Business Sense

Business Sense: Amjad Saqib, 2021 Ramon Magsaysay awardee

2021 Ramon Magsaysay awardee Amjad Saqib shares how zero-interest loans can help millions of poor families

Almost 20 years ago, a widow asked Pakistani social entrepreneur Muhammad Amjad Saqib to loan her $100.

The woman promised him to pay him back the same amount in a couple of months.

And she did. 

Saqib got back his $100 and learned that the woman used the money to buy sewing machines, effectively giving her a way to earn money.

Saqib saw what most banks did not: the poor’s perseverance to pay to lift themselves out of poverty.

Saqib is among the recipients of the 2021 Ramon Magsaysay Award for his interest-free lending model, which has helped millions of poor families in Pakistan.

In this episode of Business Sense, Saqib recalls his journey in making the lending program possible, how banks tend to favor shareholders more than the poor, and how zero-interest loans can be sustainable. –