Yunus happy over responses to social business model
Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus has said he is happy to see his social business model attracting many, from youths to academics, giant businesses and governments in different countries.
He is also confident that such non-dividend business model could make up for a missing link in today's economic theories that are fundamentally flawed and unable to deal with issues like financial, food and energy crises.
“Social business is a thing that can make the world a much better place,” Prof Yunus told a discussion to celebrate Social Business Day in Dhaka yesterday.
The day that coincides with Yunus's birthday was observed in some other countries in the globe. Yunus's latest book 'Building Social Business: The New Kind of Capitalism that Serves Humanity's Most Pressing Needs' was also launched yesterday.
Held at Sonargaon Hotel, the discussion was jointly organised by AIESEC, the world's largest student-run organisation, and Chittagong-based Asian University.
Diplomats, professionals, business leaders, students and academics attended the programme.
In his speech, Yunus mainly focused on how the concept of 'social business' had got massive responses around the world. He said the response he got has surpassed his expectation.
“The young people worldwide are the biggest respondents,” said Yunus, also known as microcredit pioneer for founding and successfully running Grameen Bank.
He said business schools of different universities in Europe, America and Asia have adopted the concept and introduced a subject on social business.
Involvements of French-based dairy giant Danone and Germany-based chemical giant BASF in social business have had a great influence on the model, Yunus said.
Companies like Adidas, Otto, Veolia and Intel have also tied up with Grameen social businesses.
He said some countries and business organisations are now mobilising social business funds. He cited examples of Credit Agricole and Danone funds in this regard.
“India is also going to launch a social business fund soon,” Yunus also informed the function.
He said Albania, Columbia and Haiti and cities like Milan and Moscow launched government type of social businesses.
Yunus also laid bare Grameen's plan on social businesses. Developing a 13-acre industrial park in Gazipur to set up different social business enterprises is part of this plan.
“We've a plan to produce 1,000 nurses per year from existing 38,” he said. “A chain of nursing colleges will be built at different cities in Bangladesh.”
Dr Barbara Parfitt, head of the Grameen Caledonian College of Nursing, hoped that the college would be able to build up nurses of international quality.
“It will be a self-sustaining nursing college,” she said.
Saria Sadique, chief executive officer of BASF Grameen pointed out that social business improves the living condition of disadvantaged people.
Jonathan Shaw, director of Bangkok-based Asian Institute of Technology, said his team is going to take up a number of educational initiatives on social business and poverty reduction.
Corinne Bazina, executive director of Grameen-Danone Foods, Kazi I Huque, chief executive officer of Grameen-Intel, Shahid Ahmed, managing director of Bahrain-based IES Allaince, Zarina Hossain of Asian University for Women, Hiromi Inayoshi, a corporate identity designer and Rubayat Khan of AIESEC Bangladesh also spoke on the occasion.