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25th Social Business Design Lab Held at Yunus Centre

25th Social Business Design Lab

Grameen Telecom Trust and ASHIKA Manabik Unnayan Kendra based in Chittagong Hill Tracts signed a Joint Venture Agreement to produce Mushroom seed/spawns. This is the first social business of its kind launched in the CHT area. Photo-Yunus Centre.

The 25th Social Business Design Lab took place on August 23, 2014 at the Grameen Bank Auditorium, participated by around 100 representatives of national and international organizations.

At the 25th design lab, six new social business plans were presented. These included four Nobin Udyokta projects, businesses launched by young entrepreneurs who are the children of Grameen Bank families. The ones selected for presentation were Sumaiya Poultry Feed & Medicine Corner, a business on running a poultry feed by Md. Sohel Rana, Mim Fashion, a business on selling different items of clothing and tailored products by Kajol Begum and Khokon Video Editing Center, a business aims to provide quality video products to the local customers by Md. Sumon, who is only one went upto fifth grade in primary school.

Another Nobin Udyokta project is Afsana Pigeon Farm, a business on rearing and selling pigeon was presented by Ms Afsana Naznin, who is just 22 years old and completed her BBA degree.

Yunus Invited to Launch Social Business by Palermo Mayor

Professor Yunus in a meeting with Mayor Leoluca Orlando

Professor Yunus was invited by Mayor of Palermo, Senator Leoluca Orlando to meet him at his office in Sicily's capital on August 7, 2014.

Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus was invited by Senator Leoluca Orlando, Mayor of Palermo to meet him at the Mayor’s office Villa Niscemi in Sicily's capital on August 7, 2014. The President of the Municipal Council Salvatore Orlando and the President of the Council of cultures Adham Darawsha attended in the meeting among others. Mayor, already well informed about the concept of social business, wants to launch a social business to address the problem of youth unemployment in Palermo city. He proposed Professor Muhammad Yunus to apply the idea of Social Business in a joint project for women and youth with the use of assets confiscated from Mafia. Mayor Orlando has successfully clamped down on the notorious Mafia of Palermo, and has confiscated a large part of its assets. During his visit to Mayor’s office nearly 50 Bangladeshis came to meet Professor Yunus. Three elected Bangladeshi council members joined the Mayor in his discussion with Professor Yunus. Mayor announced that Bangladeshi community has become the largest foreign community in Palermo as of last month. Still this time, Tamils were the largest community in this historical city of 700,000 people. There are more than 10,000 Bangladeshis in the city. Of 21 city council members, three are from Bangladesh. University of Palermo with 50,000 students offered to confer an honorary degree to Professor Yunus during his next visit and the university Rector expressed his interest in getting his faculty members and students involved in social business project in Palermo. Professor Yunus also had a lunch meeting with the faculty members.

Nobel Peace Laureates’ including Professor Yunus call for real peace between Israelis and Palestinians

yunus unAn open statement to the international community from Nobel Peace Prize Laureates.

As Nobel Peace Laureates, we join others worldwide who are calling on the international community to secure an immediate ceasefire to prevent any further deaths among Israelis and Palestinians. As the situation continues to deteriorate and the disproportionate number of deaths in Gaza mounts, we are called by conscience to speak out in every way possible not only to end the current violence, but to address the roots of violence.

There have been attacks on Gaza before.  There have been cease-fires declared before. And yet the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territory grinds on. One million and seven hundred thousand Palestinians continue to live under Israeli siege in Gaza. Immediately after the last cease-­‐fire in 2012, calm did return to Israel, but Israeli attacks did not stop in Gaza.

Peace is more than the absence of outright war. Peace requires the presence of justice, of equality, of recognizing our common humanity.  Those who would be brokers for peace must first acknowledge and address the coercive and corrosive power that Israel wields over Palestinians. As Nelson Mandela said in 1985, “Only free men can negotiate: a prisoner cannot enter into contracts."

Yunus Addresses Youth at Europe’s Largest Music Festival


Professor Yunus greets the massive audience at Woodstock Festival Poland, the biggest open-air music festival in Europe which is held from July 31- August 2.  The festival drew over half a million young people mostly from Poland and other countries in Europe.

Professor Yunus addressed a massive audience of European youth at the Woodstock Festival of Poland, the biggest open-air music festival in Europe which is held from July 31- August 2. The festival drew over half a million young people.

In his address to the young people, Professor Yunus said "You can see the flaws of the system more clearly, than those in the older generation, because your minds are still “free" to observe things. Older minds have gotten so used to the way things are, they cannot see what is wrong with them. You must feel strongly enough and disgusted enough to jump into daring departures from the current system."

He said: "You can be the designers. You have to be the designers. You are as smart, or smarter than the people who designed the existing system. Governments don't design the economy. They follow the blueprint prepared by economists. Don't be blind followers. Be leaders. Go through the unbeaten path. Our only escape route is in the unbeaten path. Discover it. If you don't, nobody will".

High-Level Dialogue between Yunus and Myanmar Ministers


Professor Yunus with Myanmar Ministers in Nay Pyi Taw. (From right to left)  Union Minister  U Tin Naing Thein, Economic Advisor to President Professor Aung Tun Thet, Professor Yunus, Union Minister U Soe Thein, Minister for Rural Development U Ohn Myint, Minister of Immigration U Khin Yi  and Director General of Myanmar Investment Commission Aung Naing Oo.

On final day of his three day visit to Myanmar, Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus travelled to Nay Pyi Taw, the capital of Myanmar, to address ministers, senior government officials, and members of parliament about the role of social business in the development of Myanmar.

He was received at the conference venue by two Union Ministers U Tin Naing Thein and U Soe Thein. They are referred to as 'super ministers' since each them oversees five or six ministries and based in the President's office. U Tin Naing Thein had been a retired brigadier general in the Myanmar Army and previously held the post of Minister for Commerce. U Soe Thein had previously served as the Commander in Chief of the Myanmar Navy and is a retired Vice Admiral.