ABOUT YUNUS SOCIAL BUSINESS
SOME QUICK FACTS
Born in Chittatong, Bangladesh on June 18, 1940, Muhammad Yunus studied Economics at Dhaka University before gaining a Fulbright scholarship to study at Vanderbilt University. From there, he received a Ph.D. in economics in 1969 before becoming the head of Chittagong University’s Economic division. During his tenure in the 1970’s, Yunus conceptualized the microfinance system, in which small loans are used to help poor individuals re-start their businesses.
Yunus’ model was founded on the belief that capital is a human right, and that loans provide a better initiative for ending poverty than charity. He then founded the Grameen Bank in 1983, which uses the microfinance model as an economic platform. Amongst his organization’s objectives included eliminating financial exploitation of the poor, making women financially self-sufficient, and expanding employment opportunities for the unemployed.
Since 1995, 90% of Grameen Bank’s loans are funded by collected interests and donations, which are then converted back into loans. Yunus himself has served on multiple economic committees, including the Advisory Council for Sustainable Economic Development and the UN Expert Group on Women and Finance. In addition to winning numerous awards, he is currently a board member for the United Nations Foundation.
“..things are never as complicated as they seem. It is only our arrogance that prompts us to find unnecessarily complicated answers to simple problems.”
YSB applies business approaches to the world of social development. We use an innovative ‘Incubate and Finance’ methodology which bridges the gap between social businesses and philanthropic lenders and donors.
In addition to Muhammad Yunus’ many publications and his devotion to Yunus Social Business, another one of his initiatives is what is known as Social Business Day. Social Business Day is a conference that has been held every year since 2010 that brings together a variety of international experts to discuss social business and various concepts associated with it. The goal of these conferences ties back into Yunus’ latest book, A World of Three Zeros, referring to “Zero Poverty, Zero Unemployment, and Zero Net Carbon Emissions”.
The Social Business Design Lab is another one of Muhammad Yunus’ projects. These are meetings held every month at a variety of locations, including Grameen Bank. Similar to Social Business Day, the purpose of these assemblies is to bring together a diverse group of professionals in order to brainstorm, train, and develop social business projects. Over 1,000 of these Design Labs have been held in the past 5 years.
On May 23, 2018, months after Paris was selected to be the host city for the 2024 Olympic Games, Muhammad Yunus and the city of Paris signed an agreement stressing the importance of several key concepts during the upcoming games such as inclusivity, lower environmental impact, and social business. The Yunus Centre will work with Les Canaux, Paris 2024 and the SOLIDEO to form a platform known as IMPACT 2024, which will consolidate resources to maximize social impact.
NOBEL PEACE PRIZE
PRESIDENTIAL MEDAL OF FREEDOM
US CONGRESSIONAL GOLD MEDAL
SOLARWORLD EINSTEIN AWARD
GLOBAL TREASURE AWARD FROM SKOLL FOUNDATION
INDIAN GOLD MEDAL