Micro-credit Pioneer Gives Hope to Future Bosnia Entrepreneurs

Mar 2015
Bosnia and Herzegovina, March, 23 2015 - The kind of experience gathered in Bangladesh doing social business, which has been very helpful to poor people, brought Yunus’s Social Business to Albania, Brasil, Columbia, Haiti, Tunisia, Uganda, India and now Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Bosnia and Herzegovina has a “great chance” to develop through entrepreneurship, said Nobel Peace Prize laureate and pioneer of microfinance, Muhammad Yunus.

Yunus signed an agreement of cooperation and support for entrepreneurs on Sunday in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo, along with Bosnia Bank International (BBI) director general Amer Bukvic and Saudi Arabia's Centennial Fund director general Abdul Aziz al-Mutairi.

Centennial Fund is a leading charity organization in Saudi Arabia with a global scale of operations, while Muhammad's Yunus Social Business creates and empowers social businesses to address and solve social problems around the world.

According to the signatories, potential entrepreneurs in Bosnia will have a chance to take education and training through various campaigns and projects in order to start and develop self-sustaining businesses.

As it was highlighted during the signing ceremony, the agreement applies particularly to socially vulnerable categories of the population and young people.

"We only ensure the conditions so that people can work and be creative," said Yunus.

The Bengali economic expert, banker, social entrepreneur and civil society leader, who gained fame implementing the idea of micro-crediting of the poor and cutting poverty by half in his country, came to Bosnia at the invitation of the BBI director general to start up the programs aiming to strengthen the poor and women and solve the poverty problem in the country.

He expressed happiness to start cooperation in Bosnia, which he described as a post-war transitional country that has "great chance as a small country in the heart of Europe” in dealing with poverty, especially compared to the densely-populate Bangladesh.

The kind of experience gathered in Bangladesh doing social business, which has been very helpful to poor people, brought Yunus’s Social Business to Albania, Brasil, Columbia, Haiti, Tunisia, Uganda, India and now Bosnia and Herzegovina.

He is advocating credit as a human right, because he believes that when one has the money in his hands he is able to do a lot.

"We created micro-credit to help poor people to get out of poverty. Today the term 'micro-credit' is generously used even by the loan sharks who give some tiny loans. So there are two kinds of credit: social -- the right one -- and commercial -- the wrong one. Many of the problems come from the wrong one because creditors want to make good money out of poor people," said Yunus at the signing ceremony.

"In micro-crediting the poor there are no such problems, because the bank is concentrated on their needs," explained the author of the best-selling book on micro-credits called Banker. Yunus is also the founder of the Grameen bank established in Bangladesh in order to meet the needs of women and poor people.

"It is owned by them (the poor people), there is no outsiders taking away anything from them. It also takes care of their children, turning young people from unemployment to entrepreneurship. That is the way in which the right micro-credit verses the wrong one," he concludes.

Yunus, whose micro-credit concept has expanded globally in rich and poor countries alike and reduced poverty by half in Bagladesh, believes that the capitalist system creates two social societies -- one extremely rich and the other one extremely poor.

"Poverty is not created by poor people. It is not something coming from the poor person. Poverty is imposed on the poor people from outside. So if the society has the will for getting them out of poorness, it will remove all those barriers, like restrictions on the financial services," said Yunus, whose concept engaged almost all poor Bengali families in micro-credits.

"They are victims of the loan sharks, of all kinds of rejections in terms of opportunities, education, health care, housing, and they can solve all those problems by themselves," he said.

The Nobel Prize winner is also the recipient of more than 50 honorary degrees from universities across 20 countries. He has received 112 awards from 26 countries, including state honors from 10 countries. Yunus says his goal is to bring poverty to zero in Bangladesh by 2030.


Source : Turkish Weekly

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