Muhammad Yunus speaks: Social businesses and entrepreneurship should be encouraged in NZ
- he was in Christchurch on April 9
- Wealth concentration at the top worries me most; eight people owning more than the bottom 50 percent of the world's population is unsustainable in the long run
- I believe in working towards three zeros - zero poverty, zero unemployment, and zero net carbon emission
- The way to tackle unemployment and get people out of welfarism is to empower them and encourage entrepreneurship
In the last 40 plus years that the Nobel Peace Prize winner, Muhammad Yunus and his brain-child Grameen Bank, have been servicing the people of Bangladesh, the country has taken great strides in all the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – ranging from halving extreme poverty rates to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education.
Sharing this was Yunus, while addressing a gathering in Christchurch on April 9 – an event organised by SingularityU Christchurch Chapter, in a build up to the Social Enterprise World Forum (SEWF) 2017, scheduled to be held in the City in September.
He was visiting South Island to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Lincoln University to operate the first Yunus Social Business Centre in New Zealand. Such centres are established across the world – including in Australia and London - to build awareness of social business, and undertake training and education, provide mentoring, and support research on social business.
“Our decades of learnings which can be applied to New Zealand as well, include encouraging more and more social enterprises to mushroom in this country. Even private businesses should also direct their CSR funds towards social businesses. Additionally, the way to tackle unemployment and get people out of welfarism is to empower them and encourage entrepreneurship,” Yunus said, elaborating on what New Zealanders can learn from his massive body of work.
“If you ask me what worries me the most, it is the wealth concentration at the top. Eight people owning more than the bottom 50 percent of the world's population. It's unsustainable in the long run,” he added.
Yunus concluded by sharing his vision for the future, “I believe in and work towards 3 zeros. Zero poverty, zero unemployment, and zero net carbon emission.”