Muhammad Yunus is visionary economist and Noble Peace Prize winner who believes in the essential goodness of humanity. Stepping down from the ivory tower of academia, Yunus visited the poorest villages of Bangladesh in 1976 and made a personal loan of $27 to 42 women in the village so they could build and sell bamboo furniture. The loan was paid back with interest, and the women took out a larger loan. Thus microfinance was born. In the past 30 years, microcredit has spread to every continent and has benefited over 100 million people. Yunus’ Grameen Bank (literally “village bank”) has loaned money to 1 out of 1,000 people on earth, at 98% repayment rate.
In Bonsai People, The Vision of Muhammad Yunus, Holly Mosher follows the founding of a Grameen Bank branch and several of the women aided by loans.