinance company in the world. This success earned both Professor Yunus and the Grameen Bank the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006. Grameen America has been created so that people with limited or no access to credit can use entrepreneurship and self-employment, proven means in the United States, for increasing wealth and escaping poverty. The poor are frequently prevented from pursuing entrepreneurship opportunities because mainstream banks will not make loans to people who lack minimum credit scores and collateral. These "unbanked" individuals typically have limited experience in understanding financial institutions, getting loans, building savings and managing credit. While conventional banks turn away these borrowers, the success of high-interest rate predatory lenders (often charging over 300-400% APR) such as payday loan corporations, pawnshops, and check cashers has shown that the unbanked constitute a highly valuable customer base.Grameen America provides an alternative for these borrowers. Grameen America provides banking for the unbanked.
$10 Cover. Complimentary Cocktails & Parking. Pre-order Meal with RSVP.Sponsored by St. Supery Vineyards, Heineken, & Liquid Om Water.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

interesting web

Now Reading...
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
MICROCAPITAL STORY: Wall Street Journal Interviews Muhammad Yunus and Discusses Grameen America
» Posted by Jennifer Lee in Category: Key Players at 12:02 am
The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), a leading business publication, interviewed Muhammad Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank and 2006 Nobel Peace Prize winner, in an article titled “Muhammad Yunus: Subprime Lender”. The article covered Mr. Yunus’ entrance into U.S.’s microcredit market and his approach to credit lending.
Grameen America, Inc. is Mr. Yunus’ new microfinance venture which focuses on serving “poor, aspiring entrepreneurs in the United States”. It is a for-profit microfinance company, follows the same lending model as Bangladesh-based Grameen Bank, and is focused on New York City with the intent to eventually spread throughout the US. Since it’s initiation in January, Grameen America has loaned a total of USD 145,000 at interest rates around 15 percent. Like other Grameen programs, priority is given to women borrowers; there are no credit-history checks; and borrowers do not need collateral or deal with complicated paperwork.
Grameen America joins other U.S. micro lenders such as ACCION USA, a private non-profit organization and part of ACCION International. ACCION USA has lent over USD 120 million to poor entrepreneurs in Brooklyn since 1991, and over USD 154 million to over 16,000 entrepreneurs nationwide. The microfinance information clearinghouse Mix Market lists only one US-based MFI: ECDC Enterprise Development Group (EDG), a non-profit, non-bank financial institution. EDG has provided microfinance services to over 5,000 people in Washington DC’s metropolitan area and had 250 active borrowers as of September 2006.
Given the economic turmoil caused by the U.S subprime mortgage collapse, Mr. Yunus discussed the risks of subprime-lending in the article as well. While Mr. Yunus described his business as “sub sub sub subprime”, he is not fazed by the credit crisis, blaming the collapse on sloppy business techniques. Despite the lack of collateral, guarantees, and lawyers common in conventional American lending, Grameen Bank claims over 98 percent of their loans are repaid and attributes the success to “know[ing] what is the limit within which we operate.”
Mr. Yunus also emphasizes access to credit as a basic human right, placing it as No. 1 when compared to other human rights such as the right to food, shelter, work, and health. He argues that through microcredit self-employment is possible. Self-employment can generate income, which in turn can provide food, shelter, and health care.
Beyond microfinance, Mr. Yunus explains how “social business” can eliminate world poverty. Social business is a “cause-driven” business model rather than a profit-driven model. Unlike charities, social businesses must recoup their investments, at minimum cover their costs, but still concentrate on creating products or providing services with social good. Furthermore, Mr. Yunus believes that a business model is needed to efficiently bring about change. Unlike a philanthropic dollar, Mr. Yunus states that “social business dollar has endless life, it recycles. And you build institutions.” With institutions come creativity, innovation, and continuity. Mr. Yunus fully details his vision on social business in his new book “Creating a World Without Poverty”.
by Jennifer Lee
Additional Resources:
Grameen: America, Social Business, Foundation, Bank
Wall Street Journal: “Muhammad Yunus: Subprime Lender”, by Emily Parker, March 1, 2008.
Financial Times: Letters to the Editor, “Queens Needs Microfinance as much as South Asia”, by Anne Fish, February 27, 2008.
MicroCapital Stories on Yunus Wins Nobel Peace Prize
ACCION: International, USA
ECDC Enterprise Development Group