Photo of the historical building Les Canaux built in 1882 which has been launched by the Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo as a Social Business House and where Yunus Centre has been given an office to help build social business in the city of Paris
Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus the invited by Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo to be the chief guest at the launching ceremony held on october 10 of Les Canaux as the "Social Business House" a magnificent building dedicated by the City of Paris to promote social business in Paris. Members of the community, representatives of leading businesses, local mayors of the city and the press attended the ceremony.
The historical building built in 1882 has served as the administrative office of the Canals of Paris. It is located in the up-and-coming the 19th Arrondisement of Paris which is a very vibrant neighborhood attractive to young people.
The Mayor of Paris has designated the office to Yunus Centre so that it can help build social business in Paris city, and also bring international attention to the project. Yunus centre has also invited Grameen Creative Lab to set up office in the building. Several other related organizations will be invited later to locate their offices in the building to build up a strong team to initiate social businesses in Paris.
Professor Yunus said in his speech at the launching ceremony that this was a historic initiative of the City of Paris, and a very important step to create a new kind of economy that is based on human values. He stressed that social business can be a tool for young people to create a world of their dreams and imagination, and this House creates an enabling environment for that. He talked about his own vision of creating a world of three zeroes - zero poverty, zero unemployment and zero net carbon emissions - with the power of youth, technology and social business. He called on the young people to imagine the world they would like to create and and go ahead and get translare Les Canaux from an inspiring symbol to a place where concrete programmes take shape for the benefit of the people of Paris.
Mayor Anne Hidalgo thanked Prof Yunus for accepting her invitation to lead the social business initiative of Paris and join her in launching the building. She referred to his quote that "poverty is not created by the poor, it is created by the institutions that we have created". The Social Business House she said is an initiative to give young people an opportunity to create their own enterprises and change their own lives and their communities in a sustainable way.
She posted her thanks to Professor Yunus in her official Facebook page, for "standing by the starts up, young entrepreneurs and social businesses in helping to create Paris as a global capital for social business".
Before the official launch, Prof Yunus and the distinguished guests were given a tour of the building Les Canaux and introduced them to 15 social entrepreneurs engaged in a variety of social businesses in Paris
According to the statement made by Mayor's office "Les Canaux is a dedicated space for all collaborative, ecological and inclusive actor working in social business in Greater Paris with objectives of generating solutions, acting as a catalyst for development, a show case for sharing experiences and pooling resources."
After the launching ceremony Professor Yunus was invited to an exclusive lunch with the Mayor, her deputy mayor, and other colleagues in Paris restaurant where they discussed about how to take the program of social business for the city of Paris forward in the coming weeks.
The headline of the news in the Journal de Dimanche an important Paris newspaper was given as "Inventor of Microcredit enters the Seine"
Photo caption 2: Mayor Anne Hidalgo of Paris greets Professor Yunus outside Lea Canaux before the launch of the social business house
Photo caption 3: Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus and Mayor Anne Hidalgo on the terrace of the Les Canaux Building where the Social Business House has been launched