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Dutch Postcode Lottery Commits to Social Business in Colombia

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On February 15th the annual Dutch National Postcode Lottery #GoedGeldGala was held in Amsterdam.

The lottery proudly announced that the beneficiary partner Yunus+You – The YY Foundation of Wiesbaden, Germany, will receive an extra contribution for a large-scale development project over a period of two years for its implementing partners. The aim of the project is to build peace through social business in Colombia. Yunus Social Business is one of these partners, so we are very happy to be furthering our work in Colombia.

Other beneficiaries among 800 invited guests were the foundations of Keynote speaker Leonardo Di Caprio and Tennis No.1 Champion Rafael Nadal. The Dutch Post Code Lottery has been supporting non-governmental organisations since 1989 and Prof. Yunus is a Goodwill Ambassador for the Postcode Lotteries since 2012.

Our Week In Davos

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“The most interesting people in Davos aren’t the presidents or celebrities, but the social entrepreneurs — those using business tools to address social problems — and their work offers an inspiring window into what can be accomplished.”

 

This quote is from Nicholas Kristof’s New York Times piece and of course, we would have to agree! We were proud to be among the world leaders and business heads at the World Economic Forum last week and we had an incredibly eventful and productive time. Our main goal was to spread the movement of social business but of course also to play a little game of ‘Spot the Trump’.

Here are our highlights:

Our Social Success Note Partnership with UBS & Rockefeller 

The first exciting announcement for us this year at Davos was the release of UBS’s World Economic Forum white paper “5 ways wealth managers can support the UN Sustainable Development Goals: our lessons from 2017” documenting innovative solutions to solving inequality. The paper promotes our alliance along with the Rockefeller Foundation and Impact Water to develop the first social success note supporting clean water and sanitation in East Africa. Read more about our commitments here: https://goo.gl/Ck7a7S

We met with Managing Director Saadia Madsbjerg and the newly appointed President of the Rockefeller foundation Raj Shah, as well as Phyllis Costanza who heads the UBS Optimus Foundation to celebrate the social success note focussed on clean water in East Africa. As the world’s largest wealth manager, UBS are in a position to enact real change in closing the inequality gap and we are really happy that they have partnered with us to deliver philanthropic capital spending in a more sustainable way.

YSB Taking The Stage

Our CEO and Co-founder Saskia spoke on the Credit Suisse panel “How to create impact that affects a billion people”. She was joined onstage by Sung-Joo Kim, the CEO of the luxury German brand MCM, the CEO of International Wealth Management for Credit Suisse, Iqbal Khan and venture capitalist Chemi Peres. The aim of the event was to connect today’s and tomorrow’s investors to explore new impact investing concepts.

The panel was co-initiated by the YIO (Young Investors Organization), a network for the next generation of the investors around the world, aiming to accelerate the growth and development of young individuals so that they can leave their own footprint. It’s great to see a focus on the younger generation and we were particularly inspired by the co-founder of Ruang Guru, Iman Usman, who is bringing digital education to 6 million people in Indonesia. It’s fantastic that impact investing and philanthropic capital given as impact investments are represented on the stage at Davos, and we are grateful to Credit Suisse and especially Viola Werner for organising this event and sharing our vision.

 

Global Goals Cast

We met with the founders of the Global Goals Cast, a podcast that inspires and empowers listeners to make the world a better place by sharing the stories of individuals, companies, and organisations who are advancing and achieving a more sustainable world. Each episode offers inspirational stories, high-quality data, and numerous ways to take action and personally contribute to the global efforts of making the goals’ achievement possible. As we are an organisation driven by and committed to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, initiatives like Global Goals Cast are incredibly important to make these goals easier to understand, more relatable and feel more attainable for everyone. We really look forward to hearing more from them.

Standing Up For Social Progress with the B Team

As long-term partners of the B team, one of our favourite sessions “Standing Up for Social Progress”, discussed the role and responsibilities of business leaders to take a stand on social issues of moral and political controversy, and what it takes to truly drive social change within large global organisations. We are always impressed by the amount of stats that Unilever CEO Paul Polman has on the tip of his tongue. That; “12-14% of global GDP is spent on war prevention when only 4-5% is used to implement the Sustainable Development Goals. How can we think we are the world’s smartest species?”. Agreed Paul.

