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Muhammad Yunus quotes

My greatest challenge has been to change the mindset of people. Mindsets play strange tricks on us. We see things the way our minds have instructed our eyes to see.

But we have created a society that does not allow opportunities for those people to take care of themselves because we have denied them those opportunities.

Today, if you look at financial systems around the globe, more than half the population of the world - out of six billion people, more than three billion - do not qualify to take out a loan from a bank. This is a shame.

I said peace is sometimes narrowly interpreted; it's the absence of conflict between nations or something. But peace is more inherent, more basic to human life, human beings, what we feel about each other, what we feel about life around us and what we see in our future.

Human beings are much bigger than just making money.

Soon we saw that money going to women brought much more benefit to the family than money going to the men. So we changed our policy and gave a high priority to women. As a result, now 96% of our four million borrowers in Grameen Bank are women.

I went to the bank and proposed that they lend money to the poor people. The bankers almost fell over.

Poverty is unnecessary.

There is the expression of selfishness and there is the expression of selflessness - but economists or theoreticians never touched that part. They said: 'Go and become a philanthropist.' I said, 'No, I can do that in the business world, create a different kind of business - a business based on selflessness.'

I had no idea that I would ever get involved with something like lending money to poor people, given the circumstances in which I was working in Bangladesh.

Business money is limitless.

They explained to me that the bank cannot lend money to poor people because these people are not creditworthy.

Today, the concept of business is to make money. Making money is the name of the business.

I made a list of people who needed just a little bit of money. And when the list was complete, there were 42 names. The total amount of money they needed was $27. I was shocked.

There are cultural issues everywhere - in Bangladesh, Latin America, Africa, wherever you go. But somehow when we talk about cultural differences, we magnify those differences.

Civilization has given us enormous successes: going to the moon, technology. But then this is the civilisation that took us to debt, environmental crisis, every single crisis. We need a civilization where we say goodbye to these things.

Human beings have enormous resilience.

The moment you say microfinance everybody wants to help you.

Here we were talking about economic development, about investing billions of dollars in various programs, and I could see it wasn't billions of dollars people needed right away.

I wanted to give money to people like this woman so that they would be free from the moneylenders to sell their product at the price which the markets gave them - which was much higher than what the trader was giving them.