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!
By leveraging the power of their people and their commercial acumen, Reckitt's objective with the accelerator is to scale innovative, locally designed approaches in Brazil that enable better access to health and hygiene by collaborating with social businesses.
Building a network requires processes, structure and lots of alignment. But in order for the network to truly work, it requires trust and deep-felt human connection around a common purpose. For over 10 years, YSB has built a strong network and every year we are learning more about the effects of communities and networks. This allows us to address social problems in bold new ways.
Tom Schneider is one of our dedicated mentors from MAN Truck & Bus, here he has published his thoughts and unique perspectives of his mentoring experience with the MAN Impact Accelerator.