Muhammad Yunus, who won a Nobel Peace Prize for his work in reducing poverty, says he wants to open a credit union in Louisiana. Yunus, a banker and economist from Bangladesh, has developed the concept of “microcredit”—giving small loans to entrepreneurs too poor to qualify for bank loans. He founded the Grameen Bank in 1983 to specialize in microcredit. In 2006, the bank and Yunus won a Nobel Peace Prize.
Grameen America opened in New York in 2008. So far, the bank has 500 clients who borrowed an average of $2,200, and 99.6% are making their repayments. According to the Grameen America Web site, additional locations are being considered for Louisiana, Arkansas, California, Florida and Nebraska. Yunus told the AFP news service the current economic crisis is an “exciting, great opportunity to redo our life, our institutions, our policies” and make the financial system open to all people and not just the rich. For more about Grameen America, click here.