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Our 2016 Annual Report is online!

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Whoop whoop! Our social businesses almost doubled their client base last year. The 2016 Annual Report is out with a personal message from Prof Yunus:

“Let’s have 1 percent of the economy be social businesses in the next five years”. 

Download here

Survey on Scaling Social Businesses In Emerging Economies

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What keeps social entrepreneurs in developing countries from growing their ventures? Around the world social entrepreneurs are creating innovative businesses that reduce poverty and improve the lives of their customers. These pioneers often encounter many hurdles along the way that make growing a social business a significant challenge. With insights from more than 120 interviews with early-stage social entrepreneurs in developing countries, we explore the common financial and non-financial obstacles they face.

The survey showed that access to financing is still a major issue for most of the entrepreneurs: loans are expensive, require significant personal collateral and traditional financing providers don’t take the social mission of the business into account. Besides access to capital, especially in the missing middle, social entrepreneurs also have challenges finding new customers for their products and services, managing their operations and technical excellence, as well as recruiting and retaining high quality staff. Based on our findings we distilled specific conclusions and recommendations for entrepreneurs, investors and intermediaries. We want to thank the Robert Bosch Stiftung, which has made this publication possible.

India embraces Social Business

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From launching the Festival of Innovations to introducing a Masters program on Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation, India, particularly the Tamil Nadu region, is keen to innovate and drive social entrepreneurship.

India seeks Prof. Yunus’ help on social business, innovation and microfinance.

Here are the highlights.
Prof. Muhammad Yunus started the year at the 102nd Indian Science Congress, where he was awarded a gold medal by the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, for giving the poorest a life of hope, opportunity and dignity. He was also invited by Prof Anil Gupta of IIM-A to launch the Festival of Innovations at Rashtrapati Bhawan where he co-chaired a session with the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee. The Festival of Innovations is an initiative of the National Innovation Foundation.

Seperately, In a high profile panel discussion televised by NDTV, Prof. Muhammad Yunus was invited to speak about the Grameen experience in ‘banking for the poor’ and the relevance of the social business model for India.

Prof Yunus launched a Masters program in Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Rajiv Gandhi National Institution of Youth Development (RGNIYD) in Chennai. He also met with the Governor of Tamil Nadu where he advised him on address youth unemployment in the state through entrepeneurship.

He closed his India trip with a roundtable held in his honour by the Maharashtra Finance Minister to seek his advice on converting the state’s 1.7 million Self Help Groups into “super happiness groups” through social business! Read more here.

 

For more information on YSB India, contact:

Aarti Wig
Phone: +919833214428
Email: aarti.wig@yunussb.com

Introducing the Social Success Note

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YSB presents the Social Success Note in partnership with The Rockefeller Foundation

The Social Success Note aims to leverage commercial capital for social good. 

Crowding in commercial capital to finance social businesses

Across the world, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) lack access to finance. They experience a missing middle estimated to range between $2.1 trillion and $2.5 trillion in developing countries alone. This financing gap is even more acute for impact-oriented SMEs as these enterprises look to achieve both a social and financial return which may, in certain circumstances, come into conflict.
Money, however, is not the problem. There is an estimated $210 trillion invested commercially by institutional and retail investors around the world. Over recent years, a variety of innovative financing tools, including impact investing and results-based financing, have emerged to help channel some of this capital to achieve greater social outcomes. The most prominent example of this movement is the emergence of Social and Development Impact Bonds that seek to mobilize commercial capital to fund proven social programs, with a promise to be paid back by government if these programs achieve desired social outcomes. The Social Success Note extends this approach to social businesses.

Partnering with The Rockefeller Foundation
The Rockefeller Foundation has played a decisive role in activating a dynamic around impact investing. The Foundation is supporting the use of innovative financing mechanisms to mobilize private sector capital through its “Zero Gap” portfolio. Zero Gap is focused on solutions that can ultimately catalyze large-scale capital from institutional investors, as well as households and retail investors.
Within this portfolio, Yunus Social Business and The Rockefeller Foundation are developing the Social Success Note (SSN), an innovative pay-for-success financing mechanism that addresses the investment gap for impact-oriented SMEs and social businesses. Through a new alignment of incentives and interests among entrepreneurs, investors, and philanthropic outcome payers, the SSN holds the promise of addressing the missing-middle financing gap for impact SMEs by mobilizing commercial capital into these businesses while overcoming the long-entrenched trade-off between social impact and financial return.

