This is a wonderful idea and a well written piece from The New Yorker. Full article.
Yunus, a silver-haired man of sixty-six with a round, luminous countenance, is a highly gifted interlocutor between the extremely poor in the developing world and the West, and for years he had been seen as a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize. (This December, he will go to Oslo to receive it.) During the famine of 1974 in Bangladesh, when the dying lined the doorsteps of the better-off in Dhaka, Yunus, an economics professor at Chittagong University, found the theories he was teaching maddeningly irrelevant; so he went into a neighboring village and began talking to the poor. He experimented with ways of helping them—initially, he lent twenty-seven dollars to a group of forty-two villagers—and before long he became convinced that he had a remedy for their condition: providing very small individual loans to the impoverished to start activities ranging from making bamboo stools to buying a dairy cow. In 1976, after local banks refused his entreaties to make the loans, he resolved to do it himself, and he founded the Grameen Bank.