Inspirational Quotes from Muhammad Yunus

In my experience, poor people are the world’s greatest entrepreneurs. Every day, they must innovate in order to survive. They remain poor because they do not have the opportunities to turn their creativity into sustainable income.

Muhammad Yunus

Making money is a happiness. And that’s a great incentive. Making other people happy is a super-happiness.

Muhammad Yunus

Engaging in social business is beneficial to a company because it leverages on business competencies to address social issues, involves one-time investment with sustainable results, and produces other positive effects such as employee motivation and improved organizational culture.

Muhammad Yunus

While technology is important, it’s what we do with it that truly matters.

Muhammad Yunus

All human beings are born entrepreneurs. Some get a chance to unleash that capacity. Some never got the chance, never knew that he or she has that capacity.

Muhammad Yunus

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.

Muhammad Yunus

Human beings have enormous resilience.

Muhammad Yunus

The new millennium began with a great global dream. World leaders gathered at the United Nations in 2000 and adopted, among others, a historic goal to reduce poverty by half by 2015. Never in human history had such a bold goal been adopted by the entire world in one voice, one that specified time and size.

Muhammad Yunus

The developing world is full of entrepreneurs and visionaries, who with access to education, equity and credit would play a key role in developing the economic situations in their countries.

Muhammad Yunus

I began my career as an economics professor but became frustrated because the economic theories I taught in the classroom didn’t have any meaning in the lives of poor people I saw all around me. I decided to turn away from the textbooks and discover the real-life economics of a poor person’s existence.

Muhammad Yunus

To overcome poverty and the flaws of the economic crisis in our society, we need to envision our social life. We have to free our mind, imagine what has never happened before and write social fiction. We need to imagine things to make them happen. If you don’t imagine, it will never happen.

Muhammad Yunus

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.

Muhammad Yunus

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.’

Muhammad Yunus

We have a list of human rights – right to food, right to shelter, right to health, right to education, many such items which are considered and accepted as bill of rights. These are to be insured to people. So all nations, all societies try to do that.

Muhammad Yunus

Truly affordable but high-quality health care tools and services are the only means by which quality health care can be provided to all.

Muhammad Yunus

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.

Muhammad Yunus

Access to quality education has enabled me to reach far beyond the Bangladeshi village I grew up in.

Muhammad Yunus

I dismiss personal profit and focus exclusively on people and planet. That’s what I call social business: a nondividend company dedicated to solving human problems. You can go all the way, forgetting about personal profit, being single-minded about solving problems. The company makes profit, but profit stays with the company.

Muhammad Yunus

Unprecedented technological capabilities combined with unlimited human creativity have given us tremendous power to take on intractable problems like poverty, unemployment, disease, and environmental degradation. Our challenge is to translate this extraordinary potential into meaningful change.

Muhammad Yunus

Good economic theory must give the people the chance to use their talents to build their own lives. We must get away from the traditional route where the rich will do the business and the poor will depend on private or public charity.

Muhammad Yunus

By simply capitalizing on core strengths and knowledge, companies and entrepreneurs can engage in an emerging business model that will enable them to create – and demonstrate – real, sustainable social impact in society.

Muhammad Yunus

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.

Muhammad Yunus

Poverty is the absence of all human rights. The frustrations, hostility and anger generated by abject poverty cannot sustain peace in any society.

Muhammad Yunus

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

Muhammad Yunus

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

Muhammad Yunus

I believe terrorism cannot be won over by military action. Terrorism must be condemned in the strongest language. We must stand solidly against it, and find all the means to end it. We must address the root causes of terrorism to end it for all time to come.

Muhammad Yunus

Nothing is more valuable to people than health care, and by paying, they feel less like beggars and more like ‘customers’ who can and should demand quality care.

Muhammad Yunus

Peace should be understood in a human way – in a broad social, political and economic way. Peace is threatened by unjust economic, social and political order, absence of democracy, environmental degradation and absence of human rights.

Muhammad Yunus

Business money is limitless.

Muhammad Yunus

The profit orientation is only one orientation of a person. The same people who are interested in profit-making are also selfless. I am not saying that capitalist theory is wrong. I am saying that it has not been interpreted and practiced fully.

Muhammad Yunus

Money commands everything because that’s our interpretation of capitalism… what kind of world is that? It’s a very uncomfortable interpretation of a human being. We have been turned into robots.

Muhammad Yunus

Money begets money. If you don’t have that, you wait around to be hired by somebody at the mercy of others. If you have that money in your hand, you desperately try to make the best use of it and move ahead. And that’s generating income for yourself.

Muhammad Yunus

Poverty is an artificial, external imposition on a human being; it is not innate in a human being. And since it is external, it can be removed. It is just a question of doing it.

Muhammad Yunus

Business is a very beautiful mechanism to solve problems, but we never use it for that purpose. We only use it to make money. It satisfies our selfish interest but not our collective interest.

Muhammad Yunus

The Grameen Bank Ordinance with amendments up to 2008 is a beautiful legal structure for the fulfillment of the ideals and objectives of the bank. Any change in this structure will be devastating for the bank.

Muhammad Yunus

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.

Muhammad Yunus

What we need is to think strategically about development, analyzing a country’s potential role in its region and the world in search of opportunities for growth. Platforms like the Global Social Business Summit can facilitate the process on bringing about change.

Muhammad Yunus

I began my work in the ’70s, teaching at a university in Bangladesh, and these economic theories that I had learned stopped ringing true for me, as I saw the misery of people living all around me.

Muhammad Yunus

Grameen Bank was formed as an institution owned by its borrower members, who are poor women. Through its unique decision-making process, Grameen Bank has given millions of women the means to emerge from the shadows in a male-dominated society and to make something of themselves.

Muhammad Yunus

I have always said that human beings are multidimensional beings. Their happiness comes from many sources, not, as our current economic framework assumes, just from making money.

Muhammad Yunus

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.

Muhammad Yunus

I was teaching in one of the universities while the country was suffering from a severe famine. People were dying of hunger, and I felt very helpless. As an economist, I had no tool in my tool box to fix that kind of situation.

Muhammad Yunus

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.

Muhammad Yunus

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.

Muhammad Yunus

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

Muhammad Yunus

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.

Muhammad Yunus

Poverty is unnecessary.

Muhammad Yunus

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.

Muhammad Yunus

Human beings are much bigger than just making money.

Muhammad Yunus

The moment you say microfinance everybody wants to help you.

Muhammad Yunus

What we are trying to do is to create a social business in Bangladesh, a joint venture to create restaurants for common people. Good, healthy food at affordable prices so that people don’t have to opt for food that is unhealthy and unhygienic.

Muhammad Yunus

Microcredit has shown how you can reach out to people that conventional banking cannot. It has demonstrated that it’s a doable proposition.

Muhammad Yunus