Muhammad Yunus brings Bangladesh business model to Europe



Wolfsburg: Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus brought on Saturday ideas for creating micro "social businesses" from Bangladesh to Germany, with backing from several of the world's leading corporations.

Yunus, who was awarded the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize for his development of micro-credits that allow poor people to start their own companies, said the global economic crisis offered the world "an opportunity to reflect and redesign" ways of doing business.

"What is missing?" he asked a press conference in Wolfsburg, northern Germany, the home of Europe's biggest carmaker, Volkswagen, which hosted the event.

"All business does not have to be done only to maximise profit, there can be other businesses, businesses aimed exclusively at solving problems."

As well as VW and Yunus' Grameen Social Business initiative, food giant Danone, global water group Veolia, sportswear company Adidas and professional software giant SAP were also represented.

Yunus argued that companies that do not aim to make a profit -- a principle of social businesses -- can still make a difference in a world facing problems such as unemployment or chronic dependence on welfare.

"If you can find out how to solve the problem of six unemployed people, you have designed something which can solve the problem of six million unemployed people, because the same thing can be repeated," he explained.

Bureau Report