ADVISORY - Microcredit Pioneer and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Muhammad Yunus

OTTAWA, Aug. 30 /CNW/ - Microcredit pioneer and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Muhammad Yunus founded the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh more than 25 years ago. Since then, millions of rural poor — mostly women — have received small loans for self-employment projects that have helped lift their families out of poverty. Yunus will be at Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC) in Ottawa September 2 to discuss how microcredit and social business can help in creating a poverty-free world.  The Grameen model has been replicated in more than 100 countries, and microlending has become an important tool in the fight against global poverty. IDRC has worked with Yunus and the Grameen Bank on a number of initiatives linking the use of information and communication technologies to poverty reduction in rural Bangladesh.

When: Thursday, September 2, 2010, 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Where: IDRC, 150 Kent Street (Corner of Albert), 8th floor

Muhammad Yunus is managing director of Bangladesh's Grameen Bank.  A trained economist, he founded the bank in 1983 to promote the concept of microcredit—small, low-interest loans that can make a big difference in the lives of the poor and marginalized. His anti-poverty efforts were recognized in 2006 when he shared the Nobel Peace Prize with the bank "for their efforts to create economic and social development from below."  He currently serves as chair of the Yunus Centre and is a member of the United Nations Foundation.  His books include Banker to the Poor, Creating a World Without Poverty, and Building Social Business.  Yunus is the recipient of the World Food Prize, the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom, and Bangladesh's Independence Day Award.  

Yunus' lecture is the seventh in the Speakers of Renown series, which is being held throughout 2010 to mark IDRC's 40th anniversary.  Upcoming headliners include South Africa's Trevor Manuel, who went from anti-apartheid activist to one of the forces that made that country's economy one of the most robust in Africa; Professor M. S. Swaminathan, the father of India's Green Revolution, named by TIME Magazine as one of the 20 most influential Asians of the 20th century; and Helen Clark, former Prime Minister of New Zealand, head of the United Nation's Development Programme, and named by Forbes as one of the most powerful women in the world.

This event is now full and registration is closed.  Journalists and the public can join in the conversation through Twitter (#IDRC) and Facebook.  For more information and the live webcast, visit

About Canada's International Development Research Centre

To achieve self-reliance, poor communities need answers to questions like: How can we grow more and healthier food? Protect our health? Create jobs? IDRC supports research in developing countries to answer these questions. IDRC also encourages sharing this knowledge with policymakers, other researchers, and communities around the world. The result is innovative, lasting local solutions that aim to bring choice and change to those who need it most.

SOURCE International Development Research Centre

For further information: For further information:

Isabelle Bourgeault-Tassé
Senior Media Advisor, IDRC
(+1 613) 696-2343

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