The Okan University in Istanbul, Turkey, has launched the Muhammad Yunus International Centre for Microfinance and Social Business, which aims to contribute to poverty reduction and sustainable development by “promoting, developing and implementing social business ideas and projects” . The centre has been named after Dr Muhammad Yunus, the founder of Grameen Bank, a nonprofit microcredit organization in Bangladesh. The centre reportedly will conduct research in social business and microfinance and provide training for academicians and researchers. Dr Yunus is expected to give a lecture at the centre on a yearly basis. Mr Bekir Okan, the founder of Okan University, will be donating USD 2 million towards the initial costs of the centre.
By Nisha Koul, Research Associate
About Grameen Bank: Grameen Bank is a Bangladeshi microfinance institution that provides loans to poor entrepreneurs in rural areas. It was founded in 1976 by Muhammad Yunus, who, along with Grameen Bank, won the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize for his work in developing the concept of microfinance. As of December 31, 2010, Grameen Bank reported to the US-based nonprofit Microfinance Information Exchange total assets of USD 1.7 billion, return on assets (ROA) of 0.7 percent and return on equity (ROE) of 10.7 percent. As of September 30, 2011, Grameen Bank reported a gross loan portfolio of USD 959 million and 8.34 million active borrowers.
Sources and Additional Resources:
 Yunus Centre, “Yunus Centre Opens at Turkey’s Okan University,” http://www.muhammadyunus.org/Yunus-Centre-Highlights/yunus-centre-opens-at-turkeys-okan-university/
MicroCapital.org story, January 5, 2012, “MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Dr Muhammad Yunus to Seek Court Review of His Removal as Managing Director of Bangladeshi Microfinance Institution Grameen Bank,” https://www.microcapital.org/microcapital-brief-dr-muhammad-yunus-to-seek-court-review-of-his-removal-as-managing-director-of-bangladeshi-microfinance-institution-grameen-bank/
MicroCapital.org story, October 10, 2011, “MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Dr Muhammad Yunus to Address Microfinance at Rotary International Convention, Bangkok, Thailand, May 6 – 9, 2012,” https://www.microcapital.org/microcapital-brief-dr-muhammad-yunus-to-address-microfinance-at-rotary-international-convention-bangkok-thailand-may-6-%E2%80%93-9-2012/
MicroCapital.org story, September 30, 2011, “MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Dr Muhammad Yunus Suggests Microfinance “Misinterpreted” as Charity in the Arab World due to Outdated Regulation,” https://www.microcapital.org/microcapital-brief-dr-muhammad-yunus-suggests-microfinance-misinterpreted-as-charity-in-the-arab-world-due-to-outdated-regulation/
MicroCapital Universe Profile: Grameen Bank, https://www.microcapital.org/microfinanceuniverse/tiki-index.php?page=Grameen+Bank
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