Right, Nobel laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus and USAID Administrator Raj Shah pose with an agreement signed to collaborate in promoting social business around the world, at the USAID headquarters in Washington on Monday. Photo:Yunus Centre
Yunus Social Business (YSB) has recently joined hands with the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to work together to promote entrepreneurship and the development of social business in vulnerable and under-served communities around the world.
Nobel laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus and USAID Administrator Dr Raj Shah signed a deal in Washington DC on Monday to foster market-based solutions to the critical social and economic challenges the world's poor now face.
“Our collaboration with Yunus Social Business is indicative of the new model for development that USAID is actively pursuing with a multitude of partners throughout the world to advance solutions to development challenges that are sustainable in the long-term,” said Shah.
“We share vision of how to address social, economic and environmental challenges in the developing world, and we look forward to making a real difference in the countries we work in.”
“I am delighted to announce this new partnership between USAID and YSB to support our social business initiatives across the world,” said Yunus, the chairman of YSB.
“The technical support from USAID will help us to amplify the impact achieved by our Social Business Incubator Funds,” the Nobel laureate said.
USAID's financial contribution will act as the catalyst in attracting new private sector capital into social business, enabling YSB to invest in more social businesses, and to reach even more poor people than before, he said.
YSB offices and programmes in Haiti, Albania, Brazil, Colombia and Uganda, will seek to collaborate with USAID bureaus and missions to find and implement solutions together, combining USAID's vast international development knowledge with YSB's expertise in social business, Yunus said.
“I am excited to be joined by USAID in our effort to advance the concept of social business.”
"USAID partners with organisations like YSB that are taking innovative approaches to supporting social entrepreneurship that improve the impact of our own development interventions," Shah said.
YSB, headquartered in Frankfurt, has been spearheading the advancement of social business around the world, Yunus Centre said in a statement yesterday.
Recognising the power of entrepreneurial approaches to addressing development challenges, USAID has joined YSB to collaborate on the development of Social Business Incubator Funds in a targeted set of developing countries, it said.
“These incubator funds will provide financing as well advisory support to selected social businesses that are poised to grow and scale up their impact,” the centre said.
In addition to signing the deal, Prof Yunus addressed the staff of USAID on “Microfinance, social business and eradicating extreme poverty”.
All senior officials and employees of USAID, including Shah and Nisha Biswal, currently assistant administrator of USAID, who has recently been nominated by US President Barack Obama to head the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs at the US Department of State, and senior staff of other agencies, attended the lecture.
Prof Yunus also participated in a separate event on “Conversation with USAID Administrator”.