Grameen Telecom Trust yesterday signed a joint venture agreement with Eco Social Development Organisation, which will produce mustard oil employing around 1,000 minority people.
The Trust also signed another agreement with Green Savers, which will work to promote mobile plant nursery and clinic in the urban areas, Yunus Centre said in a statement.
The deals were signed at the 13th Yunus Centre Social Business Design Lab at Grameen Bank auditorium in the capital.
Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus chaired the Design Lab. He provided a summary of the projects that had emerged from the previous 12 labs.
Six new social business plans were presented at the programme, including three Nobin Uddokta projects, businesses launched by young entrepreneurs who are the children of Grameen Bank families.
The plans were Shahidul Motor Parts Shop and Workshop by Md Shahidul Islam; Faruk Community Information Centre by Md Faruk Hossain, and Jahangir Engineering Workshop by Md Jahangir Alam.
The other three plans were: a social business to create employment for the disabled by the Action on Disability and Development; fresh mushroom and seed production based social business by Biplab Chakma of Ashika Agro-Farm Products Co-operative Society Ltd; and a social business of cleaning drinking-water tanks by Mozammel Hoque, CEO of Tanklean.
Around 150 people from different organisations, including a four-member delegation from Yunus Centre at Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand; three members from Japan, and Professor AK Azad Khan, president of Diabetic Association of Bangladesh, joined the programme.
There were several rounds of discussions on how each social business could be improved and strengthened during the main session as well as in breakout sessions.
With the help of Project Bondhu or project mentor, the six projects would be finalised for investment and implementation, Yunus Centre said.
Seventy-three out of the 86 social business plans presented have already been approved for implementation. Thirty-six of the plans had already become operational or near-operational, according to the statement.
Participants from different countries joined an online question and answer session with Yunus.
In the second session, Grameen Communication made a presentation on their upcoming social business on portable health clinic and call centre.
The centres will provide state-of-the-art healthcare services to people by distant doctors with the help of information technology in rural areas.
The service will be provided with minimum cost to individuals or communities, according to the statement. The 14th Social Business Design Lab will be held on April 19 and the annual social business day will be observed on June 28.