Piloting the Social Success Note
The Social Success Note is a new and unique financial innovation that allows capital to flow into underfunded sectors (e.g., low income geographies and “push” product sectors) deemed traditionally too risky or unprofitable for mainstream capital. It also allows existing social businesses to delve deeper into their area of social impact, like targeting a poorer customer segment than traditional IRR investment hurdle rates would allow.
Yunus Social Business (YSB) and The Rockefeller Foundation are working together to launch the pilot in 2016 with one of YSB’s investment-ready social businesses.

Download the Social Success Note handout.

Brazil launches the Yunus Corporate Action Tank

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Yunus Corporate Action Tank

Registrations now open until 22 January 2016

The first of its kind, Yunus Negocios Sociais Brasil has just launched its first accelerator program targeted at large corporations. The Yunus Corporate Action Tank aims to encourage projects such as the Grameen-Danone partnership, whereby large corporations can help address social issues such as malnutrition through the social business model. The Yunus Corporate Action Tank accelerator program will commence in March 2016.

Location: Brazil
Application deadline: 22 January 2016
How and where to apply: http://www.yunusnegociossociais.com/#!consultoria/ceqv

Are you interested in developing a social business for your company or a joint venture such as the Grameen-Danone model to help address a social problem in Brazil or globally?

The benefits for your organisation are two-fold: not only will your business contribute to addressing the social problems associated with poverty, unemployment, hunger, education, climate change and more. Social businesses are purpose driven and tend to attract top talent and fosters innovation within a traditional business setting.

Partners of this program include Singularity University, Mandalah, Data Popular, League of Intrapreneurs, BOX1824, Dom Cabral Foundation and Bank of America.

To find out more, visit Yunus Negocios Sociais Brasil website.

Private Sector Foundation sets up social fund in Uganda

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The Chairman for Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) Patrick Bitature has said that they are in the final stages of setting up a social trustee fund.

The fund will further improve the private sector’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Speaking at the inaugural graduation of the Yunus Social Business (YSB) accelerator at the Uganda Industrial Research Institute (UIRI) on Friday where he was the guest of honour.  Bitature noted that it is time for the private sector to accelerate their efforts in pushing the economy to a higher level. “We are starting this fund because we want toimprove lives of people positively through a uniformed and improved CSR,” said Bitature.

PSFU was founded in 1995 to serve as a focal point for private sector advocacy as well as capacity building and it’s made up of over 185 business associations, corporate bodies and major public sector agencies that support private sector growth. According to Bitature, PSFU has been and continues to be Government’s implementation partner for several projects and programmes aimed at strengthening the private sector as an engine of economic growth.

“CSR is not only giving back to people but also improve their livelihood and we should use it to create jobs and tackle the issue of unemployment through social ventures,” said Bitature. PSFU’s Executive Director, Gideon Badagawa said that the fund will be launched early next year.

More than 15 entrepreneurs graduated with certificates from YSB and were told to put their newly acquired knowledge in practice by ensuring that they create jobs through social innovations. YSB’s executive director, Eriab Kizza said that they are working very hard to identify at least 1,000 social jobs annually because there are many untapped opportunities in the social business sector. YSB began its operations in Uganda in 2013 as a pilot programme with the African Development Bank devoted to promoting and creating an environment within which social business can thrive in Uganda.

YSB was founded by Yunus Muhammad, a Bengali social entrepreneur, Banker, Economist and civil society leader. Some of the graduates included proprietors of Kawempe Youth Center, Kitengesa Rural Library, Uganda Development Services, Nambi-Sepuya Library, Rukungiri Dairy Farmers Project, Bwega Information Library, Awamu Biomas Energy among others. YSB operates in seven countries of Colombia, Brazil, Haiti, Tunisia, Uganda, India and Balkans.

