Before accepting the award, Yunus urged others to follow the example of his Grameen Bank, which has been an innovator in extending so-called microloans to help the poor begin small businesses.
"So I am saying that if lending money to the poor people changes their lives and you could do business -- you know, getting money back, cover all your costs -- why shouldn't we do more of that?" Yunus asked. "This is one of the issues that we keep raising and that is something that we will continue to do."
Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk, winner of the Nobel for literature, and other Nobel winners were scheduled to receive their awards in a separate ceremony later in the day in Stockholm, Sweden.