Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus, who is widely regarded as the father of microcredit and also is the founder of Grameen Bank, will be the keynote speaker on the opening night of the 23rd annual SRI Conference on Sustainable, Responsible, Impact Investing (“The 2012 SRI Conference”) taking place October 2-4, 2012 at the Mohegan Sun Conference Center in Connecticut.
Organized by First Affirmative Financial Network, The SRI Conference (formerly known as SRI in the Rockies) is the annual gathering of investors and investment professionals in North America.
This year’s conference represents the first time a major industry event has been held on the East Coast, with easy access to and from New York City, Boston, and Washington, D.C. For more information, go to http://www.SRIconference.com.
First Affirmative president, Steve Schueth, producer of The SRI Conference, said: “The SRI community and the 2012 SRI Conference sponsors are very pleased that one of the seminal figures in the world of microcredit and sustainable investing will be joining us to open the 23rd annual SRI Conference. This will be a must-attend session for investors, investment professionals, and companies interested in directing the flow of investment capital toward a truly sustainable future.”
Earlier, in an unprecedented theatrical event, audiences in U.S. theaters watched “To Catch a Dollar: Muhammad Yunus Banks on America,” learning the story of the Nobel Laureate’s unique and successful model of microfinance and how it is changing lives in the United States through the nonprofit organization, Grameen America. (Read: Film on Yunus’s Grameen America in Theaters)
Professor Yunus was born in Bangladesh in 1940. In 1965, he received a Fulbright Scholarship to study economics at Vanderbilt University, and received a PhD in economics in 1969.
He returned to Bangladesh in 1972 and joined University of Chittagong’s Department of Economics as its chairman. In 1976, Professor Yunus started to experiment with providing collateral free loans to the poor.
The project was called the Grameen Bank Project which later, in 1983, became a full-fledged bank providing loans to the poor, mostly women, in rural Bangladesh.
Today Grameen Bank has over 8.4 million borrowers, 97 percent of whom are women, and disburses over one and a half billion dollars (US) each year. His microcredit idea has spread to almost all the countries of the world, including the industrialized countries of the West.