Paris adopts Yunus''s three zeroes as central theme for Olympic 2024

Press Release (13 November, 2016)

Nobel Laureate Professor Yunus, Mayor of Paris Ms Anne Hidalgo and Etienne Thobois, President of Candidate Olympic City Paris signed an agreement in Paris town hall on 8 November to put social business and three zero as a central pillar of the city’s candidacy for the 2024 Olympic games.

The Candidate City Paris has decided to give central role to Nobel Laureate Professor Yunus's three zeroes vision zero poverty, zero unemployment and zero net carbon emissions - in the City's bid for the 2024 Summer
Olympic games.

On 8 November 2016, Nobel Laureate Professor Yunus and Ms Ann Hidalgo  Mayor of Paris together with the President of Candidate City for the Olympics signed a three way agreement for integrating social business as a central pillar of the city’s candidacy for the 2024 Olympic.

The agreement was formalized in a signing ceremony at a press conference  at the Mayor's office in the historic building of Hotel de Ville (Town Hall) convened by Mayor Anne Hidalgo who was a signatory to the agreement along with Professor Yunus and Etienne Thobois the President of the Committee for Promoting  the City of Paris as a candidate for  holding the Olympic in 2024. While addressing  the press conference the Mayor announced that she had invited Professor Yunus to hold the Global Social Business in Paris next year as a part of the initiative to spread social business programmes throughout Paris. This summit will be held on November  6-7, 2017. She will invite the Mayors of forty leading cities of the world to attend the summit. She is the Chairperson of the C40, which is the association of these forty cities. She explained that her initiative will be part of a long term program launched by her  to make Paris the global hub for social business. Her initiative formally began with   her launching last month, in the presence of Professor Yunus, Les Canaux, a magnificent  building in Paris. This building was named as the Social Business House and dedicated to promoting and creating social business.

Grameen America Hits Half A Billion Dollars Disbursement Milestone

Press Release (27 October, 2016)

Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus is being awarded the prestigious Presidential Medal by George Washington University, USA President Steven Knapp in a ceremony at GW's Lisner Auditorium on October 26, 2016.

Grameen America Inc (GAI) has hit the milestone of half a billion dollars in loans disbursed, cumulatively by the third quarter of 2016. This milestone was announced at GAI's the  board meeting was held in New York on on October 24, 2016 with Professor Muhammad Yunus in the chair. GAI started its journey back in 2008 and is empowering low-income women with microloan across 11 cities of the United States, from New York to California. Grameen America has provided US$ 535 million in loans to 81,100 women which they have invested in their small businesses. So far, 2,42,445 loans have been approved and consequently 75,155 jobs have been created through these ventures. Professor Yunus is the chairman of Grameen America Inc.

Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus attended the Sing For Hope Tenth Anniversary gala as Chief Guest. In his speech Professor Yunus praised Sing for Hope for the work it had done over the last ten years, and highlighted the important role that art and music  plays  in solving the problems of society. Diva of opera world Rene Fleming enthralled the audience by her breathtaking performance in the gala.Since 2006, Sing for Hope, co founded by Yunus' daughter Monica Yunus, has done arts outreach programs that have brought hope and inspiration to thousands of individuals in under-resourced schools, public hospitals, hospices, veterans’ centers, after-school programs, neighborhood centers, nursing homes, and disability networks. To date, Sing for Hope has partnered with over 220 nonprofit organizations, involved over 3,500 artists in community volunteerism, and placed over 330 artist-created Sing for Hope Pianos throughout NYC’s parks and public spaces for everyone to play.

Professor Yunus delivered a public lecture at George Washington University (GW) . GW was established in February 9, 1821 and is a leading American university in the field of applied politics. On the same evening Professor Yunus was awarded the prestigious Presidential Medal by GW President Steven Knapp in a ceremony at GW's Lisner Auditorium to honor him for his pioneering work in creating economic development through microcredit. The George Washington University President’s Medal recognizes individuals who have exhibited courage, character and leadership in their chosen fields and who exemplify the ability of all human beings to improve the lives of others.

Caption : Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus is seen with George Washington University, USA President Steven Knapp on October 26, 2016.

"Inventor of Microcredit enters the Seine" Journal de Dimanche

Press Release

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

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Sanitary Napkin and Drinking Water Social Businesses Launched at the 375th Social Business Design Lab

Press Release (21 October, 2016)

Investments into six social businesses including four New Entrepreneur(NU) projects were announced on Thursday at the 375th Social Business Design Lab. The New Entrepreneurs, children of Grameen Bank borrowers are seen in the photo with Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus. Photo Credit: Nasir Ali Mamun /Yunus Centre

The 375th Social Business Design Lab organized by Yunus Centre took place on 20th October 2016 at the Grameen Bank Auditorium with nearly 160 participants from national and international organizations attending. The Design Lab was chaired by Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus.

