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Yunus OPENS THE EAST AFRICAN SOCIAL BUSINESS FORUM in Nairobi

Yunus OPENS THE EAST AFRICAN SOCIAL BUSINESS FORUM in Nairobi

Yunus Centre Press Release – 14 May 2023

 

Nairobi 8 May 2023

The East Africa Social Business Forum on Youth Entrepreneurship was held in Nairobi, Kenya on 8th May 2023. It brought together East African stakeholders across Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania where the progress of the social business movement was celebrated.

 

During the Forum Professor launched  Yunus Social Business Centres in several Universities,  addressed youth, women entrepreneurs and the business community, engaged with key stakeholders of social business community.

 

Tangaza University College, one of the 9 Yunus Social Business Centres (YSBC) in the region, organized the conference in association with Yunus Centre, YY Ventures and its global partners in a green. conference using recycled and sustainable materials.

 

Over 300 regional participants and more than 250 students and 20 international speakers including Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus and Wanjira Mathai, Managing Director for Africa and Global Partnerships at World Resources Institute participated in the forum among many other notables.

 

Panel sessions discussed how social business ideas can nurture a culture of youth entrepreneurship in East Africa; how we can proceed with a circular transition to a green economy; generate funding for the next wave of social business entrepreneurs; building a formative ecosystem of social business and discussed the progress of many social businesses initiated or inspired by Professor Yunus' work and principles.  Three new YSBCs at Kampala Univeristy's three campuses in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda were launched  at the event.

 

Professor Muhammad Yunus in his keynote address stated that “African youth are the future of the world." He reminded that Africa is youngest country in world, with average age of 19 years for the whole continent.

 

He said they do not carry the baggage of the developed world the economic model for which has put the planet on suicidal path. He said we cannot continue on the suicidal path. We must build a new boat and a new engine, and the African youth with its' entrepreneurship and creativity will be the ones to build that boat towards a new civilization.  More than 60% of Africa’s population are under 25 and by 2030, 42% of the global youth will be coming from this continent, as per World Economic Forum.

 

The next day, Yunus Environment Hub Chairman Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus addressed the SHE Stars Graduation Program. The Federal Republic of Germany, through the GIZ implemented Employment and Skills for Development (E4D) in Africa programme and supported by Yunus Environment Hub, launched, in 2021. It aimed at increasing growth and competitiveness of 1,500 women-owned micro, small and medium (MSMEs) businesses impacted by the economic effects of Covid-19 and increased climate risks. 402 women in business in the “SHE Stars - See Her Empowered” program graduate on 9th May 2023. Professor Yunus was also invited by Kenya's leading media group Standard Media Group to lead a panel on Entrepreneurship and Social Business for African Youth together with Ingrid Munro, the founder of Jamii Bora Trust that created a Grameen type microcredit program in the 1990s in the slums of Kenya and Brother Jonas ..... of Tangaza University College. The panel  was broadcast live on KTN news and covered by other Kenyan media.

 

Professor Yunus attended a “Yunus Social Business Pitch Night’ as Chief Guest organized by Young president's organization YPO Gold Nairobi. He addressed the gathering of business people and social businesses on building a world of three zeroes. There was part of the high-level jury consisting of Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General, United Nations and Chair, United Nations Sustainable Development Group  who commented that there was much that Kenya had already learned from Professor Yunus and more to learn and follow. Professor Yunus reiterated the urgency of empowering women through the concept of social business to lead and run successful businesses and alleviate poverty.

 

Professor Yunus attended a reception for him at the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE). In his keynote he said “To overcome poverty and the flaws of the economic crisis in our society, we need to envision a social life where women are empowered. We have to free our mind, imagine what has never happened before and write social fiction.”

 

Prof. Yunus then visited a local social business called Powward Jua Bikes that converts bicycles into e-bikes that can be charged by solar for the village last mile vendors - a social business that has received incubation and other support from Yunus Environment Hub. He gave the young African entrepreneurs how to expand and improve their business model for success and greater impact. He also addressed  a public lecture at a local Moringa School that provides tech education and bootcamps to African youth.

 

During his stay, Yunus held one on one meetings with Amina Mohammed, the Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Heritage and Culture, with Emmanuel de Merode the warden of Virunga National Park in Congo, Wanjira Mathai, the Director of the Greenbelt Movement and daughter of Nobel Laureate Wangari Mathai, and with Executive Director of UN Habitat Dr Maimunah Mohd Sharif.

Caption for photo 1: Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus delivers a powerful address to the audience during the Opening Session of the East Africa Social Business Forum on Youth Entrepreneurship 2023 on May 8, 2023.

Caption for photo 2: Professor Muhammad Yunus joins the Yunus organization family members and the hosting team from Tangaza University College Kenya, which houses one of Africa's Yunus Social Business Centers, at The East Africa Social Business Forum on Youth Entrepreneurship on May 8, 2023.

Caption for photo 3: Professor Muhammad Yunus proudly poses with professors and staff members from Tangaza University College in front of the YSBC (Yunus Social Business Center) plaque on May 8, 2023. The occasion is the East Africa Social Business Forum on Youth Entrepreneurship 2023, hosted by the University College. Tangaza Yunus Social Business Center is one of Africa's eight YSBCs.

Caption for photo 4: Professor Muhammad Yunus engages with students from various East African universities during an insightful session at The East Africa Social Business Forum on Youth Entrepreneurship 2023 on May 8, 2023.

 

End

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