Published in: www.theguardian.com
Published Date: Wednesday 29 March 2017 03.56 BST
The Nobel peace prize laureate will be in Australia to discuss why fostering entrepreneurship is even more important in the age of automation
Muhammad Yunus: ‘There are two kinds of businesses in the world. One is a business which makes money, and the other solves the problems of the world.’ Photograph: Ben Hider/Getty Images for Concordia Summit
Muhammad Yunus, the Bangladeshi economist, microfinancing pioneer and founder of the grassroots Grameen Bank, has not been resting on his laurels since wining the Nobel peace prize in 2006.
For one thing, he has expanded his concept to developed countries via Yunus Social Business, founded in 2011. “Globally, the issues are the same,” he says. “In terms of poverty, of welfare recipients, of housing problems, water problems, in terms of healthcare problems. These are common problems, rich country or poor country. Australia has poor people, America has poor people, Europe has poor people.”
In the past year, he has begun establishing Yunus Social Business centres at universities around the world, including at Australia’s University of New South Wales and Latrobe University. Two centres are slated to open in New Zealand this year.
“Young people have to know about it,” he says. “They should learn that there are two kinds of businesses in the world. One is a business which makes money, and the other solves the problems of the world. It’s an academic exercise and what they do with that in real life will depend on them, what kind of life they would like to choose.”
Yunus is speaking to the Guardian on the eve of a trip to Melbourne for the Australasian Social Business Forum. The event is titled “Positive Disruption: Lead the Change”.