Visakhapatnam: The social business model will bring about a qualitative change for the better in the world, and not just in the Third World, and it should not be regarded as a utopian notion, Bangladeshi professor and 2006 Nobel peace prize laureate Muhammad Yunus, has said.
Delivering a lecture at a seminar on ‘Social business for sustainable development’ at Andhra University here on Thursday, Yunus said he was happy to note that AU was setting up a social business centre named after him. He recalled how he had set up Grameen Bank in Bangladesh and developed the model in assistance with the ‘so-called illiterate poor masses, particularly women, in Bangladesh’s villages’. The model aimed at zero poverty, zero unemployment and zero pollution, he said.
Andhra Pradesh was one of the pioneering States to adopt the model for micro finance, or micro credit, but he was aware that there had been some problems here. “But the idea is basically sound, though there may be a few who may misuse it,” he said.
Yunus regretted that in all countries including India a large number of people were left out of the banking system in particular, and the financial system in general, and “we have to find ways to bring them into the system and the system should also be redesigned to suit their needs. Conventional systems will not work.”
He exhorted youth to become entrepreneurs and not mere job-seekers. India and Bangladesh could make use of the demographic dividend only if the spirit of entrepreneurship was inculcated among the youth, he pointed out. Andhra University Vice-Chancellor G. Nageswara Rao felicitated him on the occasion.
Earlier in the week Yunus was in Tirupati to participate in the Indian Science Congress.