The African Development Bank (AfDB), a multilateral institution that provides loans and grants to governments and private companies in Africa, and Yunus Social Business (YSB) Global Initiatives, a Germany-based company that aims to fight poverty by promoting businesses that solve social problems, recently announced that they have established the Holistic Social Business Movement (HSBM). HSBM is a two-year program designed to support entrepreneurship and youth employment by creating jobs through social business as a pilot program in Togo, Tunisia and Uganda. The program reportedly has received funding from AfDB and the Japanese government. Further details on the funding were not made public.
At the recent National Conference on Social Business in Tunisia, Dr Muhammad Yunus, Nobel laureate and founder of Bangladeshi microfinance institution (MFI) Grameen Bank, promoted the social business concept, involves investing in an activity with a specific philanthropic objective with the intent of making a financial return, which is then fully reinvested in the business to increase social impact. Under this model, the investor keeps none of the profits. “I believe that we can say ‘goodbye’ to unemployment,” Dr Yunus reportedly said. “We have to unleash massive amounts of entrepreneurial ability that is hidden inside of human beings, and I believe all human beings are entrepreneurs.”
By Nicole Boyd, Research Associate
About African Development Bank (AfDB)
Established in 1964, the African Development Bank (AfDB) provides loans and grants to governments and private companies in Africa. Owned and funded by member governments, the bank has a mandate to reduce poverty and promote sustainable development. AfDB shareholders consist of 77 member countries, including 53 African countries to which it commits an approximate total of USD 3 billion annually. Donald Kaberuka serves as president of AfDB as of 2012.
About Yunus Social Business Fund
In 2011, The Yunus Social Business Fund became independent from the Grameen Creative Lab (GCL), which was founded in 1999 as a joint venture between the Bangladeshi Yunus Centre and German consulting company Circ-responsibility. It is based in Germany and aims to fight poverty by providing “incubator funds and advisory services” relating to social businesses , which the organization defines as companies that serve social needs and reinvest their internally rather than paying dividends to shareholders. Financial information for the Yunus Social Business Fund is not available.
Sources and Additional Resources:
Tunisia Live. “Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus Promotes Social Business in Tunisia,” http://www.tunisia-live.net/2013/03/14/nobel-laureate-muhammad-yunus-promotes-social-business-in-tunisia/
MicroCapital. October 27, 2012, “MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Yunus Social Business Fund Begins Financing Small and Medium-Sized (SMEs) in Haiti,” https://www.microcapital.org/microcapital-brief-yunus-social-business-fund-begins-financing-small-and-medium-sized-smes-in-haiti/
MicroCapital. February 21, 2012, “MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Dr Muhammad Yunus, Indian Institute of Management – Ahmedabad to Raise $10m for Social Business in India,” https://www.microcapital.org/microcapital-brief-dr-muhammad-yunus-indian-institute-of-management-ahmedabad-to-raise-10m-for-social-business-in-india/
MicroCapital Universe Profile: Yunus Social Business Fund https://www.microcapital.org/microfinanceuniverse/tiki-index.php?page=Grameen+Creative+Lab
MicroCapital Universe Profile: African Development Bank (AfDB) https://www.microcapital.org/microfinanceuniverse/tiki-index.php?page=African+Development+Bank++%28AfDB%29
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