The 2006 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded today to the Grameen Bank of Bangladesh and its founder, Muhammad Yunus, for pioneering microcredit — using loans of tiny amounts to transform destitute women into entrepreneurs.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee praised Dr. Yunus and Grameen for their “efforts to create economic and social development from below.”
Though it is not the first time the committee has chosen to honor economic development as a contribution to world peace, rather than the more usual diplomacy, rights advocacy or philanthropy, it is the first time the prize has been awarded to a profit-making business.
The selection seemed to embody two connected ideas that are gaining ground among development experts: that attacking poverty is essential to peace, and that private enterprise is essential to attacking poverty.
Dr. Yunus founded the bank in his native Bangladesh to lend small amounts of cash — often as little as $20 — to local people, almost always women, who could use it to found or sustain a small business by, say, buying a cow to sell milk or a simple sewing machine to make clothing. more
Outstanding choice! Someone who thinks outside of the box in order to make the world a better place.