The 12th Social Business Design Lab took place on 15 February 2014 at Grameen Bank Auditorium. Over 200 participants from different organizations attended. Fifteen member delegations of student from Peking University Business School, four faculty members of Malaysian University UKM, one representative from Monash University of Australia attended, among others.
The Design Lab was chaired by Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus. He began by welcoming the guests including those participating via live stream. He greeted 1261 participants via live-stream from 76 countries at the Design Lab.
Professor Yunus then provided a summary of the projects that had emerged from the previous 11 labs. Of a total of 74 social business plans presented, 58 social businesses had already received approval for implementation. Of these 30 had already become operational.
At the 12th lab, six new social business plans were presented. These included four Nobin Uddokta projects, businesses launched by young entrepreneurs who are the children of Grameen Bank families. These were Talukdar Dairy Farm by Md. Helal Uddin and Grameen Telecom Trust, Aminur Bamboo Mat Workers by Mr. Aminur Rahman and Grameen Byobasha Bikash, Shamim Cosmetics by Md. Shamim Reza and Grameen Kalyan and Jalal’s Homemade Bags by Md. Shariful Islam and Grameen Trust.
In addition, a Social Business to create employment and livelihood for savar tragedy victims by Ms. Hema Helal of Sneha Foundation and social business named ‘Jyoti’-A Candle Making Social Business for the visually impaired by Nazmul Hossain Faruk, who himself is a visually impaired person, were presented.
All the plans were greeted warmly by the participants. There were several rounds of discussions on how each social business could be improved and strengthened during the main session as well as in breakout sessions. All six projects received go ahead to proceed. With the help of the Project Bondhu or Project Friend, these projects would be finalized for investment and implementation as next step.
In between sessions, there was a Q and A session with Professor Yunus with online participants from different countries.
The day ended with signing of MoU agreement for the launch of 16 Nobin Uddokta social businesses.
Professor Yunus thanked the participants for the innovative social businesses and noted that it was exciting that so many ideas were now a reality. He also invited participants to the 13th Social Business Design Lab on March 15 and to attend this year’s Annual Social Business Day on June 28.