How $27 changed the world
April 17, 2013 BY Sarah Wade
Today, UN Foundation Board member Muhammad Yunus is at the U.S. Capitol to receive the highest honor Congress can give an individual person: a Congressional Gold Medal.
Only 153 Congressional Gold Medals have been awarded since their establishment in 1776. In receiving one, Professor Yunus joins the ranks of George Washington, Martin Luther King, Jr., Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, and other trailblazers whose ideas and actions have benefited humanity in revolutionary ways.
Professor Yunus is receiving the medal for his efforts to reduce global poverty, efforts that sparked an economic revolution and have since empowered millions of women and working poor around the world.
That revolution started with just $27 -- the amount he loaned to a group of village women in Bangladesh in 1976, to finance the small businesses they were struggling to breathe life into. They took the loan and turned it into a profit – and the success of that small transaction led to the renowned theory of microfinance. Since that time, microfinance movements have spread throughout the world, empowering women, families and communities at large.
Professor Yunus believes that economically empowering the world’s poorest people does not just benefit them: it benefits everyone. In giving him a Congressional Gold Medal, this Congress is showing bipartisan support for his groundbreaking work.
Watch the following interview with Professor Yunus, where he discusses the importance of working together to build a better world for all people.
Congratulations Professor Yunus on receiving such a tremendous honor!
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