Social business can change the world

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Malaysian Prime Minister Mohammad Najib Razak has showered Bangladeshi Nobel Laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus with praises for developing the concept of social business that, Razak believes, can change the world for the better.
“You have launched a very powerful idea — an idea that can change the world,” he said at the Global Social Business Summit at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre in Malaysia yesterday.
“It seems a very workable model to me because it complements the traditional business model,” he added.
The Malaysian premier came up with the comments while speaking at the closing session of the second day of the three-day annual event.
Malaysian Crown Prince Yam Tengku attended a few sessions of the summit alongside students, young entrepreneurs, development activists, businessmen and policymakers of the fast developing Southeast Asian country.
In his speech, Najib Razak announced a 20-million ringgit fund for promoting social business in Malaysia.
“This [summit] will plant the seed of a revolution — none like the Arab Spring though– which will make sure the world is in better hands,” Razak said.
He also pledged to establish Malaysia Global Innovation and Creative Centre to cater to the needs young of social business entrepreneurs and enthusiasts.
The PM said the traditional business model has some inherent shortcomings which can be solved through the social business model, a brainchild of Prof Yunus.
“Capitalism leads to creating inequality in countries. So, we needed a new business model. Social business can be the key to solving inequality in the society,” Razak said.
He highlighted the inability of a government to solve all the problems in a country, and said, “If we can unleash the energy of the youths and support them then all problems will be solved.”
“Young people must be empowered and given opportunities so that they can really change the world. That is why I believe in social business,” Razak added.
Prof Yunus echoed the Malaysian premier, and said, “These young people are very special as they are the most powerful generation in the entire history because of technology that gives them power and ability.”
Yunus said if Malaysia opened its door for the younger generation, they would be able to take charge of not only their country but of the world as well.
He urged every country to set aside a part of the national investment for the social business. “That is the only way out,” he observed.
Prof Yunus thanked the Malaysian premier for inviting him to hold the summit, and also the Malaysian government for coming out vigorously to support the social business idea.
He said the Malaysian government also doled out one million ringgit to Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) for conducting research on social business. In the run up to the summit, the university organised the first ever international research conference on social business in the world.
On the second day of the summit, eight groups came up with presentations on new social business ventures.
Binod Chaudhary, chairman of Chaudhary Group and the first billionaire of Nepal, instantly signed a partnership with Fairwind, an initiative of Wolfgang Fuerst from Austria, which will use waste plastic bottles and wind power to produce low-cost windmills to charge mobile phones in off-grid areas.
The day also saw launching of the Social Business Pedia, an online platform where people can get information and major updates on the concept and different ventures of social business.
The summit, the first in an Asian city after previous four editions taking place in Europe, began on Thursday with a view to changing individuals, communities, villages, cities and countries through solving some of the most pressing social ills by applying the new economic theory.
Around 600 participants from 40 countries including 107 from Bangladesh are attending the event themed “Social business to change the world.”
The next summit will be held in Mexico City on November 11-15 in 2014, organisers said.

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