<i>First social business city in Italy</i>
Pistoia has been declared the first Italian Social Business City with an aim to create an environment for social business and social innovation.
Nobel laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus presented the plaque of Social Business City to Pistoia city Mayor Samuele Bertinelli, Yunus Centre said in a statement yesterday.
The declaration that came on July 11 emphasises networking among local, national and international actors.
A programme to promote social business in Pistoia was inaugurated at the beginning of the year by an agreement between Yunus Social Business Centre at University of Florence, Fondazione Un Raggio di Luce Onlus and Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Pistoia e Pescia.
Becoming a Social Business City means to choose the tools offered by social business to address local issues and community needs, according to the statement.
The major issues local governments have to face, such as youth employment, elderly assistance, environmental protection, can now be managed with social business solutions.
The programme developed by the University of Florence for Pistoia includes training activities and workshop for students; consulting services for entrepreneurs; technical and financial assistance for the start up of social enterprises; activities for the involvement of third sector organisations.
These activities will allow citizens, entrepreneurs and representatives of the Pistoia territory to come in contact with international institutions that are already dealing with these issues.
The ceremony took place with 300 participants, including Giovanna Melandri, member of parliament and former minister for youth and sport, and Marco Bellandi, vice-rector for technological transfer of University of Florence.
Prof Yunus joined a roundtable discussion on “Social business and social innovation for local development and international cooperation” which was attended by officials of Yunus Social Business Centre at University of Florence, and other dignitaries.
Other cities which named themselves as Social Business City are Wiesbaden in Germany and Fukuoka in Japan.