Yunus urges AFDB to help build­ing so­cial busi­ness

The Pak Banker - - COMPANIES/BOSS -

The 2006 No­bel Peace Prize lau­re­ate and mi­cro-credit pro­moter in Bangladesh, Muham­mad Yunus, on Tues­day 12 March in Tu­nis urged the African Devel­op­ment Bank (AfDB) to pro­vide sup­port to so­cial busi­ness given its con­se­quen­tial im­pact on poverty re­duc­tion. Yunus was speak­ing be­fore mem­bers of se­nior man­age­ment of the AfDB dur­ing a meet­ing or­ga­nized by the Of­fice of the Chief Econ­o­mist of the in­sti­tu­tion.

Fol­low­ing a brief in­tro­duc­tion on the back­ground on so­cial busi­ness and the Grameen Bank (Bank for the poor) that he cre­ated, the econ­o­mist and No­bel Peace lau­re­ate ex­plained the ob­ject and phi­los­o­phy be­hind his ini­tia­tive called ' Yunus So­cial Busi­ness'. In his words, the aim is to come to the aid and as­sis­tance of the poor by im­prov­ing their con­di­tions of liv­ing and help them fend for them­selves. This ap­proach is more or less phi­lan­throp­i­cal with the sole dif­fer­ence that it has noth­ing to do with giv­ing. But but to lend a hand to th­ese poor pop­u­la­tions, in­vest­ing in the so­cial sec­tors or set­ting up busi­ness ven­tures, the ul­ti­mate ob­jec­tive of which is not profit mak­ing as done in or­di­nary cap­i­tal­is­tic busi­ness en­ter­prises.

This ini­tia­tive, says Yunus, is his con­tri­bu­tion to the high lev­els of poverty that pre­vailed in his coun­try Bangladesh, dur­ing the 1970s when he com­pleted his stud­ies in eco­nom­ics in the United States. This is cap­i­tal­ism with a hu­man face made of hu­man­i­tar­ian mo­tives and the div­i­dends are rein­vest- ed into the ini­tial com­mer­cial chan­nel. The im­pact of mi­cro­cre­dit and of Grameen Bank and their so­cial ap­proach is im­mense, says Yunus. In Bangladesh, the lat­ter is tan­gi­ble as it has helped to in­crease con­sid­er­ably so­cio- eco­nomic in­di­ca­tors with re­gard to women and chil­dren. A high pro­por­tion of women have in this way at­tained so­cial and fi­nan­cial au­ton­omy.

This has made it pos­si­ble to pro­vide bet­ter health care for their chil­dren and higher ed­u­ca­tion through schol­ar­ship train­ing pro­grams.

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