People Who Mattered: Muhammad Yunus

A big idea sometimes starts out small. In 1974, after earning his Ph.D. in the U.S., Muhammad Yunus was teaching economics at Bangladesh's Chittagong University. When a deadly famine struck the country, Yunus, eager to lend a helping hand, paid off the money owed to loan sharks by a group of impoverished villagers struggling to survive; they should repay him, he said, "when they could." Eventually they did, but that was not the most significant aspect of the episode. While the total sum was only about $27, that a stranger would trust them with his cash gave the villagers an appreciation...

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