Grameen Telecom Trust and ASHIKA Manabik Unnayan Kendra based in Chittagong Hill Tracts signed a Joint Venture Agreement to produce Mushroom seed/spawns. This is the first social business of its kind launched in the CHT area. Photo-Yunus Centre.
The 25th Social Business Design Lab took place on August 23, 2014 at the Grameen Bank Auditorium, participated by around 100 representatives of national and international organizations.
At the 25th design lab, six new social business plans were presented. These included four Nobin Udyokta projects, businesses launched by young entrepreneurs who are the children of Grameen Bank families. The ones selected for presentation were Sumaiya Poultry Feed & Medicine Corner, a business on running a poultry feed by Md. Sohel Rana, Mim Fashion, a business on selling different items of clothing and tailored products by Kajol Begum and Khokon Video Editing Center, a business aims to provide quality video products to the local customers by Md. Sumon, who is only one went upto fifth grade in primary school.
Another Nobin Udyokta project is Afsana Pigeon Farm, a business on rearing and selling pigeon was presented by Ms Afsana Naznin, who is just 22 years old and completed her BBA degree.
Twenty years old Ms Afsana Jahan who just completed her BBA presented her business plan on rearing and selling pigeon at the 25th Social Business Design Lab. Her mother is a Grameen Bank borrower. Photo- Nasir Ali Mamun/Yunus Centre
The other projects presented in the Lab were- Himel Mushroom Cultivation Project, a business aiming to diversify food through Mushroom products by Mrs. Morsheda Akter Lipi, and Creation Handmade ltd, a social business initiative aims to manufacture and export handmade, non-traditional, pioneering diversified jute products to meet global market demand by increasing participation of female labor force in Bangladesh by Ms Afsana Jahan.
All the projects were discussed in details in breakout groups after which participants reconvened to hear how the businesses might be improved or refined and scoring was done by group on the quality of the projects. Groups also gave their recommendations for funding of the projects.
In between sessions, Professor Yunus participated in Q and A with the online viewers from different countries. Usually participants between 60 and 80 countries view each Lab.
At the end, a Joint Venture Agreement signed between Grameen Telecom Trust and ASHIKA Manabik Unnayan Kendra based in Chittagong Hill Tracts. It’s a Mushroom Seed Social Business initiative, promoting the production of organic mushroom seeds/spawns. This is the first social business of its kind launched in the Chittagong Hill Tracts area.
Professor Yunus thanked the participants for the innovative social businesses and noted that on this occasion that two third of the businesses presented were by women, which is a trend he hoped would continue. He also invited participants to attend in the next Yunus Centre Social Business Design Lab which will be held on 17 September.