Fw: The Grameen Creative Lab – Newsletter April 2011

my buzz & my blog

“When you do the common things in life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world.” George Washington Carver

What is Social Entrepreneurship?

Statement of Faith
You can find other “Market with Meaning” but you definitely want to see “Profit with Purpose”.
I personally “Believe in Kingdom Transformation” because I know there is only ONE “Life for Significant”.

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2011年5月18日 星期三,Saskia Bruysten <info@grameencl.com> 寫道﹕

寄件人: Saskia Bruysten <info@grameencl.com>
主題: The Grameen Creative Lab – Newsletter April 2011
收件人: “Mr. Houghton Wan” <incubator.hou@gmail.com>
日期: 2011年5月18日,星期三,下午10:30

The Grameen Creative Lab is passionate about social business. We hope that you are too. Check out what we have been up to lately! 
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Dear friend of social business,

   In April 2011 the Grameen Creative Lab has again been busy spreading the YY-virus and kick-starting many new social businesses.

  Inside this month’s issue:

  1. Bangladesh update: Grameen Bank’s independence is threatened!
  2. Millennium Development Goals: GCL to start the YY Millennium Tour in cooperation with the UN 
  3. Colombia update: Caldas Holistic Social Business Movement
  4. YY Haiti Social Business Fund: Office inauguration and a growing team
  5. Social Business Exploration Trip: an unforgettable experience for interested executives to see social business in action
  6. Public policy: UN LDC conference, MDG Advocacy Group, EU Commission workshop
  7. Collaboration with companies
  8. Save the date: Upcoming events 2011

We invite you to get involved by contacting:
Mr. Hans Reitz (Co-Founder)                                         hans.reitz@grameencl.com
Ms. Saskia Bruysten (Founding Member, CEO)        saskia.bruysten@grameencl.com

  We are looking forward to hearing from you. Do it with joy!

  The Grameen Creative Lab

Bangladesh update: Grameen Bank’s independence is threatened!

As you know, Professor Yunus has been the target of a smear campaign over the past few months, which is partly orchestrated by the Bangladeshi government.

  • Prof. Yunus has now lost the fight to remain as Managing Director of the Grameen Bank and has now resigned from Grameen Bank. The future and independence of Grameen Bank is now more uncertain than ever. The goal seems to be to take over Grameen Bank and use it as a political tool.
  • Prior to the final verdict from the Supreme Court, a petition containing the signatures of 3.7 million Grameen Bank borrowers had been presented to the Prime Minister’s office pleading to restore Prof. Yunus’ rightful position in the bank. Immediately following the final decision, the nine elected board members of Grameen Bank urged the government to appoint Yunus as chairman of the bank. However, supporters of Prof. Yunus within Bangladesh have been put under pressure to change their stance. Among other incidents, a Grameen Bank union leader who was organizing actions in favour of Prof. Yunus was beaten up by unidentified assailants.
  • The report that was commissioned by the Government effectively cleared Grameen Bank and Prof. Yunus of all accusations of impropriety.
  • World leaders from US, France, Germany, Italy, Pakistan and Peru have spoken out in support of Yunus, including US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé.
  • The Friends of Grameen (http://www.friendsofgrameen.com/), a coalition of high-profile personalities including Mary Robinson (former President of Ireland and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights), Jacques Chirac (former President of France), Óscar Arias (former President of Costa Rica, Nobel Peace Laureate 1987), and James Wolfensohn (former President of the World Bank), was created to bring political support to Prof. Yunus and the Grameen Bank.
  • If you want to support, you can do any of the following:
    • Join the Facebook groups: Support Yunus(7,039 members) and Unite for Yunus (5,739 members)
    • Post tweets on Twitter
    • Write Op-Eds for your local newspaper
    • Rally Bangladeshi expat communities in your country
    • Get in touch with influential friends to raise awareness

 Millennium Development Goals: GCL to start the YY Millennium Tour in cooperation with the UN

Being one of the 19 MDG Advocates, Prof. Yunus has the mandate to promote the Millenium Development Goals. In a meeting with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January, the Grameen Creative Lab received the mandate to engage younger generations for the achievement of the MDGs. To this end, GCL is planning the YY Millennium Tour which will empower younger generations worldwide to make an impact towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals through social business.

  • Starting in 2012, the YY Millennium Tour will include a series of social business labs to kick-start social business movements in countries in danger of not achieving the Millennium Development Goals.
  • Regular, local workshops in partnership with local organizations, as well as train the trainers methodologies, will facilitate self-sustaining social business movements.
  • The tour will be accompanied by global summits and congresses to facilitate an international exchange on how to achieve the MDGs through social business.
  • One Young World, the premier forum for young talents of leadership caliber, joins GCL as the first partner of the YY Millennium Tour, financing 10 social business labs across the world.
  • GCL aims to expand the network of partners worldwide to make this initiative a success. To get involved, please contact us!

Colombia update: Caldas Holistic Social Business Movement

  The first social businesses projects in the province of Caldas are making very good progress.

  • Health social business: Bienestar, our first pilot social business, is a membership-based scheme for low-cost healthcare. The number of members has been increasing –  it now has 94 members – and we have started negotiations with a second health care center.
  • Nutrition social business: We are making big strides forwards in the creation of a social business to manufacture and commercialize panela (a low-cost local staple) fortified with vitamins and minerals. This product will contribute to reduce malnutrition rates in Caldas. Royal DSM, a leading nutrition company, has become a partner in the project.
  • Housing social business: Together with Habitat for Humanity and Nicolas von Wilcke, an expert in low-cost housing solutions, we are working on innovative business models to solve the housing problem in Caldas.
  • We are working with two leading international academic centres of excellence.
    • In June, Wharton MBA graduates will visit Caldas to support local SB entrepreneurs on their SB ideas through business planning and funding preparation. We expect a longer-term mentorship role to combine local entrepreneurial spirit with top level international business knowledge and contacts.
    • As part of a partnership with Milan-based design university IED, the first designers will be coming to Caldas in May to help find design solutions that reduce poverty in Caldas
  • One of our team members attended the World Economic Forum Latin America and made very good contacts to start expanding our work across Latin America.

