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Social Businesses Get Funding at the 7th Social Business Design Lab

Social Businesses Get Funding at the 7th Social Business Design Lab


The 7th Social Business Design Lab took place at Yunus Centre on 17 August 2013. Participants from different organizations including Mr. Tapan Chowdhury, former advisor in the caretaker government; Mr. Abdullah Al Mahmud, Chairman of Mahin Group; Dr. Mahmood Hasan, CEO of Gono Shahajjo Shangstha; Mosharraf Hossain, Country Director of Action on Disability and Development; Hasan M. Mazumdar, Country Representative of The Asia Foundation and numerous other national and international NGO representatives, business leaders, educationalists attended the program. It was a day long program with enthusiastic participation from all present.

The Social Business Design Lab is chaired by Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus. It was divided in three major parts - social business project presentation, update of past social business projects and launch and signing of two social business projects.

Firstly, JMI Pharmaceuticals Ltd  inaugurated  E Medicare Tele Medicine Social Business Project, which will provide low cost medical services to people living in remote areas of Bangladesh as a social business.

signing-7thDLSKS Foundation and Grameen Telecom Trust jointly signed the MOU of commencement of operations of SKS Social Business Project which will expand sheep rearing business by poor women in Gaibandha.

Six new social business plans were presented at the Social Business Lab. Those were- Coco-Pith Plastic Compound Industry of Bagerhat, presented by Mr. Al Amin, General Secretary, HELP-LIFT Program; Potential Advancement Network and Hub (PANAH) presented by Mosharraf Hossain, Country Director,  Action on Disability and Development; Saiyada Krishi Farm presented by  Md Shamsur Alam, Fahim Fish Farming presented by Md. Nasir Uddin; Social Business for Vulnerable Women in Rakibnagar Slums in Tangail  presented by A.K. M. Sirazul Islam,  Executive Director,  BASA and Adarsha Livestock Farm presented by Md Emran Hossain. Three of the projects were presented by “nobin udokkta” entrepreneurs coming from the families of Grameen Bank borrowers.

These business plans were then intensively discussed in six different groups. Each group came up with necessary recommendations. Each project gave its time-line for implementation. Finally the participants selected one Project Bond ("Project Buddy") for each project to act as a mentor to finalize the plan.

The Design Lab was live streamed through the internet. One person who was watching the event online offered to become the venture investor in one of the projects discussed at the lab. Other investors indicated their willingness to invest in the projects presented at the Lab. The next Design Lab will take place on September 14, 2013.

Professor Yunus thanked the participants for coming up with innovative social business plans and encouraged the designers to implement the projects and for other participants to support them. The participants showed strong determination to translate the social business plans into reality as soon as possible.