Muhammad Yunus’ Firm in Talks for Social Business JVs in India
Thursday, September 3, 2015
Nobel laureate and founder of Grameen Bank, Muhammad Yunus, is all set to roll out his flagship social business, in a joint venture with corporates in India soon. Yunus’ social business marketing company — Yunus Social Business (YSB) India —is in talks with a slew of corporates in India who can be joint venture partners in the social business venture, a model where profits are ploughed back to the company. These profits can be then used for employment generation and affordable healthcare.
YSB India, since its inception in 2011, has been financing social businesses of small entrepreneurs and now wants to form JVs with large corporates. YSB India’s social businesses are financed by the Yunus Social Business Fund Mumbai (YSBFM). Since 2011, seven social businesses had received financing of almost $580,000, addressing a range of social issues in India focusing mainly on health, sanitation and micro-entrepreneurship. YSB has further mobilised $2.4 million from its co-financiers.
Yunus was in Chennai on Wednesday to hold talks with potential entrepreneurs and corporates to start joint ventures with his organisation to start social business which will address the social issues without a motive to profit. Speaking to select reporters on the sidelines of an event organised by TIE Chennai, he said, “Today, I am here to pitch in with you all for social business. We have talked to a few companies. But the actual work has not been started yet,” he said. Later, talking to FE, he said that like in many other countries, corporates in India so far have not pro-actively approached them. “Maybe we have not properly communicated to corporates in India… Anyway, we are in the process of reaching out to them,” he said.
Aarti Wig, country director, YSB India, told FE the organisation has established a fund and has so far invested in around seven small businesses in India, and this year it intends to expand the horizon. Yunus Social Business Fund Mumbai was established in and has been offering funds since 2011. “While there has been talks with corporates for joint ventures, not enough joint ventures have happened place in India so far,” she said. “We talk to different people to inspire them to start their own social businesses.”