Story by By Isaac Baligema.

Originally published in http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/675836-private-sector-foundation-sets-up-social-fund.html

15 social business entrepreneurs graduate from YSB Uganda accelerator

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Fifteen entrepreneurs have graduated from the first ever Yunus Social Business (YSB) accelerator programme. The programme which was launched at the beginning of 2015 targeted a cross section of social entrepreneurs who were asked to submit their proposals.

The programme designed for visionary social entrepreneurs aims to grow their businesses as they create social impact in the communities they work with. It was an intensive experience during which the entrepreneurs received expert coaching, mentoring, exposure to potential investors and partners.

Speaking at the graduation ceremony, Mr Patrick Bitature, the chairman, Private Sector Foundation and also social business entrepreneur, told the business minds that they are now standing on the threshold of moving their social business to the next level.

However, he reminded them the principles of social business and the learnings from this accelerator programme, urging them to look at their group-mates, coaches and mentors, because from now on life will scatter them around again. “So meet to consult, recall the best moments of this program that you shared, and put in practice what you learned,” he cautioned the graduands.

Eriab Kiza, the executive director YSB -Uganda said there is one major reason for the accelerator program which was to address the shortage of strong growth-oriented social entrepreneurs ready to utilize impact funds.

The YSB accelerator programme is, therefore, focused on identifying such entrepreneurs, helping them to design businesses for high social impact, supporting them in testing ideas for scaling up, coaching them to become financially viable and sustainable, providing needed impact funds at lower than commercial terms and conditions, and generally assisting them to create technology and market linkages.

Story by Jonathan Adengo.

All Africa Media, originally published in http://allafrica.com/stories/201511271302.html

Yunus addresses 1,300 youth leaders at One Young World Summit in Bangkok

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Professor Muhammad Yunus addresses 1,300 Youth leaders at One Young World Summit in Bangkok

Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus last night opened the One Young World Summit 2015 in Bangkok, addressing an audience of 1300 young leaders from around the world.

The Summit was founded in 2009 by David Jones and Kate Robertson, a UK-based non-profit organization that gathers together the brightest young people from all countries around the world, empowering them to make lasting connections to create positive change. The One Young World, hosted this year by the Governor of Bangkok and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, who welcomed the audience at the opening ceremony.

In his speech Professor Yunus told the young people that they are the most powerful generation in the history of humankind and had all the power and creativity to create a world with three zeroes – zero poverty, zero unemployment and zero net carbon emissions. Professor Yunus arrived on stage to standing ovations from the 1300 strong audience.

The other two key note speakers at the opening were 7th UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and rocker turned poverty activist Sir Bob Geldof. Professor Yunus, Kofi Annan and Bob Geldof were joined on stage by Counselors to the young delegates from around the world which include luminaries from around the world including Avatar-famed Hollywood producer Jon Landau and legendary cricketer Steve Waugh.

The One Young World Summit 2015 focuses on social issues such as environment, women’s empowerment, education, youth unemployment and role of global business. The summit is being attended by 1,300 young leaders from 196 countries across the world, including a 10-member delegation from Bangladesh.

A team of ten bright young Bangladeshis, nine of whom are young women, joined Professor Muhammad Yunus to attend the One Young World Summit, selected by Yunus Centre through a competitive selection process organized over several months. They are working in the field in youth development, climate change, human rights among others. Executive Director of Yunus Centre, Lamiya Morshed will lead the delegation to Bangkok.

This is the third year that the OYW has sponsored a ten member team to attend the Summit with Professor Yunus. Last year’s delegation attended the Summit in Dublin, Ireland.

On the second day of the Summit Professor Yunus will address a special plenary session on social business. There will also be presentation of social business plans by four teams of Thai social entrepreneurs who are the finalists in the Thai Young Leaders Program organized by Thai Social Enterprise Office. The program included more than 100 social business designs from around the country. Professor Yunus and his team have been invited to judge the social business competition to choose the winner who will be awarded two million baht to initiate their social business.

For more information, contact:
Khaled Faisal
Yunus Centre
Email: khaled@yunuscentre.org