Lessons from Muhammad Yunus — New Piece at CSRwire by Katharine Esty

Katharine Esty's latest, "Creating Successful Social Businesses: Four Lessons from the World’s Most Successful Social Entrepreneur," covers key observations in her work as Yunus's biographer. The most important in her words, "Focus on Women." 

He also observed the remarkable economic and societal transformations that could occur when poor women were empowered to run small businesses. The mere act of leaving the isolation of family compounds and joining the weekly peer group discussions Grameen Bank required of its loan recipients increased women’s confidence and motivation; during these discussions, women became part of a new social network, forging supportive friendships and sharing information and tips that proved key to the success of their business ventures. Moreover, they developed and endorsed a list of lifestyle decisions designed to further contribute to the cycle of poverty alleviation. These included keeping their family size small, looking after their personal and their children’s health, educating their children, keeping their environment clean, using pit-latrines and drinking clean water. 

Read on for the rest of her observations and lessons at csrwire.com.

Yunus joins entrepreneurs on the cover of Forbes' annual philanthropy edition

Click to see full article. (Michael Prince for FORBES)

Click to see full article. (Michael Prince for FORBES)

Yunus sits with 3 billionaires and Liberia’s president on the cover of the December 2nd issue of Forbes Magazine that features the story, “Entrepreneurs Can Save the World.” Yunus recently received Forbes’ lifetime achievement award for social entrepreneurship. What struck me is that Yunus is not a wealthy man like the others in the story. He lives in a small apartment and has no car or second, third, or fourth house. He changed the world by promoting the concept of microcredit. Before his efforts, banks would not lend money to very poor people. Now, he is trying to change the world again by promoting social entrepreneurship. Yunus teaches us an important lesson — you can make a difference from the middle class.

— Katharine

Katharine Esty joins Paul Jensen in the Writer's Café

Our thanks to Paul Jensen for his invitation to join the Writer's Café Podcast.

During the interview Katharine talked about how she happened to go to Bangladesh where she met the world famous social entrepreneur Muhammad Yunus. Mr. Yunus developed the concept of micro loans (or micro credit) for the poor without requiring any collateral. He started the Grameen Bank As she told during the interview Mr. Yunus might be world famous but nobody that she normally talk with have ever heard about him even though he has received numerous awards especially for his work for the women of Bangladesh. Among the awards are the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize, America’s Medal of Freedom, and the Congressional Gold Medal.

Read more about Paul's show, and make sure to subscribe for interviews with other great authors. Thanks, Paul!

5 ways to fight resistance to sustainability — Katharine Esty at GreenBiz.com

Katharine Esty's latest article is live now at GreenBiz.com: 5 ways to fight resistance to sustainability, from Muhammad Yunus.

In it, Esty shares Yunus' key tools, both strategic and relational, to build support and drive change. From embracing resistance to building a compelling narrative to the simple gifts of patience and flexibility, Yunus' efforts to change the economic landscape through microfinance make for a powerful tale with lessons for all of us. 

Read more and share your comments at GreenBiz.com.