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MDNA Celebrity Profile: Muhammad Yunus (Nobel Prize Winner “Banker to the Poor”) – CVS

Please note that these are unofficial profiles only and have not been verified. Description is only based upon public information and may represent either primary or secondary MDNA profiles. This profile is intended for educational purposes only to demonstrate the possibilities of MDNA for those that have been personally assessed.

Muhammad Yunus


CVS (Compelling Value & Stewardship)

Muhammad Yunus is a Bangladeshi banker, economist and founder of the Grameen Bank. In 2006 Yunus and Grameen Bank received the Nobel Peace Prize “for their efforts through microcredit to create economic and social development from below”. Yunus has received several other national and international honours including the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal in 2010. He is author of the books Banker to the Poor and Creating a World without Poverty.

The idea for the Grameen Bank started with a mere $27 loan to 42 people. During the famine of 1974, Yunus was the head of the economics department at Chittagong University.  He felt silly teaching elegant economic theories while people were dying around him. He discovered that local villagers were in a vicious cycle of poverty because of loan sharks. So Yunus decided to do something about it personally. That first loan would be the spark for an inspiring movement that has spread around the world.

We have profiled Muhammad Yunus as a CVS for his revolutionary approach and vision to eliminate poverty worldwide. The most common core competence of the CVS is to provide valued access. This is precisely what Yunus has done through compelling value and stewardship.

The CVS is also extremely versatile and competent in startup situations. As much as Yunus used microcredit as a tool, he also saw that the poor lacked access to so many other valued services that we take for granted. His solution is to start social businesses. There are many examples of this valued access that Yunus has initiated.

First, there is Grameen Kalyan, or Grameen Health Care, which has over 50 clinics in rural Bangladesh and provides insurance for a family of seven for $1 a month. Grameen Green Children Eye-Care Hospitals, provides cataract surgery and general eye care. Grameen Danone sells fortified yogurt in the hopes that kids will get two units a week in order to get the basic intake of vitamins and minerals that are missing in their diets. Other ventures include a fishery and livestock company. The fisheries have greatly improved the yields of their ponds. And they have a seed company and encourage people to plant and eat a variety of fruits and vegetables to have a balanced diet.

Today, Yunus is working on providing everybody valued access to quality education. In 2012, he joined the Africa Progress Panel to develop strategies for equitable and sustainable development through the Global Partnership for Education. (This, along with his past as an educator, indicates KWR [Knowledgeable Wisdom & Responsibility] as his secondary MDNA Profile.)

It may surprise many that in all of Yunus’ endeavors, he doesn’t own a share of his companies. But as a CVS, that is not surprising at all. The CVS tends to be generous without requiring recognition while being highly focused upon sustainable legacy. In this way, Yunus is doing his work for the benefit of the community and not for personal gain.


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