YY Haiti Social Business Fund: Office inauguration and a growing team

  Check out the latest news about the social business movement in Haiti here:

  • The Grameen Creative Lab Haiti S.A. celebrated its office inauguration end of April 2011. Partners, NGOs and potential social business entrepreneurs travelled from all over the country to this event.
  • Save the date: GCL Haiti will conduct the first Social Business Labs in Haiti on 19-20 May. The first day will be with NGOs, the second day will be with graduates from universities as well as with our potential social business entrepreneurs.
  • Country Director Claudine strengthens her team: Ipena Lucien started working for GCL Haiti as a Senior Consultant and is already well-integrated into Social Business assessment processes and the Social Business Labs.
  • Accenture secondee Eva-Maria Kösters started working as the new YY Haiti Project Manager at the start of April.
  • Our pipeline keeps growing, with over 15 promising Social Business projects in the due diligence process. We expect to execute the first investment in late May or early June.
  • We are looking for further investors & donors who want to support YY Haiti and act as pioneers in shaping the social business movement. Please contact Saskia.Bruysten@grameencl.com to learn more.

Social Business Exploration Trip: an unforgettable experience for interested executives to see social business in action

  GCL is organizing an intensive, inspiring and insightful 1-week Social Business Exploration Trip to Bangladesh in the last week of June (25.06.11 – 02.07.11). Leaders from the corporate, academic and public-policy sectors are invited to discover and live social business under the guidance and organization of a senior GCL team.

  The trip is a unique chance for you to broaden your perspectives, both personal and professional. Participants will:

  • Understand the challenges related to poverty alleviation worldwide and in Bangladesh
  • Learn from visits of social businesses and meetings with Grameen Bank managers and Pr Yunus (to be confirmed)
  • Exchange about the key findings of the journey

 The trip is limited to 8 participants. If you are interested in attending and want further information, please contact Matthias.Gebhard@grameencl.com.

Public policy: UN LDC conference, MDG Advocacy Group, EU Commission workshop

  • Hans Reitz represented Prof. Yunus in the 4th United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries in Istanbul in May.
  • He also took part in the meeting with the MDG Advocacy Group, again on behalf of Prof. Yunus, who had to stay in Dhaka to help steer the Grameen organizations through these difficult times in Bangladesh.
  • Saskia Bruysten has been invited by the EU Commission to be part of an expert commission focused on building the right ecosystem for social entreprise/ business in Europe. The outcome of this workshop, to be held in May, will inform a Communication on Social Innovation in autumn 2011.

Collaboration with companies

  April has been an exciting month in our collaborations with companies worldwide. Promising discussions and workshops have taken place:

  • In a Social Business Lab with a leading German energy supplier, we discussed opportunities for them to solve energy related issues through sustainable social business models that leverage their core competencies.
  • In ongoing talks with a Colombian food company as well as with an Indian juice company we are discussing ways of solving malnutrition  issues through innovative products.
  • We started to discuss with an Italian manufacturer the possibility of developing a new water-related social business that will use solar driven decentralized devices for water purification.
  • We are in talks with a French bank and a South African medicines entrepreneur to support them in setting up social business funds.
  • We have been talking with a facilities management group in the Middle East about creating an environment-related social business.

 Companies that have launched social businesses (e.g. Danone, BASF) tell us regularly about the amazing impact their investments in social business have on their employees’ and executives’ motivation and leadership style and praise the incredible potential for innovation they can unveil through a social business. We are always on the look-out for new social business ideas and partners. Please contact us to take the first steps with us towards building new social businesses!

Save the date: upcoming SBL in Vienna, Social Business Day in Dhaka and GSBS in Vienna

  • Social Business Lab in Haiti // 19-20 May 2011: The interest community around social business will gather together to develop specific social business ideas for Haiti
  • Social Business Lab in Vienna // 28 May 2011: For the 2nd time in Vienna we will gather for an interactive workshop to brainstorm social business ideas that can solve existing problems in society
  • Social Business Day // 28 June 2011 in Dhaka and worldwide online: social business supporters from all over the world are connected on a virtual and personal basis during one entire day. All you need to participate is an internet connection! There will also be a physical event in Dhaka. To bestead Prof. Yunus in the situation he is currently facing in Bangladesh, you can show your support in participating at this event in Bangladesh  – if you’re interested in attending, please contact Verena.Marquardt@grameencl.comto receive an official invitation.
  • Social Business Exploration Trip // 25 June until 2 July 2011: Join an intensive, inspiring and insightful 1-week Social Business Exploration Trip to Bangladesh in the last week of June
  • Global Social Business Summit // 10-12 November 2011: This year, the Global Social Business Summit will move on to a new location in Europe! Save the date for 10-12 November 2011 in Vienna and contact summit@grameencl.com if you would like to pre-register.


* 19-20 May 2011
Social Business Lab in Haiti

* 28 May 2011
Social Business Lab in Vienna

* 28 June 2011
Social Business Day in Dhaka and worldwide online

* 10-12 November 2011
Global Social Business Summit in Vienna

Copyright © 2011 The Grameen Creative Lab, All rights reserved.
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