German Trade Union Leader Takes Interest in Social Business

german1 Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus met Michael Sommer, Chairman of the Federation of German Trade Unions on Tuesday. Mr. Sommer sought new ideas from Professor Yunus about how trade unions could better serve the underprivileged in Germany and around the world.

Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus met with Mr Michael Sommer, the Chairman of the German Federation of Trade Unions on April 8 at the residence of German Ambassador Dr. Albrecht Conze. Mr Sommer and his delegation are in Bangladesh on a four day visit.

german2Mr Sommer discussed social business ideas with Professor Yunus and presented his experience with trade unions, which have a 150 year old history in Germany. He wanted to understand how social business can help workers and the underprivileged in new ways.

Professor Yunus explained how social business, a non-dividend selfless business can solve human problems and especially how to transform unemployment into entrepreneurship. Social Business could be used to tackle youth unemployment in contexts as diverse as Bangladesh and European countries which are going through extremely high youth unemployment. Mr Sommer went into details about social business methodology and pointed out many of these ideas have similarity in initiatives taken in the past in Germany for exactly the same reasons. He invited Professor Yunus to present his ideas to the Convention of German Trade Unions in December 2014 in Germany. Professor Yunus accepted the invitation.

Social Businesses Got financed through Social Business Design Lab

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The 13th Social Business Design Lab took place today, 15 March 2014, at Grameen Bank Auditorium. Around 150 participants from different organizations attended. Four member delegations from Yunus Centre at Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand, three members from Japan, Professor A. K. Azad Khan, President of Diabetic Association of Bangladesh (BADAS) and Mr. Muhammad Abdul Mazid, Chief Coordinator of Diabetic Association of Bangladesh (BADAS), among others.

At the 13th design lab, Grameen Telecom Trust signed Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) with Eco Social Development Organization (ESDO) which will produce mustard oil where at least 1000 minority peoples are expected to work as employees. Grameen Telecom Trust also signed another agreement with Green Savers which will work to promote mobile plant nursery and clinic in the urban areas.

Sixteen New Social Businesses Launched at Design Lab

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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.

Yunus visits Social Business Initiatives in three countries

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In a just concluded two week (February 23 – March 7) tour of three countries, France, USA, and Cambodia, Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus launched new social businesses, and visited social businesses already in operation, participated in board meetings of social business funds, and met potential investors in social businesses.

In Paris, Professor Yunus attended the board meeting of Grameen Credit Agricole social business fund.  The Board approved four projects for funding, two in social business, two in microfinance, in four countries. During the visit a plan was discussed for a French initiative to set up four French cities, namely, Lille, Cergy, Lyon and Marseilles, as social business cities. These cities will create social business funds, set up a social business institute in each city in one of their leading universities, and create social businesses. Initial focus of social businesses in these cities will be on youth unemployment and waste management.  A forum will be held in Lille in October to launch these initiatives. City governments of these cities are taking the lead in this programme.

Yunus at 25th Anniversary of the Agreement which Brought End to Apartheid


From the left, Martti Ahtisaari, former President of the Republic of Finland, Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, Director General Emeritus IAEA & Nobel Peace Laureate (2005), Egypt, HE DFenis Sassou N’guesso, President of the Republic of Congo, Mary Robinson, Former President of Ireland and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, 2006 Nobel Peace Laureate Muhammad Yunus and Peter Agre, the recipient of the 2003 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Republic of Congo is playing out Madiba magic as the country looks back on a historic deal that brought peace to Southern Africa.

Former President Nelson Mandela's face greets one from billboards and roadside banners in Brazzaville's main boulevards amid the flags of South Africa, Cuba, the US, Angola and the Republic of Congo.

Twenty five years ago in 1988, three countries, South Africa, Cuba and Angola signed a protocol named the Brazzaville protocol.

The Congolese capital commemorated on February 11, 2014 the 25th anniversary of the signing of the protocol in Brazzaville, capital of Republic of Congo.

The deal brought the so-called "Bosoorlog" to an end and led to the release of political prisoners on all sides. Nelson Mandela was released from prison six months after the protocol was signed. The rest is history. tellyseries