Sanitary Napkin and Drinking Water Social Businesses Launched at the 375th Social Business Design Lab

Press Release (21 October, 2016)

Investments into six social businesses including four New Entrepreneur(NU) projects were announced on Thursday at the 375th Social Business Design Lab. The New Entrepreneurs, children of Grameen Bank borrowers are seen in the photo with Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus. Photo Credit: Nasir Ali Mamun /Yunus Centre

The 375th Social Business Design Lab organized by Yunus Centre took place on 20th October 2016 at the Grameen Bank Auditorium with nearly 160 participants from national and international organizations attending. The Design Lab was chaired by Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus.

Two open social business projects also presented at the design lab today. Mr Ashraful Hasan, Managing Director of Grameen Fashion & Fabrics presented the project Grameen Sanitary Napkin : An Automatic Production Line. This project aims to address the menstrual hygiene issue in the country especially among the low income group with cost competitive sanitary napkin products. The company intends to scale up from its current manual production to an automatic production line which will produce 600,000 pieces per day compared to the current 3,000 pieces per day. At this rate the company would be able produce 150 million pieces per month that would address 15% of total market demand in the country.

Second open project was presented by Mr Biplob Chakma of ASHIKA Manabik Unnyan Kendra.  The project, Shuvolong (Supply of Safe Drinking Water), is a joint venture between ASHIKA Manabik Unnyan Kendra and Grameen Telecom Trust(GTT). The project aims to address drinking water crisis in the hilly district of Rangamati. It is to be noted that this is the second social business joint venture between ASHIKA and GTT. The first one facilitates mushroom production involving indigenous women in the same region of the country.

There was also a guest project on social business, Vila Brasil, presented by Ms. Marina Lourenço of Brazil. Her project aims to educate local communities about social business and its impact though workshops. The project came through Yunus Centre at AIT Thailand where Ms Marina has been working as researcher.

Four new Nobin Udyokta business plans were presented at today's Lab. All Nobin Udyokta businesses, presented at the Design Lab are the children of Grameen Bank borrowers’ families. These four plans included Mayer Dua Peyara Khamar by Mim Sardar. The next plan was p resented by Mst. Kohinur Begum for her Surma Cloth and Tailors. Md. Khalid Hasan presented M/S Trust Poultry Farm project. The last one was presented by Md. Hashim for his Hashim Handicrafts.

Among the foreign participants were Managing Director and Chief of Administration of Grameen Credit Agricole, Mr Eric Campos and Mr Pascal Webanck were present at the design lab as special guests. Grameen Credit Agricole is a joint venture microcredit institution between Grameen and French Banking Giant Credit Agricole and currently active in around 30 countries. Grameen Credit Agricole also operates a social business fund. Guests were also present from Bolivia, Brazil, Zimbabwe, USA, and France.

All business plans were presented and discussed in detail. Those were then presented in groups for further review. All projects were approved for funding by their groups. The projects are joint ventures with Grameen social business fund and their progress will be monitored on www.socialbusinesspedia.com .

Since the Labs began in January 2013, over 8,865 projects have been presented in the last 375 Lab programs, of which 8,859 projects have been approved for equity funding investments ranging from taka one lakh to five lakh for Nobin Udyokta projects.

Professor Yunus thanked the participants for the innovative social businesses and noted that it was exciting that so many ideas were now business reality. Professor Yunus also invited participants to join next Social Business Design Lab which will take place on November 22, 2016.