Oxfam’s Poignant Message On Inequality

We were happy that Oxfam’s “Reward Work Not Wealth” report on inequality made such a splash. The report made clear that to end the inequality crisis, we must build an economy for ordinary working people, not just the rich and powerful. A message very close to our hearts as supporters of social entrepreneurs. It was incredibly important for us to be present on the global stage at Davos to speak with global corporates and heads of state, to convince them that we should be investing and prioritizing entrepreneurs and small-scale food producers.

 

 

A Mention In Le Monde…

To round off the week, we were featured in Le Monde alongside the French Minister for the Economy, Bruno Le Maire and, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, James Dimon. After Macron reiterated his committed to the Paris agreement and the UN Global Sustainable Development Goals. Saskia was quoted as a “big fan” of Macron, as he “brings a breath of fresh air into Europe“.

What an inspiring week – thanks for having us WEF 2018.

YSB contributes to EVPA Report on Financing for Social Impact – The Key Role of Tailored Financing and Hybrid Finance

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Financing for Social Impact – The Key Role of Tailored Financing and Hybrid Finance

How can venture philanthropy organisations, social investors and impact investors, improve the way they allocate resources to their investees?

To answer this question the EVPA Knowledge Centre embarked on a nine-month journey with a group of over 30 experts, in which we took part as well. The result is the new EVPA report “Financing for Social Impact – The Key Role of Tailored Financing and Hybrid Finance”, launched at the EVPA Annual Conference in Oslo on 9 November 2017. This new piece of research looks at how funding can be shaped in a way that meets the financial needs of the social purpose organisation (SPO) and at how different actors can collaborate in the VP/SI space to bring more resources to SPOs.

EVPA has developed a three-step process to help VP/SI organisations find the most suitable financial instrument to support a SPO. The process is known as tailored financing and it is addressed in the first part of the report.

The report also focuses on hybrid finance, which is defined as the allocation of financial resources to impact-oriented investments, combining different types of financial instruments and different types of risk/return/impact profiles of capital providers.

One of the main conclusions of the report is that tailored financing and hybrid finance promote a more efficient and effective deployment of resources in the VP/SI space. They can represent a way to solve the existing funding gap that prevents SPOs from gaining access to the capital needed for achieving self-sustainability and for scaling.

You can download the report here

If you have questions about the report, you can contact the EVPA Knowledge Centre at knowledge.centre@evpa.eu.com

Prof. Muhammad Yunus Releases New Book “A World Of Three Zeros”

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A World Of Three ZerosOur Chairman and Co-Founder, Prof. Muhammad Yunus offers his vision of an emerging new economic system in his new book ‘A World of Three Zeros: The New Economics of Zero Poverty, Zero Unemployment, and Zero Net Carbon Emissions’.

Yunus created microcredit, invented social business, and earned a Nobel Peace Prize for his work in alleviating poverty. Now he declares it’s time to admit that the capitalist engine is broken – that in its current form it inevitably leads to rampant inequality, massive unemployment, and environmental destruction. We need a new economic system that unleashes altruism as a creative force just as powerful as self-interest.

bee farmer

At YSB, we are really excited to have some of our businesses such as Golden Bees feature in the new book, showing how the concept of social business can be realised in our shared vision for A World of Three Zeros.

In his book, Yunus explains how thousands of people and organisations have already embraced this vision of a new form of capitalism, launching innovative social businesses designed to serve human needs rather than accumulate wealth. They are bringing solar energy to millions of homes in Bangladesh; turning thousands of unemployed young people into entrepreneurs through equity investments; financing female-owned businesses in cities across the United States; bringing mobility, shelter, and other services to the rural poor in France; and creating a global support network to help young entrepreneurs launch their start-ups.

In A World of Three Zeros, Yunus describes the new civilization emerging from the economic experiments his work has helped to inspire. He explains how global companies like McCain, Renault, Essilor, and Danone got involved with this new economic model through their own social action groups, describes the ingenious new financial tools now funding social businesses, and sketches the legal and regulatory changes needed to jump start the next wave of socially driven innovations. And he invites young people, business and political leaders, and ordinary citizens to join the movement and help create the better world we all dream of. 

‘A World of Three Zeros’ is available now from all good bookshops.

Our 2016 Annual Impact Report is online!

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Whoop whoop! Our social businesses almost doubled their client base last year. The 2016 Annual Impact 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 2018 with one of YSB’s investment-ready social businesses.

Download the Social Success Note handout.