Type keywords like Social Business, Grameen Bank etc.




1. What is a Yunus Social Business Centre?

Yunus Social Business Centres (YSBCs) are generally established by academic institutions with undergraduate and graduate students and by reputed research organizations. The purpose is always to introduce, familiarize and critically analyze the concept of social business in all its perspectives among the young people, academics and researchers. Since social business is a newly developed concept and promises to address the problems of poverty, inequality, unemployment, and environmental degradation in a sustainable and effective way, it needs to be introduced to young people, professionals, policy makers, business leaders, high net-worth persons as fast as possible. The need to review the economic framework is urgent. Social business brings fundamental changes in the way we organize our economic world. It defies the traditional way of thinking and doing things. It is practical and simple. It does not take time for people to understand and apply the concept. It is not a concept which addresses only a tiny and special category of professional people, but can be understood and applied by all categories of people.

2. What are the main features of a YSBC?

It is an academic hub within a university to provide courses on social business, undertake research and action-research programmes and hold seminars and conferences on social businesses to prepare young people to become entrepreneurs, instead of job-seekers. Many universities in the world became interested in introducing the concept of social business to their students. The first initiative came from HEC Paris in 2008. They created a Chair on Social Business. Several interesting social business initiatives were born out of this Chair. This encouraged several other universities to take similar steps. Gradually it took the shape of Yunus Social Business Centres or YSBCs. Yunus Social Business Centres organize programmes for studying and applying the social business concept following the seven principles enunciated by Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus. These Centres with “Yunus” name remain anchored with the Yunus Centre, Dhaka. Universities sign an MOU with Yunus Centre confirming the YSBC’s commitment to social business in addition to an Agreement to abide by the terms and conditions for the use of “Yunus” name. YSBCs undertake to offer courses on various aspects of social business and spread the concept and practice of social business among university students and researchers. YSBCs conduct research, action-research programmes, develop and teach courses through appropriate curriculum and other academic programmes. YSBCs organize knowledge-sharing events in social business: like design competitions, social business design labs, workshops and seminars. YSBCs find new and innovative means to expand the concept of social business in the areas of sports, athletics, music, arts and culture and so on. They spread the spirit of social business among the students and researchers and take it to areas outside the university, to the larger community and the region. YSBCs integrate the broader community outside the campus with the academics and the youth inside the campus.

3. How does the process of setting up of a YSBC begin?

It is a simple process. All it needs is an interested person (a faculty member, a student, or a social activist) to take an initiative to talk to the university policy makers about setting up a YSBC in the university. He/she can organize a workshop, or a seminar, a presentation, or a lecture on social business to give an exposure to the policy makers about social business. Policy makers may attend one of the annual social business events that take place around the world regularly. Leading events are: Social Business Day held on June 28-29 every year, organized by Yunus Centre, in Bangladesh or in a neighbouring country. The Global Social Business Summit, organized jointly by Yunus Centre and Grameen Creative Lab of Germany, is generally held in November, in a globally reputed city in any continent. Other events include the Social Business Academia Conference which piggy-backs with Social Business Day and Global Social Business Summit. There are many other programmes like Social Business Youth Summits, Regional Social Business Forums, workshops, and conferences in various countries. Once the university is ready, a top executive of the university, such as, the Vice-Chancellor, President, Rector or Director can write a simple letter of intent to Yunus Centre (YC) requesting to provide all the information regarding the setting up of a YSBC. YC will send the necessary information and templates of MOU and other agreements.Once the paper work is completed and signing is done, a new YSBC is born. At the end of 2018, there were a total of 65 YSBCs already functioning in 29 countries around the world. For full list please see here: http://socialbusinesspedia.com/ysbc/pages/all-ysbc

4. How Can Yunus Centre (YC) help YSBCs?

YSBCs are encouraged to contact YC for any assistance. YC can support YSBCs in various ways. YC is always happy to provide its services directly or indirectly through other YSBCs and friends of YC. For example, YC can find other YSBCs who have experience in handling the particular problem one YSBC is facing, or in getting opinions on a particular project they are designing or launching. YC is working towards becoming a one-stop resource centre for YSBCs. It would also like to play the role of a clearing house for YSBCs. YC would give information, find relevant expertise within the network, give advice on subjects that it is familiar with, and can also become a partner in some initiatives. In other words, Yunus Centre would like to encourage the YSBCs to try to connect to it first while looking for an answer.