Photo Caption Two: Investments into six social businesses including four New Entrepreneur(NU) projects were announced on Thursday at the 375th Social Business Design Lab. The New Entrepreneurs, children of Grameen Bank borrowers along with the Mr Ashraful Hasan, Managing Director of Grameen Fashion & Fabrics and Mr Biplob Chakma of ASHIKA Manabik Unnyan Kendra are seen in the photo with Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus.
Photo Credit: Nasir Ali Mamun /Yunus Centre

Photo Caption  Three: Participants of the 375th Social Business Design Lab are seen with the Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus. The 375th Social Business Design Lab organized by Yunus Centre took place today on 20th October 2016 at the Grameen Bank Auditorium. Photo Credit: Nasir Ali Mamun /Yunus Centre

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"Inventor of Microcredit enters the Seine" Journal de Dimanche

Press Release

Photo of the historical building Les Canaux built in 1882 which has been launched by the Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo as a Social Business House and where Yunus Centre has been given an office to help build social business in the city of Paris

Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus the invited by Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo to be the chief guest at the launching ceremony held on october 10 of Les Canaux as the "Social Business House" a magnificent building dedicated by the City of Paris to promote social business in Paris. Members of the community, representatives of leading businesses, local mayors of the city and the press attended the ceremony.

The historical building built in 1882 has served as the administrative office of the Canals of Paris. It is located in the up-and-coming the 19th Arrondisement of Paris which is a very vibrant neighborhood attractive to young people.

The Mayor of Paris has designated the office to Yunus Centre so that it can help build social business in Paris city, and also bring international attention to the project. Yunus centre has also invited Grameen Creative Lab to set up office in the building. Several other related organizations will be invited later to locate their offices in the building to build up a strong team to initiate social businesses in Paris.

Professor Yunus said in his speech at the launching ceremony that this was a historic initiative of the City of Paris, and a very important step to create a new kind of economy that is based on human values. He stressed that social business can be a tool for young people to create a world of their dreams and imagination, and this House creates an enabling environment for that. He talked about his own vision of creating a world of three zeroes - zero poverty, zero unemployment and zero net carbon emissions - with the power of youth, technology and social business. He called on the young people to imagine the world they would like to create and and go ahead and get translare Les Canaux from an inspiring symbol to a place where concrete programmes take shape for the benefit of the people of Paris.

Mayor Anne Hidalgo thanked Prof Yunus for accepting her invitation to lead the social business initiative of Paris and join her in launching the building. She referred to his quote that "poverty is not created by the poor, it is created by the institutions that we have created". The Social Business House she said is an initiative to give young people an opportunity to create their own enterprises and change their own lives and their communities in a sustainable way.

She posted her thanks to Professor Yunus in her official Facebook page, for "standing by the starts up, young entrepreneurs and social businesses in helping to create Paris as a global capital for social business".

Before the official launch, Prof Yunus and the distinguished guests were given a tour of the building Les Canaux and introduced them to 15 social entrepreneurs engaged in a variety of social businesses in Paris

According to the statement made by Mayor's office "Les Canaux is a dedicated space for all collaborative, ecological and inclusive actor working in social business in Greater Paris with objectives of generating solutions, acting as a catalyst for development, a show case for sharing experiences and pooling resources."

After the launching ceremony Professor Yunus was invited to an exclusive lunch with the Mayor, her deputy mayor, and other colleagues in Paris restaurant where they discussed about how to take the program of social business for the city of Paris forward in the coming weeks.

The headline of the news in the Journal de Dimanche an important Paris newspaper was given as "Inventor of Microcredit enters the Seine"


Photo caption 2: Mayor Anne Hidalgo of Paris greets Professor Yunus outside Lea Canaux before the launch of the social business house

Photo caption 3: Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus and Mayor Anne Hidalgo on the terrace of the Les Canaux Building where the Social Business House has been launched

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Yunus meets Canada Finance Minister, addresses social business meetings in Ottawa and Toronto

Press Release

Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus with Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau who visited him at his hotel suite during his visit to Canada.

Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus had an hour long meeting with the Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau who visited him at his hotel on last Friday. They discussed about development strategies including the role of social business. Professor Yunus suggested that some part of development aid could be exclusively devoted to financing social business initiatives ie sustainable enterprises that address social needs while unleashing the creative energies of the communities. They talked in particular about Yunus Social Business initiatives in Haiti and Africa where funds have been created to support social businesses in those countries with very good results. They also discussed about developing entrepreneurship programs for aboriginal communities in Canada following the Nobin Udyokta program in Bangladesh to engage the unemployed youth in those communities to create entreprises that bring income for themselves while also generating employment for others. Mr Morneau thanked Prof Yunus for the meeting and also talked about prospects of big Canadian companies operating in poor countries to create social businesses to help overcome their problems.

