Has it really been ten yeas? Looking back, it is staggering to see how far we and the social-impact sector have come since that first fateful encounter between our Chairman Nobel Peace Laureate Prof. Muhammad Yunus and our CEO Saskia Bruysten.
The concept of picking up the tools of business and applying them to tackle social and climate challenges was, at that time, almost unheard of. When we brought the idea to funders and corporations, we were almost always met with a roomful of blank stares and raised eyebrows.
Now, a decade later, we are happy to see that we have been able to prove this model. Our portfolio of social businesses overall has served 17.8M customers, supported incomes for 1.3M people, and avoided 5M tons of carbon emissions in India, East Africa and Latin America.
Discover the facts, figures and faces behind our journey in our 10-Year Anniversary Report.
Needless to say, the increased global focus on business as a force for good has not by a long shot been the work of our team alone, nor, for that matter, has even our own success. Rather, both have been the patchwork tapestry of thousands of hands: social-business entrepreneurs, forward-looking funders, intrepid social intrapreneurs, our teams in all our operating countries and supporters in manifold forms.
For this reason, we have made our theme for this year ‘It Takes a Village.’ That is, it takes a village to create a world of zero poverty, zero unemployment and net-zero carbon emissions. We wish to take this opportunity to highlight some of the incredible partners who have shared our vision, taken chances on us, partnered with us and worked together towards achieving our ambitious goals. For those of you reading this to whom this refers - and you know who you are - a big, big thank you goes out to you!
Solene, our Communications Manager for the MAN Impact Accelerator speaks about the challenges faced by smallholder farmers and how they should be empowered rather than exploited by intermediaries, looking at examples from across our work at YSB.
Financing and supporting early-stage businesses in Uganda is not an easy task. In this report with USAID we look at what we have learned from our portfolio over the last few years and how this helps to inform our investment criteria going forward.
On 24 March this year, day-to-day business for a vast number of Indian organisations stopped abruptly. With a complete nationwide lockdown, any operations requiring physical attendance had to shut down overnight. Here’s how we helped one of the Indian social businesses in our portfolio to overcome the combined economic and health crises of COVID-19.
This month we have completed the second program week of our third accelerator cycle in São Paulo focusing on customer development and impact. We were particularly excited to expand to an entirely new continent and increasing our global exposure by including more diversity in stops.
Mentoring is not just a methodological process. It’s an emotional one. Our MAN Impact Accelerator team had to deal with a rapid turn of events during the first weeks of COVID, here they explain how they went virtual!
Networks exist in many forms and serve a vast array of different purposes. There’s the beautiful synergies in nature that allow humans and trees to breathe each other’s waste, and there’s the way that organisations function through a distributed network of interacting social animals. In all these examples, shared purpose and communication (of one type or another) are key.