Grameen, Adidas to make low-cost shoes
Grameen Group and German sports apparel maker Adidas are planning for a joint venture to make low-cost shoes in Bangladesh for the poor.
If the deal gets through, it will be a major footprint in Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus' social business.
As the first step, the two sides have signed a memorandum of understanding and are working together on how to bring the products into market tentatively by year-end, said officials of Yunus Centre, the hub of the Nobel laureate's social business activities.
Grameen and Adidas are working on the price issue, they said.
Dairy giant Groupe Danone and water company Veolia -- both from France -- have already launched separate joint social business ventures with Grameen to serve the poor with nutrition and safe-drinking water.
Germany's BASF SE and Intel of USA have also entered joint venture social businesses with Grameen to produce chemically-treated mosquito-nets and provide information and communication technology for the poor.
Grameen has also tied up with Germany's top chain store Otto to set up a garment factory.
Grameen-Adidas will be the latest in Yunus's social business efforts.
At a meeting at Yunus Centre last week, Yunus said: “The shoes will be cheap and affordable by the poor."
“It will protect people from diseases."
Nadina Terrera, assistant programme officer of Yunus Centre, told The Daily Star yesterday: "We are working on the price issue. It will be quite affordable for the poor."
Prof Yunus in his speech on Prof Hiren Mukerjee Memorial Lecture on December 2009 in Indian parliament said: "The goal of the Grameen-Adidas company is to make sure that no one, child or adult, goes without shoes."
“This is a health intervention to make sure that people in the rural areas, particularly children, do not have to suffer from parasitic diseases that can be transmitted through walking barefoot."