Social business spreads wings
Developed and developing nations are implementing the social business model devised by Nobel laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus to solve their pressing social problems.
Binod Chaudhary, chairman of Chaudhary Group, Nepal, and also the first billionaire of the country, said his land-locked nation faced serious problems such as unemployment.
"So, we intend to forge a partnership with Prof Yunus to solve the problem," he said.
“I truly believe that if we can give the social business a momentum, we will be able to solve some of our pressing challenges -- in my country and around the world.”
Binod said the society's youth would have to be made the driver of the change.
He was speaking at the inaugural ceremony of the fourth Social Business Day at Radisson Hotel in Dhaka yesterday.
Clementine Lalande, project manager of Yunus Social Business in Haiti, said the social business was a powerful tool for developing the country, which has suffered a serious deforestation.
The Yunus Social Business is implementing six forestation projects in the Caribbean country which has convinced others to come forward.
It was also working to increase poultry production in Haiti, she said.
Saskia Bruysten, co-founder of Yunus Social Business, Germany, said many governments in Africa were interested in the social business concept.
Nobel peace prize winning Grameen Bank founder Prof Yunus said, "We are being invited by many countries around the world to help them set up social businesses."
He said Europe was particularly interested about the new business model. "This has surprised us, as you might not expect that European countries would be interested in the idea of social business.
"Now Germany and France took the lead and other countries are joining in," he said.
The European Union has already made social business a part of its policy issue.
Prof Yunus said unemployment was really shaking up the European continent and was already a major source of trouble in Spain, Greece and Portugal.
"But nobody has heard about the problems in Sweden. However, the country has invited us to have a series of social businesses, as unemployment is a very nagging problem in Sweden.
"We have recently been invited by the city of London where a lot of people struggle for food. The city is worried as their number is increasing," he said adding that he would sit with officials of the city next week to discuss the issue.
Prof Yunus, known as the Banker to the Poor, said Brazil had also showed interest in opening its doors to social businesses.
He said social business had reached Africa since several countries were embracing the business model.
He said a close partnership had been established between the African Development Bank and Yunus Social Business. Tunisia would be the first country where the two would work together.
He said Uganda would come next. Egypt, Senegal, Tanzania, Togo and many other African countries would join the list.
"This is a significant thing, as they have considered the social business in a serious way … to finance it and to stand behind it."