Here is a delicately written Economist article which pulls the rug from under nobel laureate Yunus’ feet. You remember the Danone thing where the good Professor, always a man for stunts,Â invited the great Zinedine Zidane to Bangladesh? The article deals with the business model inherent in that set up and compares it to other approaches,Â namely a book by Paul Polak.Â And the article sticks the boot in….but oh ever so subtly.Â Some excerpts:
In his new book, Mr Yunus describes how Grameen and Danone agreed on a joint venture to sell nutritious food to the poor. It is a wholesome tale of French businessmen finding meaning in their lives, and Bangladeshi children enjoying something better than rice gruel to eat. But Mr Yunus also smothers the story in molasses, making claims about the originality and profundity of the enterprise that are simply too rich to take.
And the absurdity of Yunus’ hyperbole is collapsed like a house of cards:
However tasty and nutritious the yogurt they eat, the poor will not consume their way out of poverty. To escape, they must find a way to make more money. This simple truth is repeated by Paul Polak, the founder of International Development Enterprises (IDE), in â€œOut of Povertyâ€, his wise and engaging new book.