Durreen Shahnaz, is an Associate Professor at Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at National University of Singapore advocates in the daily Star for an Asian Stock Exchange

As I write this article, the storm in the financial markets continues — stock markets in Asia, Europe and the US all are going through roller coaster rides, people fear bank runs and governments are pulling together trillion dollars worth of rescue packages. In this sadly crazy historic moment, when every current option is looking bleak and governments are busy cleaning up the private sector mess, perhaps it is a good time to look some distance into the future toward a gleam of hope for a kinder and gentler form of capitalism. My suggestion for that is to put together effective regional ‘social stock exchanges’ in each continent that can spearhead social good through capital markets. I believe Asia is ripe to take the lead in meeting this challenge. Read the rest of this entry »


Nobel Prize winner Yunus has a new idea for attacking poverty through capitalism: Enlist companies whose mission is to change the world, writes Alan M. Webber in USA Today. I agree with the observation of Alan when he said at the end of the article that ‘It’s the kind of creative economic thinking that could earn Yunus a second Nobel Prize — this time in economics’.

Follow his writing in full:
Muhammad Yunus has already changed the world once, which is why he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. By creating the Grameen Bank and using microfinance to improve the lives of the poorest of the poor in Bangladesh, he demonstrated a transformational model for eliminating poverty. Read the rest of this entry »

William Azaroff to whom banking is only marginally interesting but using the platform of banking to solve social problems is a powerful draw, writes in his own blog azaroff.com :

Muhammad Yunus At Vancity, where I work, we recently created a division called Social Finance. This is where our Business Banking department now resides, as well as Commercial Mortgages and our amazing Community Business Banking team, where many of our most innovative and socially relevant products and services are generated.

Creating and naming this new division was an interesting risk, and as soon as I heard the name Social Finance, I thought to myself: Holy crap I can’t believe I get to work here. Read the rest of this entry »

Not-for-profit schemes can make society here ‘more balanced and humane’ writes Cheong Suk-Wai in Strait Times:

SINGAPORE is a global business centre with room for ‘social business’, according to Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus.

That is what the Bangladeshi economist and a pioneer of micro-credit calls not-for-profit businesses and programmes set up to generate jobs and other opportunities to help those trapped in poverty.

‘Social business’ is not charity, but more in keeping with the adage: It’s better to teach a man how to fish than to give him fish.

Speaking to The Straits Times here yesterday, Professor Yunus said: ‘The business proposition is for the poor to pay a tiny amount of money for you to take care of their needs. Read the rest of this entry »

Liam Black, one of the social success of England talks to Muhammad Yunus on difficulties and prospect of social business, the conversation published in Social Enterprise :

Professor Muhammed Yunus has made his name as one of the most successful and innovative social entrepreneurs in the world. In 2006, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for setting up the Grameen Bank, which has given small loans to thousands of people in Bangladesh, helping them to start up their own businesses and lift themselves out of poverty. Now, he is transforming the world of big business by joining forces with multi-national dairy firm, Danone, and water services company, Veolia, to bring nutritional yoghurt and drinking water to the masses. Here, he talks to one of England’s own social success, Liam Black, about the future of social business, the battle with fat cats and what he would do with a magic wand.

Liam Black

I’m a social entrepreneur and have been running a busy restaurant chain called Fifteen, which was set up by one of our top chefs, Jamie Oliver. We take on young homeless people and those coming out of prison and turn them into chefs. We invest in their business ideas when they leave us. Before that, I ran a charity called the Furniture Resource Centre in Liverpool, which we turned into a social business, so I knew all about you. We grew from a small, very traditional charity, but moved into selling products and services to enable poor people to furnish their homes. I have just given up the Fifteen role and set up a business which banks on the same idea as you. People say they love the social business idea, but really it’s crap, isn’t it? Capitalism’s not going to change. Danone could afford to do it. There are people out there who believe in it though. The challenge you have is how to turn people onto it. I believe in it. Read the rest of this entry »

The following is an interview of Professor Muhammad Yunus given to New York Times way back to December 9, 2006 after Yunus associated himself with Danone in his venture of social business, I am specially impressed with his answer to the need of job for the Grameen graduates at the end of the interview:

It was March 2005 and Muhammad Yunus, the microcredit pioneer who recently won the Nobel Peace Prize, had just agreed — over a handshake during lunch at a Paris restaurant — to start a “social business” with the head of Groupe Danone, the French food company. Read the rest of this entry »

Sheridan Prasso reports in Fortune magazine regarding his observation on Professor Yunus’ first vnture about social business:

Along a dirt road in Bangladesh’s green, fertile heartland, 140 miles northwest of Dhaka, workers in flip-flops are hauling bricks, pouring cement and hammering boards. The object of their labor: a small yogurt factory being built by Danone, the French food company, on the outskirts of Bogra.

It may not look like much, but the one-story building behind a wrought-iron gate is the epicenter of a Big New Idea – one that Muhammad Yunus, the winner of last year’s Nobel Peace Prize for his pioneering work on microcredit, thinks can revolutionize a world still being transformed by his first big idea. Read the rest of this entry »