Visit to the Yunus Center in Dhaka, Bangladesh by two SolBridge students
On December 13, 2011, two students of Entrepreneurship at SolBridge International School of Business, JuSeung Yi (Daniel) and MinJae Kim (MJ), visited the world renowned Yunus Center in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
The Yunus Centre, (http://www.muhammadyunus.org/ and also on Facebook: http://www.muhammadyunus.org/) is an organization that is dedicated to promoting and spreading the philosophy of 2006 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Muhammad Yunus. Professor Yunus is a Bangladesh economist and founder of the Grameen Bank that provides micro-credit and invented the concept of micro-credit and social business. One of the unique aspects of the business model for the Grameen Bank is it is owned by the poor people of Bangladesh, with the majority of the ownership being held by women.
The Centre arranged meetings and interviews with managers from social business companies under the Grameen family name: Grameen Shakti, Grameen Danone Foods Ltd., Grammen Kalayan, Grameen Veolia Water Ltd. and Grameen Fisheries & Livestock Foundation. These businesses were created to address social problems in a specific field with their own unique business model. For example, Grameen Danone Foods Ltd. provides a yogurt fortified with micro-nutrients to lessen malnutrition for the children, while Grameen Veolia Water Ltd. provides clean and safe water that is accessible to villagers in the poorest parts of Bangladesh. In each meeting, the students learned about the company’s history, business model and development strategies. After the presentations, Daniel and MJ met with the managers informally and discussed social business and poverty related issues introduced in the Laureate Muhammad Yunus’s books. One book in particular, “Social Business: The New Kind of Capitalism that Serves Humanity’s Most Pressing Needs”, was read by the students prior to their visit at the Yunus Center.
After numerous highlights during the visit, the two aspiring social entrepreneurs commented “they were able to learn how business skills can be utilized to solve social problems and how crucial the role of entrepreneurship is in making the world a better one.” The visit was an inspiring experience which has created a valuable stepping stone as these SolBridge students pursue their careers in entrepreneurship.