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4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (4,037 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Muhammad Yunus Narrator: Ray Porter Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In 1983, Muhammad Yunus established Grameen, a bank devoted to providing the poorest citizens of Bangladesh with miniscule loans. Believing that credit is a basic human right, not the privilege of a few, Yunus aimed to support that spark of personal initiative and enterprise by which the poor might lift themselves out of poverty forever. Grameen Bank now provides over 2.5 billion dollars of micro-loans to more than two million families in rural Bangladesh, with repayment rates at nearly 100 percent.

In Banker to the Poor, Yunus traces the journey that led him to rethink the economic relationship between rich and poor and recounts the challenges he faced in founding Grameen. He provides wise, hopeful guidance for anyone who would like to join him in the burgeoning world movement of micro-lending to eradicate world poverty.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[Yunus’s] ideas have already had a great impact on the Third World…hearing his appeal for a ‘poverty-free world’ from the source itself can be as stirring as that all-American myth of bootstrap success.”

    Washington Post

  • “A wonderful yet heartbreaking memoir, expertly realized by narrator Ray Porter. This story is so powerful that it needs no embellishment, and Porter knows exactly how to read it with a touching and firm delivery that involves listeners instead of preaching to them…Porter delivers the material as if it were his own. A greater compliment there could not be for audiobook narration.”


  • Banker to the Poor is an inspiring memoir of the birth of microcredit, written in a conversational tone that makes it both moving and enjoyable to read…Dr. Yunus's efforts prove that hope is a global currency.”


  • An AudioFile Earphones Awardwinner

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Sally | 2/8/2014

    " This is the book that is inspiring my sons' generation to get out in the world and make a difference in the lives of people not as lucky/wealthy. There is a real belief that organizations such as Grameen can begin to end poverty, one person at a time. Hooray! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Lisa Yelenick | 1/31/2014

    " Interesting read, also for my gender equity class. This book focuses on how one man made a difference for women, and the poor in general, in Bangladesh, by founding banks that were based on micro-credit loans. It is incredible what some women can do with a $25 loan. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Peter | 1/24/2014

    " This book is fantastic. I greatly enjoyed reliving Mr. Yunus' demonstrated passion for those less fortunate, and his willingness to go to bat for them and innovate. The Grameen bank and microcredit has immense potential that will hopefully not be squandered on political considerations. This is an immensely important read for anyone interested in grassroots development solutions, which in my view are the only ones we should be pursuing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Ari | 1/21/2014

    " Lovely book about Dr. Muhammad Yunus, basically the inventor of the micro finance movement. He saw a need in his community and he decided to solve the problem by giving out low-interest rate loans, especially targeting women. Yay! One of the factors I most enjoyed about this book is how Dr. Yunus candidly portrays himself as an academic stumbling along in the real-world trying to figure out how to apply his textbook theories to life. He does (continues to do) a fantastic job. This book is less a memoir and more of a story about a man creating and implanting a business plan. He briefly touches on his current personal life, reflects for a bit on his childhood but for the most part this book is solely about the birth of Grameen Bank. He also details how Grammen Bank positively impacts the lives of the poor it lends to. "In 1992, some four hundred Grameen borrowers were elected to union councils, and in 1996, Grameen borrowers led the way to an almost unthinkable feat-more women voted in the national election than men, which helped to nearly wipe out a political party that had taken positions against women's rights out of Parliament. [...] These astonishing results proved to us that once Grameen borrowers grew in self-esteem they would readily express their opinions" (pg. 196) and thus a baby civil society is born! IQ "All I really wanted was to solve an immediate problem. Out of sheer frustration, I had questioned the most basic banking premise of collateral. I did not know if I was right. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I was walking blind and learning as I went along. My work became a struggle to show that the financial untouchables are actually touchable, even huggable. To my great surprise, the repayment of loans by people who borrow without collateral has proven to be much better than those whose borrowings are secured by assets. Indeed, more than 98 percent of our loans are repaid. The poor know that this credit is their only opportunity to break out of poverty. they do not have any cushion whatsoever to fall back on If they fall afoul of this one own, they will have lost their one and only chance to get out of the rut" (pgs. 57-58). Dr. Yunus makes an interesting point for helping the rural poor before the urban poor (well interesting to me. Most people probably already knew this). He says "If we alleviate suffering in the countryside, that will reduce the pressure on the poor to rush to Dhaka and clog the streets" (pg. 94), Dhaka is the capital of Bangladesh. We definitely tend to neglect the rural poor, especially in America. Another new-to-me fact I learned was about the inefficiency of foreign aid. "Most foreign aid goes to building roads, bridges and so forth, which are supposed to help the poor 'in the long run'. The only people really benefiting from most of this aid, however, are those who are already wealth. Foreign aid becomes a kind of charity for the powerful while the poor get poorer. If aid is to have some impact on the lies of the destitute, it must be rerouted so that it reaches pro households more directly. I believe that a new aid methodology has be to be designed with new objectives. In fact, the direct elimination of poverty should be the objective of all development aid. Development should be viewed as a human rights issue, not as a question of simply increasing the gross national product (GP). When the national economy picks up, the situation of the poor is not necessarily improved. Therefore development should be redefined. IT should refer only to a positive measurable change in per capita income of the bottom 50 percent of the population" (pg. 146), whew. I completely agree! Western governments really need to reevaluate their foreign aid budgets and work on educating the public about how much money is really needed to be effective (and where this money should go) especially in these trying economic times. I hope the issues around micro finance continue to be investigated and the things are straightened out, there should be no intimidation of people in extreme poverty simply because they fall behind on their loan payments. Then micro finance begins to resemble the horrid moneylenders. "

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