Timesworld desk: Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus addressed the CEOs and top executives of some 240 Tata companies in India on Monday. They assembled at the Tata Sustainability Conclave Conference on Future-Proof Business in Bhubaneshwar.
He narrated the story of how he wanted to create a future for the poor by creating a new a financial institution, now Grameen Bank, Yunus Centre said in a statement yesterday.
He mentioned how as a university teacher in Chittagong University he felt that how the poor helpless are confronting a famine, age-old curse of loan sharking, poor health, illiteracy and lack of work.
When he found out the academic economics which he taught and the institution of banking were of no help, he took the unconventional steps of lending to the poor with his own personal fund.
This led to the creation of Grameen Bank, Yunus said.
It led to other things, to solve the problems of sanitation, healthcare, nutrition and many more. For each of the problem he created a new kind of business — social business.
This concept of social business was born out of long experience — business to solve problems, not to make personal profits.
The concept has spread over the world. Instead of accumulating profits and then giving in charity, social business gives a new sustainable option. He said making money is happiness but making other people happy is super happiness.
He said human beings are not born for working for other people. Human beings are born entrepreneurs. They are not job-seekers, they are job-creators, he said.
“Which future are we talking about? Should we prepare ourselves to fit ourselves into a future which was created by forces beyond our control, or we purposefully create a future to fit us. The real question is what kind of future we want and how do we create it?” Yunus raised the questions during his speech.
Young people should be encouraged to be entrepreneurs. Appropriate eco-system should be developed to make it possible for every young person to start business. An appropriate financial system must be an essential part of that ecosystem, he said. The businesses of millions of entrepreneurs will prevent the sucking up of all the wealth to the top, he said.
Many reputed business schools are now teaching social business and young people are showing tremendous enthusiasm, he said.
It is through such actions and enthusiasm that Prof Yunus believes that his goals of three zeroes will soon be achieved — zero poverty, zero unemployment and zero carbon emission.
The speech was followed by a question-and-answer session. Prof Yunus thanked Tata Group of companies for getting involved in social business.