Muhammad Yunus

Nobel Peace Prize Winner in 2006. Founder of Grameen Bank.

Muhammad Yunus is a Bangladeshi social entrepreneur, banker, economist, and civil society leader. In 2006, Yunus and the Grameen Bank were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for pioneering the concepts of microcredit and microfinance. Yunus also serves on the board of directors of the United Nations Foundation.


From 1993 to 1995, Professor Yunus was a member of the International Advisory Group for the Fourth World Conference on Women. After teaching economics at Chittagong University from 1961 to 1965, Yunus won a Fulbright scholarship. He taught at Vanderbilt University from 1965 to 1972. In 1970 he became and assistant professor of economics at Middle Tennessee State University.He returned to Chittagong University as head of the economics department in 1972. In 1976 Yunus began a program of “micro” loans, a credit system designed to meet the needs of the poor in Bangladesh. The Bangladesh government made the Grameen Bank Project an independent bank in 1983. In February 2011, Yunus co-founded Yunus Social Business – Global Initiatives (YSB). In 2012, he became Chancellor of Glasgow Caledonian University in Scotland, a position he held until 2018.


Professor Yunus is the recipient of numerous international awards for his ideas and endeavours, including the Mohamed Shabdeen Award for Science (1993), Sri Lanka; Humanitarian Award (1993), CARE, USA; World Food Prize (1994), World Food Prize Foundation, USA; Independence Day Award (1987), Bangladesh’s highest award; King Hussein Humanitarian Leadership Award (2000), King Hussien Foundation, Jordan; Volvo Environment Prize (2003), Volvo Environment Prize Foundation, Sweden; Nikkei Asia Prize for Regional Growth (2004), Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Japan; Franklin D. Roosevelt Freedom Award (2006), Roosevelt Institute of The Netherlands; and the Seoul Peace Prize (2006), Seoul Peace Prize Cultural Foundation, Seoul, Korea. In 2008, he was rated number 2 in Foreign Policy magazine's list of the 'Top 100 Global Thinkers.’ He received the United States Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009 and the Congressional Gold Medal in 2010.


Professor Yunus studied at Dhaka University in Bangladesh, then received a Fulbright scholarship to study economics at Vanderbilt University. He received his Ph.D. in economics from Vanderbilt in 1969. Returning to Bangladesh, Yunus headed the economics department at Chittagong University.