Prof Yunus to address social business week in Bahrain

Professor Yunus
Bahrain-based Family Bank in co-operation with Grameen Creative Lab, Germany, is organising the inaugural Social Business Week this year in the Kingdom, according to a statement published by the Bahrain News Agency (BNA).

Professor Muhammad Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, the Yunus Centre Foundation of the United Nations and winner of the Nobel Prize in 2006 for his initiatives in micro-financing, will deliver the keynote address.

The Nobel Laureate will talk on new concepts in social economy, the shift in economic views as a sector not wholly intended for profit and identifying the problems and concerns of the community as investment opportunities that create a sophisticated and sustainable development.
Participation at the event is free, said a release. The weeklong event will include general lectures and specialised workshops. The inaugural session will be held in the auditorium of the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry building (Bait Al Tijjar) in Sanabis on September 16, 2012.

The event aims at the establishment of social economy and social business initiatives. Identifying areas of the economy, exchange of social and international experiences and a closer look at the opportunities existing in Bahrain in micro-financing, in addition to the development of companies and the formation of a National Specialised Working Group are expected to be key areas of focus. This event is also expected to aid the uplift of economic sectors.

The strategic partners for the Family Bank’s Social Business Week 2012 are Bahrain Economic Development Board, the Ministry of Social Development, Tamkeen, Bahrain Development Bank, the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the University of Bahrain.

Dr Fatima Al-Balooshi, Minister of Social Development and Chairperson of the Board of Directors of The Family Bank, said that the Social Business Week 2012 resulted from Family Bank’s presence at the Global Social Business Summit, in the Austrian capital of Vienna in 2011.

At the Vienna summit, the role of the Family Bank and the Ministry of Social Development in consolidating the concept of social economy and partnership initiatives taken for the development of the Kingdom of Bahrain was highlighted, she said.

The chairperson said that the Family Bank was the first banking initiative in providing Islamic micro-finance to low-income men, women, youth and the unemployed and also serve as an organization adopting and spreading corporate social responsibility.

“It is a unique event in the region. We look to creating and promoting awareness of social issues, developing solutions to alleviate the difficult economic conditions and support stability of the members of the Bahraini society,” Dr Atef El Shabrawi, CEO of Family Bank, said.

The concept of social business emerged for the first time with the help of Professor Muhammad Yunus’ book ‘to create a world without poverty’.

“For Professor Yunus, social business is a company without a loss and without a dividend. It is designed to achieve social objectives in a regulated market prevailing in our world today,” said Dr El Shabrawi.

The workshops will focus on civil societies, youth and universities and the business community, in addition to proprietors of philanthropic projects and NGOs. The event will conclude with a strategy session on the last day. It is important to register online at for attending the event.

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