United Nations Development Programme and UN Women sign a memorandum of understanding with Yunus Social Business

22 Jan 2013

imageProfessor Muhammad Yunus, Chairman of Yunus Social Business, Semia Solange Guermas de Tapia, UN Women Representative and Freddy Austli, Officer in Charge, UNDP Albania. Credit: UNDP Albania

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and UN Women signed today a memorandum of understanding with Yunus Social Business. This memorandum is based on the common desire to contribute to Albania’s social and economic development by providing new opportunities to disadvantaged individuals and communities, by advancing society’s knowledge about social, environmental and gender issues and by providing potential market-based solutions. The memorandum also aims to support Albanians in taking up these challenges.

Recognizing that social businesses – financially sustainable companies in which profits are not used for personal financial benefit but rather to achieve further social benefit, as defined by Nobel Peace Laureate Prof. Muhammad Yunus – can make a major contribution to meet these challenges and address the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable members of the Albanian society.

According to the memorandum, these organizations agree to work together to introduce the idea of social business into programmes for economic and social development; to support the creation and growth of successful social business projects, while promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment. The organizations also agree to develop together activities for public awareness-raising and the generation of public enthusiasm for the idea of social business through workshops, conferences, public events, social business plan competitions, research etc.

This memorandum was signed by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Professor Muhammad Yunus during his visit in Albania and by representatives of United Nations in Albania.

Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Professor Muhammad Yunus is visiting the country from 21 to 23 January. During his visit, Professor Yunus will meet social entrepreneurs, will give a public speech about social business and will announce the semi-finalists of the Social Business Plan competition.

Professor Muhammad Yunus was born in 1940 in Chittagong, Bangladesh and established the Grameen Bank in 1983. His objective was to help poor people escape from poverty by providing loans on terms suitable to them and by teaching them a few sound financial principles so they could help themselves. He was a professor of economics and developed the concept of microcredits and microfinance. Professor Yunus is a Nobel Peace Prize laureate and has received many international prizes.