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Nobel Laureate Professor Yunus Discusses Social Business Olympics in Paris.

Nobel Laureate Professor Yunus Discusses Social Business Olympics in Paris.

Yunus Centre Press Release– 2 April 2024


Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus embarked on a series of impactful engagements across France from March 20th to March 22nd, where he shared his visionary insights on microcredit, the power of sport in combating poverty, and the role of social business in shaping Paris Olympics 2024.  


On March 21, Professor Yunus was invited by BNP Paribas, Europe's largest bank, to address a gathering of over 50 French experts from various banks and microcredit institutions as part of the Paris Impact Network. 


The event facilitated an enriching exchange of ideas on the future of microcredit. Professor Yunus also seized the opportunity to engage with Antoine Sire, Head of BNP Paribas Engagement and Member of the BNP Paribas executive committee.

Earlier on the day. Professor Yunus signed an agreement among Grameen Trust, Yunus France and Grameen Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation to replicate the New Entrepreneurship Program in Senegal to fight against the problem of Youth Unemployment. 


On the same day, Professor Yunus was welcomed as the guest of honor at the 'Sport and Poverty Forum,' organized by the Association 'Le Sport a du Coeur' ,  created by the French National Olympic and Sports Committee (CNOSF). Professor Yunus addressed a hall full of enthusiastic audience comprising of athletes, sociologists, doctors, psychologists, sports educators, association leaders, and representatives of public authorities and sports federations. In his presentation he emphasized the transformative potential of sport in addressing socio-economic challenges, particularly poverty. Highlighting the intersection of social business and sport, Professor Yunus presented his innovative concepts to harness the power of sport in combating poverty. The forum witnessed a lively exchange of ideas during a prolonged session of questions and answers.


Continuing his impactful engagements, Professor Yunus also participated in the Paris Olympics 2024 program, an initiative spearheaded by Anne Hidalgo, the Mayor of Paris, aimed at organizing inclusive and supportive Olympic and Paralympic Games. Professor Yunus's contributions were recognised with resounding applause from Mayor Hidalgo, Elisa Yavchitz, CEO of Les Canaux, and over 800 attendees in the magnificent City Hall of Paris presided over by Mayor Anne Hidalgo. ESS 2024 is a program dedicated to organizing  the  inclusive and supportive Olympic and Paralympic Games, whose economic spin-offs will benefit our territories, our inhabitants and our businesses, particularly those in the social economy.


More than 400 social businesses are already providing and will be providing services for the Games. Already 2.6 million hours of social integration work have been carried out on the construction sites, and many social and environmental innovations have found their places in the organization of this major event.


On March 22, Professor Yunus visited the headquarters of Decathlon in Lille, France, at the invitation of Barbara Martin-Copolla, CEO of Decathlon, and Jean-Pierre Haemmerlein, MD of Decathlon Foundation. Professor Yunus addressing the general assembly of the company's employees, Professor Yunus emphasized the social power of sports in addressing societal challenges, and discussed ongoing collaborations between Yunus Sports Hub, Decathlon Foundation, and Decathlon.


During his visit, Professor Yunus was invited by the former President of France François Hollande, with whom he discussed global initiatives and his role in Paris Olympics 2024 He also reunited with his longtime friend Jacques Attali, a globally recognized writer and former special advisor to President Mitterrand, fostering dialogue on impactful endeavors.


Professor Yunus received a warm reception and meaningful exchanges from his friends across France including academicians and business leaders during his visit to France, emphasizing the importance of collaborative efforts in driving positive social change globally.

Photo Caption-1: Professor Yunus was greeted by the mayor of Paris Mrs Anne Hidalgo at her office, Hôtel de Ville.  She hosted a lunch at her office in honor of Professor Yunus.

Photo Caption-2: Elisa Yavchitz, General Director of Les Canaux, which is responsible for organizing the social sector to participate in implementing  the Paris Olympics 2024,  is briefing Professor Yunus on the progress of the participation of  social sector.