In 1957, he enrolled in the department of economics at Dhaka University and completed his BA in 1960 and MA in 1961. Following his graduation, Yunus joined in the Bureau of Economics. There he worked as research assistant to the economical researchs of Professor Nurul Islam and Rehman Sobhan . Later he was appointed as a lecturer in economics in Chittagong College and joined there in 1961.He obtained his Ph.D. in economics from Vanderbilt University in the United States in 1969 after getting a Fulbright scholarship. From 1969 to 1972, Yunus was an assistant professor of economics at Middle Tennessee State University before moving back to Bangladesh, where he joined Chittagong University as an economics professor.
Yunus first got involved in fighting poverty during a 1974 famine in Bangladesh. He discovered that very small loans could make a disproportionate difference to a poor person.
Â His first loan consisted of US$27 from his own pocket, which he lent to women in the village of Jobra near Chittagong University who made bamboo furniture. They had to take out usurious loans in order to buy bamboo. They then sold these items to the moneylenders to repay them. With a net profit of 5 Bangladeshi taka (.02 USD), the women were unable to support their families. However, traditional banks were not interested in making tiny loans at more reasonable interest rates to poor people, who were considered repayment risks.
During this time, he established a rural economic programme as a research project. In 1974, he developed a Tebhaga Khamar (three share farm) which the government adopted as the Packaged Input Programme. In order to make the project more effective, Yunus and his associates proposed another project called 'Gram Sarkar' (the village government). The government adopted it in 1980, but the succeeding regime later lifted it away.
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