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About the Centre

The Yunus Social Business Centre at Bethlehem University (YSBC-BU) is the first social business centre in the Middle East accredited by the Yunus Centre in Dhaka (Bangladesh).

It was established in 2017 with the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between Bethlehem University and the Yunus Social Business Centre in Dhaka and it was officially launched in December 2018.

The partnership is also supported by the Yunus Social Business Centre of the University of Florence and VIS (International Voluntary Service for Development), an Italian NGO working in the economic development field.  YSBC-BU is a non-profit entity. Any profit deriving from its work is reinvested in its activities aimed at promoting Social Business in Palestine and worldwide.

Objectives

One
Conduct scientific researchers in the field of sustainable economy, economic development, social economy.
Two
Raise the awareness of public and private institutions on the importance to promote social business and a sustainable economic development.
Three
Provide strategic support and incubation/acceleration services for start-ups that want to become a social business.

Social Challenge

The Centre aims to promote Prof. Yunus' vision to alleviate poverty and promote economic empowerment by implementing the concept of Social Business.

What is Social Business?

Social business is a business which is created solely for the purpose of solving a social or environmental problem, and it is a business from which owners don’t take any dividend except to recoup their own investment (Muhammad Yunus).

Social Business combines socio-environmental objectives typical of the Public Sector and Third Sector organizations with the efficiency and economic sustainability of a traditional enterprise.

Professor Yunus has defined the 7 principles that every social business must follow:

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.

Financial and economic sustainability

Gender sensitive and environmentally conscious

Investors get back their investment amount only. No dividend is given beyond investment money

When investment amount is paid back, company profit stays with the company for expansion and improvement

Workforce gets market wage with better working conditions

Do it with joy

Muhammad Yunus

Professor Muhammad Yunus co-founded Yunus Social Business and currently serves as the Chairman of the Board. He is the founder of Grameen Bank and father of microcredit, an economic movement that has helped lift millions of families around the world out of poverty.

Today, Grameen Bank has over 8.4 million members—97 per cent of who are female—and has lent over US$12.5 billion since its inception. In 2006, the Norwegian Nobel Committee jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Peace to Professor Yunus and Grameen Bank “for their efforts to create economic and social development from below.”

Professor Yunus is also the creator of social business and since 2006 has focused on spreading and implementing the concept. He has written four books about micro-lending and social business: “Banker to the Poor” (2003), “A World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism” (2008) and “Building Social Business” (2010) and “A World of Three Zeros” (2017).

Among Professor Yunus’ many awards and honors he has received all three highest US Civilian awards (Presidential Citizens Medal, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal).

Thereby he is one of only seven people in history that has received these awards, along with recipients Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teresa or Nelson Mandela. In 2009, Forbes named Professor Yunus one of its “10 Most Influential Business Gurus.

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