Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus, noted economist and founder of the Grameen Bank, an institution providing microcredit to the poor in Bangladesh, hosted a live Webcast on the occasion of Social Business Day. This article presents an overview of the event that was attended by over 100,000 students from countries including India and Bangladesh.
Social Businesses can help bring about financial inclusion. In his talk, Muhammad Yunus spoke about the the importance of social businesses in poverty alleviation. Criticising the money-making tendency of businesses, Yunus stressed the need for social businesses to focus on overcoming a problem while recovering the costs. He urged the students to think beyond profits. “Two thirds of the people are isolated from the banking system,” he said. Banks typically do not give loans to the poor, which prevents majority of the population from accessing credit facilities. Thus, social businesses help in including the poor in the growth cycle. He exhorted the youth to tackle the country’s myriad problems such as health, environment, unemployment, housing and job creation, instead of focusing on return on investments alone.