“I am proposing to create another kind of business, based on selflessness that is in all of us. I am calling it social business.”
Professor Muhammad Yunus
Professor Muhammad Yunus
Recipient of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize, Professor Muhammad Yunus is internationally recognized as the founder of microcredit and as the father of social business. For more than 30 years, he has successfully worked to meld capitalism & social responsibility. In 1976, he created the first institution to provide micro-loans to empower the poor to become entrepreneurs. Grameen Bank has since lent more than 6.5 billion dollars to those suffering extreme poverty across all five continents, while maintaining a consistent repayment rate above 98%.
Complementing his work with microcredit, Prof. Yunus pioneered the global social business movement. Today, he continues to advocate for businesses created to solve human & environmental problems. His early career as a professor of economics, followed by years of work with dignitaries and icons influencing global culture and economy, has allowed him unprecedented insight into the forces and industries that can affect powerful change through social business. Prof. Yunus believes the sport world especially holds this potential today.
Aside from the Nobel Peace Prize, Prof Yunus is the recipient of several prestigious recognitions, including the Congressional Medal of Honor & the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Only six individuals in history have received all three distinctions.
A business 100% dedicated to solving social or environmental problems.
A social business is a non-dividend company set up to solve a specific human problem. It operates like a normal company except for one main difference. 100% of the company profits are reinvested in continuing the social mission.
Unlike a traditional charity, a social business uses a self-sustainable business model to meet these objectives. It is not reliant on grants or donations.
The success of a social business is measured by its ability to solve the social or environmental problem; not the amount of profit in a given period.
The 7 Principles
Professor Muhammad Yunus further defines the concept of social business by outlining 7 principles:
1. Business objective will be to overcome poverty, or one or more problems (such as education, health, technology access, and environment) which threaten people and society; not profit maximization
2. Financial and economic sustainability
3. Investors get back their investment amount only. No dividend is given beyond investment money
4. When investment amount is paid back, company profit stays with the company for expansion and improvement
5. Gender-sensitive and environmentally conscious
6. Workforce gets market wage with better working conditions
7. …do it with joy
Sport and Social Business
Professor Yunus’s work shows us that the social business is sector agnostic. It can apply to any industry: nutritional products, telecom, healthcare, banking, agriculture, water distribution.
In sport, social business has a unique opportunity to ignite change. As Professor Yunus asserted in his opening speech at the 129th Session of the International Olympic Committee at the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, “sport is powerful because it is basic to human beings”. Sport’s emotional power draws on the basic and fundamental human experiences of; sharing a common language, solidarity, and fellowship. This power entertains people and unites them.
At Yunus Sports Hub, we bring the two worlds of Sport & Social Business together by pursuing three critical opportunities:
- Solving social and environmental problems that are inherent to sport
- Solving social and environmental problems by leveraging the power of sport
- Helping the sport for development sector to transition to self-sustainable business models