5. Which particular department or school should provide ahome for the YSBC?

Usual homes for YSBCs are business schools, management schools, medical schools, technology related schools, schools of art and culture, economics departments, departments of sports and athletics etc. Building bridges between these schools, departments and programmes makes YSBCs more interesting. An annual event on social business involving all these partners brings all the diverse faculty and students together to look at a single social problem from multiple perspectives and expertise.

6. What can be the funding source for a YSBC?

Universities may make some fund allocation in its budget to take care of its YSBC’s operational costs. If possible, it may finance research costs, project costs and travel costs to attend various conferences etc. depending on its affordability. The University can raise funds for specific projects of the Centre. The university and the Centre can form a support group consisting of business leaders, high net-worth individuals, social activists and foundation leaders to find ways and means to finance the programmes of the Centre, and execute its projects. The Centre can earn its revenue by providing consultation services to individuals and organizations which are interested in creating social businesses. It can also provide monitoring and documentation services to social businesses and earn further. Besides fund raising, the Centre can mobilize voluntary services from students, faculty members, business leaders, social activists etc. for organizing and running projects and events.

7. Can signing of agreement take place by exchanging documents by mail?

Signing has been done in a variety of ways. Most of the time, the Chancellor or President of the university attends one of our social business events: Social Business Day or Global Social Business Summit, with some of his top colleagues, where signing of agreement between the university and Yunus Centre becomes a formal part of these events. Signing is done in front of over 1000 delegates coming from 35 or more countries around the world. Another type of signing ceremony is held in the campus of the university. The occasion is used by the university to hold a large conference on poverty, environmental issues or future of the planet etc. taking advantage of Professor Yunus’ presence and inviting other universities, ministers, government officials, business leaders, faculty, students, and the media. Agreement signing can also be done by video conferencing in the presence of Professor Yunus, with a big audience on the university side. The simplest one is done by exchanges of documents electronically. There are many ways the signing process can be done, but the important thing is to get started with a great mission and develop concrete steps.

8. Does Professor Yunus attend the signing ceremony of YSBCs at the campus?

Professor Yunus would love to attend every signing ceremony at the campus of the university. He gives this a high priority. To him, establishing a YSBC is like planting the seed in the minds of young people with the desire to build a new world. Unfortunately for practical reasons, Professor Yunus cannot attend every one of the YSBC signing ceremonies at the campuses. Depending on the date of the ceremony and location of the university, Yunus Centre tries its best to make it happen. When Professor Yunus’ physical presence at the signing ceremony cannot be arranged, YC can arrange a video conferencing event for the signing of the agreement.

9. What types of programmes can a YSBC undertake during the initial phase?

YSBCs can start with holding workshops, seminars, photo displays etc. bringing diverse departments together. A YSBC can also invite speakers to speak on social business. An interesting beginning may be to launch a social business design competition within the campus. YSBCs can hold social business design competitions in collaboration with multiple departments, and with educational institutions beyond the campus. In order to attract a good number of participants, the centre can organize a series of mini workshops at various schools and departments. These workshops can be dedicated to explaining what social business is, how to design a social business, what the attractive features of the design can be which will turn a design into a winning design etc. Such events can discuss on social businesses already running within the country and abroad, introduce the one-stop online information centre, the Social Business Pedia and can also use the Social Business Pedia to make announcements about the social business design competitions. Pedia facilities may be used to display the email addresses of faculty members who can answer questions from potential participants in the competition. The purpose of these events will be to build collaboration among various schools and departments to address social problems. As the YSBC grows, it can offer undergraduate, graduate, and PhD courses. For more ideas, YSBCs may contact Yunus Centre or other YSBCs to find out how they have gone through their learning curve.

10. Should a YSBC limit itself strictly to social business, or can it teach other types of businesses?

YSBCs must have the academic freedom to discuss all theories and ideas relating to human aspirations and ways to achieve them. A YSBC is created to offer specialized facilities for studying social business. It is not intended to exclude any other type of businesses. Social business cannot be understood in isolation from other businesses. It must be studied in the context of all other businesses and identify the similarities and dissimilarities, strengths and weaknesses and how they can interact with each other. Ideally a YSBC should have the strength to cover all types of businesses while having special strength in teaching and researching social business.

