Our Nobel peace winner Muhammad Yunus says in Sydney, Social business opportunities abound
THE global financial crisis has created more social business opportunities for Australian companies, Nobel peace laureate Muhammad Yunus said today.
Professor Yunus told business leaders in Sydney about the concept of “social businesses”, where established companies forego profits to invest in poorer communities and improve prosperity.
He won the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize for developing the concept of micro-financing, which has allowed people in Asia, Europe and recently the US to establish small companies.
Professor Yunus has provided $6.6 billion in millions of small loans to the poor through his Grameen Bank in Bangladesh.
“Businesses have their own technology and their own style of doing things, but everything is geared towards how to maximise profit,” Professor Yunus told AAP today.
“I’m saying, ‘Why don’t you use what you’ve got to eliminate a problem?’ It’s not about making money.”
The opportunities for large corporations to get involved with or establish social businesses have increased as a result of the global financial crisis, he said.
“You just need to shut your eyes and think what are the problems we have in our city, what are the problems we have in our country? You can make a list.
“A lot of people are suffering because of the global financial crisis, so maybe this is the time they should do it, now.”
Over 200 business representatives were present at today’s event, on behalf of companies including BHP Billiton, National Australia Bank, Macquarie Group and Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
Employees of Oil Search also spoke of their involvement in a social business project about to be launched in Papua New Guinea.
The PNG-based oil and gas explorer, in conjunction with Business for Millennium Development (B4MD) and several Australian companies, has facilitated the creation of Southern Highlands Produce.
Southern Highlands will provide agricultural training to local women and produce fruit, vegetable, eggs and poultry.
“As the most isolated and marginalised part of the country, the southern highlands feels the impact of this poverty and women in this region are particularly disadvantaged,” B4MD chief executive Mark Ingram said.
Medal of Freedom: President Barak Obama & Dr. Muhammad Yunus
[vsw id="L2P8DcHh6T0" source="youtube" width="425" height="344" autoplay="no"]
[vsw id="iAu_yv8Hnjw" source="youtube" width="425" height="344" autoplay="no"]
Some of the links that might give you a clear concept of his works: