Denmark turns to social business

Denmark has hosted a daylong conference on the social business concept of Prof Muhammad Yunus to find answers to some of the problems the Scandinavian country faces.

The Danish foreign ministry in cooperation with the Confederation of Danish Industries organised the conference in Copenhagen on Monday where the Nobel laureate was the chief guest.

Christian Friis Bach, Denmark's minister for development cooperation, hosted the conference, which was also attended by Crown Princess Mary, according to a statement of the Yunus Centre in Dhaka.

The conference was inspired by Professor Yunus' concept of social business. Sessions were dedicated to discuss ways for social business to be used as a tool by the Danish government to solve problems in the country, and through the Danish government's overseas development programmes, in other countries.

The founder of Grameen Bank gave two keynote addresses and took questions from the audience throughout the day.

Dr Yunus narrated his experiences in setting up social businesses in Bangladesh, Haiti, Albania, Germany, France, Japan, Togo, Brazil, Colombia, Nepal, India, Tunisia and other countries.

The Banker to the Poor also gave proposals of how Denmark could use the social business concept to address social challenges within the country, such as social exclusion and youth unemployment.

Over 150 guests, including top government officials, politicians and chief executives of corporate houses, took part in the conference.

The participants jointly identified top priorities for social business in development cooperation and social policy, according to the statement.

Published on Friday, February 1, 2013