Two open social business projects also presented at the design lab today. Mr Ashraful Hasan, Managing Director of Grameen Fashion & Fabrics presented the project Grameen Sanitary Napkin : An Automatic Production Line. This project aims to address the menstrual hygiene issue in the country especially among the low income group with cost competitive sanitary napkin products. The company intends to scale up from its current manual production to an automatic production line which will produce 600,000 pieces per day compared to the current 3,000 pieces per day. At this rate the company would be able produce 150 million pieces per month that would address 15% of total market demand in the country.

Second open project was presented by Mr Biplob Chakma of ASHIKA Manabik Unnyan Kendra.  The project, Shuvolong (Supply of Safe Drinking Water), is a joint venture between ASHIKA Manabik Unnyan Kendra and Grameen Telecom Trust(GTT). The project aims to address drinking water crisis in the hilly district of Rangamati. It is to be noted that this is the second social business joint venture between ASHIKA and GTT. The first one facilitates mushroom production involving indigenous women in the same region of the country.

There was also a guest project on social business, Vila Brasil, presented by Ms. Marina Lourenço of Brazil. Her project aims to educate local communities about social business and its impact though workshops. The project came through Yunus Centre at AIT Thailand where Ms Marina has been working as researcher.

Four new Nobin Udyokta business plans were presented at today's Lab. All Nobin Udyokta businesses, presented at the Design Lab are the children of Grameen Bank borrowers’ families. These four plans included Mayer Dua Peyara Khamar by Mim Sardar. The next plan was p resented by Mst. Kohinur Begum for her Surma Cloth and Tailors. Md. Khalid Hasan presented M/S Trust Poultry Farm project. The last one was presented by Md. Hashim for his Hashim Handicrafts.

Among the foreign participants were Managing Director and Chief of Administration of Grameen Credit Agricole, Mr Eric Campos and Mr Pascal Webanck were present at the design lab as special guests. Grameen Credit Agricole is a joint venture microcredit institution between Grameen and French Banking Giant Credit Agricole and currently active in around 30 countries. Grameen Credit Agricole also operates a social business fund. Guests were also present from Bolivia, Brazil, Zimbabwe, USA, and France.

All business plans were presented and discussed in detail. Those were then presented in groups for further review. All projects were approved for funding by their groups. The projects are joint ventures with Grameen social business fund and their progress will be monitored on www.socialbusinesspedia.com .

Since the Labs began in January 2013, over 8,865 projects have been presented in the last 375 Lab programs, of which 8,859 projects have been approved for equity funding investments ranging from taka one lakh to five lakh for Nobin Udyokta projects.

Professor Yunus thanked the participants for the innovative social businesses and noted that it was exciting that so many ideas were now business reality. Professor Yunus also invited participants to join next Social Business Design Lab which will take place on November 22, 2016.

Photo Caption Two: Investments into six social businesses including four New Entrepreneur(NU) projects were announced on Thursday at the 375th Social Business Design Lab. The New Entrepreneurs, children of Grameen Bank borrowers along with the Mr Ashraful Hasan, Managing Director of Grameen Fashion & Fabrics and Mr Biplob Chakma of ASHIKA Manabik Unnyan Kendra are seen in the photo with Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus.
Photo Credit: Nasir Ali Mamun /Yunus Centre

Photo Caption  Three: Participants of the 375th Social Business Design Lab are seen with the Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus. The 375th Social Business Design Lab organized by Yunus Centre took place today on 20th October 2016 at the Grameen Bank Auditorium. Photo Credit: Nasir Ali Mamun /Yunus Centre

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20th Anniversary Celebration of Nobel Peace Prize in East Timor

Press Release (08 October, 2016)

Professor Muhammad Yunus with the President of Timor Leste, Prime Minister of Timor Leste, first lady of Timor Leste, Nobel Laureate Jose Ramos Horta and other Nobel Laureates at the opening by the President of Timor Leste of the International Conference on "Citizenship, Peace and Well Being" on the occasion of 20 years of Nobel Peace Prize for Jose Ramos Horta and Bishop Carlos Ximines Belo

Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus is in Dili Timor Leste as a Special Guest at an international conference organized by the Government of Timor Leste  on "Citizenship, Peace and Well-Being" on the occasion of the 20th Anniversary of the Nobel Peace Prize award to Jose Ramos Horta and Bishop Carlos Ximenes Belo in 1996.

On October 7 morning,  the conference was inaugurated by HE President  Taur Matan Ruak Professor Yunus was presented at the opening ceremony of the conference along with five other Nobel Laureates present from several countries.

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