Earlier in Ottawa Professor Yunus addressed the One Young World Summit audience of 1,300 young people on how they can change the world by challenging the conventional wisdoms that getting a good job is the purpose of life. He said human beings are entrepreneurs and by creating their own enterprises they discover themselves and create new centres of sharing the wealth, rather than working for companies  that merely make those who are rich richer. He talked about his own vision of a world with three zeroes - zero poverty zero unemployment and zero carbon emissions - and how the power of youth would be an important force for achieving those goals together with the power of social business and technology.

Professor Yunus was joined on stage by ten members of youth delegation from Bangladesh who were selected through a competitive process by Yunus Centre to attend the One Young World Summit in Ottawa as part of his delegation. They each told the audience what they hoped to do in future to make an impact in Bangladesh and the world.

In Toronto. Professor Yunus was a chief guest of the Toronto International Microfinance Summit (TIMS) and delivered a keynote address at a gathering of 150 participants made up of microfinance practitioners, business persons academic and others. He also addressed a meeting of Rotary in Toronto and shared about his work in social business in Bangladesh and around the world.

Photo Caption 1: Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus with Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau who visited him at his hotel during his visit to Canada.

Photo Caption 3: The ten young leaders selected by Yunus Centre on stage with Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus in front of 1300 delegates at the One Young World Summit in Ottawa, Canada

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20th Anniversary Celebration of Nobel Peace Prize in East Timor

Press Release (08 October, 2016)

Professor Muhammad Yunus with the President of Timor Leste, Prime Minister of Timor Leste, first lady of Timor Leste, Nobel Laureate Jose Ramos Horta and other Nobel Laureates at the opening by the President of Timor Leste of the International Conference on "Citizenship, Peace and Well Being" on the occasion of 20 years of Nobel Peace Prize for Jose Ramos Horta and Bishop Carlos Ximines Belo

Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus is in Dili Timor Leste as a Special Guest at an international conference organized by the Government of Timor Leste  on "Citizenship, Peace and Well-Being" on the occasion of the 20th Anniversary of the Nobel Peace Prize award to Jose Ramos Horta and Bishop Carlos Ximenes Belo in 1996.

On October 7 morning,  the conference was inaugurated by HE President  Taur Matan Ruak Professor Yunus was presented at the opening ceremony of the conference along with five other Nobel Laureates present from several countries.

Prime Minister Trudeau and Yunus address One Young World Global Summit in Ottawa

Yunus Centre Press Release:

Prime Minister in discussion with Professor Yunus on youth issues before the opening of the One Young World Summit on 28 September at Parliament Hill.

Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus delivered a keynote address at the One Young World Summit in Ottawa on the evening of 28 September on the grounds of Parliament Hill. Professor Yunus speech followed that of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan at the grand opening of the Summit which brings together 1,300 young leaders from more than 196 countries.  Prime Minister Justin Trudeau earlier met with the Counselors of the One Young World Summit . He had a separate discussion with Prof Yunus on youth issues and later tweeted about his meeting with Prof Yunus stating  "Muhammad Yunus has dedicated his life to fighting poverty. @OneYoungWorld delegates are lucky to learn from him this week in Ottawa."

Professor Yunus urged the young delegates to not accept the world that is handed to them rather build the world of their own  dreams. He said he dreams of a world where there is Zero Poverty, Zero Unemployment and Zero Net Carbon Emissions.  He said that in order to achieve these three things that he saw three mega powers to achieve this - the power of youth, the power of technology and the power of social business. The young people should get to work now to create the world that they would like to live in and create a new civilization as this current greed based civilization would not last much longer.

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