Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Creating A World Without Poverty Social Business and The Future of Capitalism-- Muhammad Yunus-- Review

Creating A World Without Poverty Social Business and the Future of Capitalism by Muhammad Yunus is about creating new ideas in and new forms of capitalism focused on creating social benefit for the poor.

Muhammad Yunus suggests that the whole point of capitalism is to make as much profit as possible. He suggests a new form of incorporating where the initial goal is to focus on a specific goal and put all dividends and profits back into that goal. A specific example of this type of business is a joint venture of Grameen Bank and Danone Yogurt where the goal is to produce a vitamin fortified yogurt affordable for the poor which will reduce malnutrition in Bangladesh. The goal is to put all the profits of the company into creating more small yogurt factories.

Muhammad Yunus philosophical business practices come from his experience founding the Grameen Bank, the first microfinance institution in Asia. He saw moneylenders charging exorbitant rates and tried to get the bank to give loans to the poor, but they would not support the loans so he put his name as the collateral initially. He eventually formed a bank to loan very small amounts of money to poor villagers. He has managed a 98% payback rate for villagers and has since expanded into textiles, housing, cell phones, and other small businesses.

This book is inspiring. It is a bit repetitive at times. He has a very important social message to get across. It describes how it is possible to start the poor on the road to self-employment and self-improvement through small loans and educational training. Muhammad Yunus already won the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize for founding the Grameen Bank which has helped millions of people escape poverty in Bangladesh. His methods have spread all over the world. Microfinance institutions have spread to China, the Middle East, and South America.

He describes how top down governmental programs and international charity create dependency, corruption, and often do not help poor people. He gives numerous suggestions on how to change the lot of the poor and describes ways to create a world without poverty.

If you are interested in important global social issues like fair trade, the environment, and globalization this book should be very interesting to you. Also if you want to read about a different way to help people out of poverty this book is quite interesting. One of the patrons who comes to the library was reading this book. He requested it. I thought it sounded very interesting. The gentlemen is from Africa and often requests books on fair trade, globalization, and international trade.


chica said...

This sounds like a good book. I've always been very impressed with the Grameen Bank concept. Looks like I'll have to add this to my TBR list.

Anonymous said...

Excellent post Nishan. I will be definitely checking this book out. And, thank you for the excellent comment about Musashi at my site. I will be getting his book soon.