11. Is it mandatory for a YSBC to have its own exclusive space to organize its activities?

It goes without saying that it is ideal to have a dedicated physical space where students and faculty can carry on their social business related programmes. Sometimes, at least at the beginning, it may not be possible to find such exclusive physical space. In such cases, the initial stages can be arranged within a shared space, but the aim is to find a space of its own. The most important aspect of a YSBC in terms of its operational activities is to have a dedicated Centre Director and at least one full time staff to manage the programmes of the Centre. A YSBC is encouraged to recruit volunteers, both men and women and of all ages. Volunteers maybe be faculty members, students from within the university and outside the university, high school students, business people, NGO staff, government officials, retired people, people from sports, art and culture etc. Volunteers may be registered with Yunus Centre, Dhaka by filling up the Volunteer Registration Form attached with this document.

12. Are there any fees associated with establishing a YSBC and can a YSBC get waiver on the annual fee?

Each YSBC is required to pay USD 2,500 as Registration fee for the use of the “Yunus” name and an annual renewal fee of USD 1000 for the same purpose. Under special circumstances these can be waived or delayed for a specific period. The YSBC has to make a written request to Yunus Centre, Dhaka in such cases.

13. Does the annual fee entitle YSBCs to receive any specific service?

The annual fee is for use of the “Yunus” name. It is not a payment for any services. Yunus Centre strives to provide as much knowledge and networking service as it may to the YSBCs.

14. When are the “Yunus” name use fee for YSBCs paid?

The registration fee for “Yunus” name use is to be paid within the first 6 months following the YSBC’s establishment. The annual fee is to be paid by June 30th each year. Payment through bank transfer is preferred.

15. Does the Agreement for the use of “Yunus” name also allow a YSBC to use the Yunus Centre logo or Professor Yunus' image?

Yes, a YSBC can use the image of Professor Yunus wherever it is appropriate. Use of the Yunus Centre logo will need consent from Yunus Centre on a case-to-case basis. Use of the logo is usually allowed for events and publications which are jointly undertaken with Yunus Centre (also in a case by case basis)

16. Who can participate in the Social Business Academia Conference (SBAC)?

The Social Business Academia Conference (SBAC) brings practitioners, scholars, and students from around the world to discuss the issues in social business. The conference is devoted to the ongoing development of theory and research on social business and its impact on societies around the globe. The aim of the Academia Conference is to bring together scholars in social business to discuss emerging concepts and themes in social business research. Conceptual papers, research papers (quantitative or qualitative) case studies and practitioner contributions are discussed during the conference.

17. How do I connect to other YSBCs around the world?

The Social Business Pedia has a list of all YSBCs with their email addresses. You can write to a YSBC about your interest. In addition, Yunus Centre would be happy to connect you to the YSBC you wish to get connected with. We encourage such contacts and joint programmes among the YSBCs to create a strong network.

18. How can a YSBC make the best use of Social Business Pedia?

The most important resource for all YSBCs is the Social Business Pedia. It is interactive. Anybody can get information from the Pedia as well as give information to the Pedia. It can be totally tailormade to fit the needs of a particular YSBC. Social Business Pedia is a platform to allow all social business related information, announcements, pictures, press reports, research reports, academic publications, course outlines, speeches, events, books, videos, interviews to be presented in a user-friendly way. It invites everybody to bring their information in the Pedia in appropriate sections. Individuals and organizations are encouraged to create their own pages and sections to put all their information in those pages. YC welcomes comments and suggestions to improve the content and arrangements of the Pedia. Each YSBC is invited to have their page in the Pedia and regularly update it. The Social Business Pedia is a social business “knowledge mall”, a space where people are welcome to pay a visit to look around and see what is happening in the social business world. It is a collective creation. It grows as each person, each organization adds its experience every day. By doing so, it becomes a global resource of unparalleled value. We invite everybody to share on the Pedia what they are seeing emerging in the social business world, what ways they are thinking to take social business to the next level, what debates they are participating in, what social business enterprise they are creating etc.

19. Does Yunus Centre have any programme to receive visitors, local or international, to give short orientation on social business?

