Muhammad Yunus, IIM-A Set to Float Rs 50 Crore Fund to Seed Social Business
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
MUMBAI: Professor Muhammad Yunus, the father of microfinance and chairman of the Yunus Centre in Bangladesh, has finally found a taker for his brand of social businesses in India. He is joining hands with the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A) to float a Rs 50-crore fund to seed social ventures.
He will help raise the corpus and mentor social entrepreneurs. “I am in talks with several industrialists (in India),” Yunus said. He met some of Mumbai’s biggest industrialists during his visit to the city this week.
For the uninitiated, Yunus defines a social business as one that pays no dividend to shareholders, but ploughs all profits back into the company whose purpose is to serve social needs. “It’s a new class of non-dividend business done in a serious way to solve social problems,” he said.
Yunus has pioneered many such social businesses, including a JV with Danone that sells fortified yoghurt to poor children for 6 Bangladeshi Taka; Veolia that sells clean water to 100,000 people across five villages for 1 taka (for 5 litres); and a third JV with chemicals multinational BASF that sells long-lasting insecticidal nets and multi-micronutrient sachets to the poor.
His alliance with IIM-A fructified after one year of discussions with its Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE).