Muhammad Yunus announces financing in Haiti
Monday, October 15, 2012
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Nobel peace laureate Mohammad Yunus announced Saturday that his pro-business development group is financing several endeavors through a mix of loans and equity.
The projects that incorporate Yunus’ development philosophy of “social business” include two poultry farms, a bakery and a plantation of jatropha plants that can be used for biodiesel, offering an alternative energy source while creating jobs for 200 farmers.
The amount invested in each will range from $80,000 to $500,000, and feature loans with interest rates ranging from 6-10 percent.
Such “social businesses” must each have a social mission like a non-governmental organization, but also generate revenues to cover costs like a profit-making business.
Yunus, an international development expert, made the announcement on the first of a three-day trip to Haiti that includes field visits and a conference examining ways to use his development philosophy to ease poverty in Haiti.
It was the second time Yunus had come to Haiti since visiting a year ago to introduce his “social business” philosophy to the impoverished Caribbean nation. The country is still recovering from a January 2010 earthquake that toppled thousands of buildings and displaced more than 1 million people.
The Germany-based Yunus Social Business Fund, formerly the Grameen Creative Lab, opened an office in Haiti after the temblor.