Yunus Centre arranges various types of visits to meet the requirements of the visitors. Please write to Yunus Centre for more details. Email:info@yunuscentre.org

20. How can I become a Social Business Volunteer? How do I know whether I qualify?

For the simple reason that you are interested to know about how to become a “Social Business Volunteer”, qualifies you to become a Social Business Volunteer. In other words, anybody who is interested to become associated with the world of social business is qualified to become a Social Business Volunteer irrespective of age, gender, occupation, religion, nationality, or location. One can be a school student, or student at any level, or a school drop out, unemployed person, businessman, worker, public or private employee, professor, doctor, engineer, journalist, singer, writer, farmer, housewife, retired person, or whoever you are, you are welcome to become a Social Business Volunteer. In order to be a Social Business Volunteer just fill up the Social Business Volunteer Registration Form available on the Social Business Pedia. You will get a letter with a registration number. That’s it! You will become a Social Business Volunteer for life.

Link: http://socialbusinesspedia.com/apps/application_bank/sbv/registration


21. What services can you expect from a Social Business Volunteer?

Actually the question should be the other way around. What is it that you had in mind when you registered to become a social business volunteer? We assume that you want to be associated with social business activities by offering your time and talent in doing something for social business promotion and action. That is exactly what you will do. The level of your interest will guide you to choose your work. You make up your own programme. For example, you can help other volunteers to make it easy for them to contribute their time and energy efficiently for expanding or deepening the social business movement and also match their interests and skills with the need of the social business activities known to you. You can make up your own pages on the Social Business Pedia to answer questions, design programmes, report on the programmes undertaken by the volunteers, share details (what, when, where etc.) on future programmes and even create and hold events to keep all volunteers inspired about their work in social business. As Social Business Volunteers you can further encourage your friends to join the volunteer network and share your success stories, your excitement and disappointments, etc. with them. Over time you will be able to carve out the programmes you like. There are many ways you can be associated with social business activities. You can regularly collect all information about social business events and programmes organised by social business organizations around the world and pass them round to your volunteer network. You can volunteer by associating yourself physically with a social business organization, remotely or both. You can find out what social businesses need, and what special skills you have to match their need. You can help them carry out their programmes, give them ideas, get them connected to the right people or organizations, and bring in more volunteers to strengthen the capacity of those organizations. YSBCs can encourage students and the faculty members to register as social business volunteers and have them support the YSBC activities. Volunteers can do the things he or she enjoys doing. He/she can volunteer to assist a specific YSBC, or Yunus Centre. He/She can assist in promoting and organizing the programmes of the YSBC/YC, can do some specific back-office work, upload YSBC information to the Pedia and find interested persons to participate in the workshops, seminars, lectures etc .He or she can get social business entrepreneurs connected with the YSBCs, generate ideas for the YSBCs, find sponsors for various events of the YSBCs etc. Active volunteers will get priority in volunteering for international events like Social Business Day, Global Social Business Summit, and Social Business Academia Conference etc.

22. What is a “Social Business Volunteer Circle”

Five or more Social Business Volunteers can get in touch with each other and form a “Social Business Volunteer Circle”. Each circle has to be registered with the Yunus Centre. Members of a circle may be from same area. They may be from any where in the world. There is no limit to the number of circles. Only condition is that a circle should not have less than five volunteers, not more than 100 volunteers. One volunteer cannot be a member in more than one circle. A circle can make up its own governance rules approved by Yunus Centre. A circle can create its own programmes consistent with social business promotion.

23. Important contacts and Links

Contact Points:

Lamiya Morshed

Executive Director, Yunus Centre

Email: lamiya@grameen.org

Md. Zahir Uddin

Chief Financial Officer, Yunus Centre

Email: zahir@yunuscentre.org

Zeenat T. Islam

Relations Manager, YSBC, Yunus Centre,

Social Business Volunteer Programme, and

Social Business Volunteer Circle Programme

Email: zeenat@yunuscentre.org

Important Links:

1. Social Business Pedia:


2. Yunus Sports Hub:


3. Social Business Day:


4. Global Social Business Summit :


5. Social Business Academia Conference :


6. Submission of Academic papers:


7. YSBC Newsfeed:


Resources for students and researchers:

1. Books:


2. Lectures:


3. Videos


4. Articles


5. Information on YSBCs


6. Events




8. Design Labs


9. Information on organizing visits to Yunus Centre, Grameen Bank and other Social Businesses


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