Posted by: XL Results Foundation | February 26, 2008

XL Members Meet Muhammad Yunus

XL with Md Yunos

You Can’t Get a Nobel Prize for Starting a Bank, Can You?
You can if that bank proceeds to attract 7.2 million families and provide them with micro-loans,homes and education. You certainly can if you help millions of people lift themselves out of poverty. My first week as XL Country Leader for the United States has been exciting and fulfilling. Elise and I have been touched by the warmth and support we have experienced here and look forward, with eagerness, to the months ahead.

Humorous and Powerful

This morning, at the behest of Jeanine ‘J.P.’ Parker, we attended a talk by Nobel Laureate Dr Muhammad Yunus at the Milken Institute in Santa Monica. It was inspirational, humorous and powerful.Dr Yunus, very well known for his work in Micro-finance in his home country of Bangladesh, spoke for about 45 minutes about his experiences and his ideas for the future.He told us that what started as a $27 loan to impoverished people in need turned into the Grameen Bank — now serving over 7.5 million families. He also told us about other projects and initiatives they have undertaken, including the provision of clean water for those in need, mobile phones for communities that have to wait three to four years for a landline and homeloans. Perhaps most impressive of the bank’s extra curricular activities is their education programme;they now have over 21,000 students undertaking education that might otherwise never have had the chance.

Autographing XL magazine

After his talk, Dr Yunus fielded a variety of questions about his projects and how they might be applied to America. In answering one of his questions, he suggested that a stock exchange for social companies would be useful and that it was definitely time for a magazine for social enterprise. When I showed him XL Magazine — and asked him to sign the front cover that has his picture on it — he asked for his own copy and a few extras, which Irene Millar happily provided. Dr Yunus was inspiring, empowering and highly entertaining — we were lucky to be there!

Eric Edmeades

From XL Extra Issue 3

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