As you can already hear by our name the Grameen Creative Lab is part of the global Grameen family that we are proud to belong to. Also part of it are the Grameen Foundation, Grameen Caledonian College of Nursing, Grameen Star IT Education, Grameen Solutions, Grameen Shakti and many others and, of course, the mother of all – the Grameen Bank.
Grameen has become a powerful symbol. It stands for finding solutions to alleviate poverty and tackle social problems by putting human needs in the centre of its business cause. But many times as we have Grameen in our name our clients ask us:
WHAT DOES GRAMEEN ACTUALLY STAND FOR?
Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and founder of the Grameen Creative Lab Professor Muhammad Yunus has dedicated most of his life working for the poor, trying to improve their lives by helping them to escape poverty. He was able to help over 300 million people around the world, especially women, to unleash their entrepreneurial capabilities. The poor could finally break the poverty that they were enslaved by.
Born in 1940 in Chittagong, former East Bengal, as the third out of 14 children Prof. Yunus was inspired by his mother Sufia Khatun, who always helped the poor. Though his father, a successful goldsmith, always encouraged him to further education, his mother had the most of an impact leading to dedicating his life to the eradication of poverty.
Verbally, “Grameen” means “village” in Bengali language. But it has changed into a message of hope with the creation of Grameen Bank in 1983, which grants small loans (microcredits) to the poor. Back then, Grameen credit was not based on collaterals or contracts, it was based on trust.
Based on this trust, Prof. Yunus started by lending his private money to the women in his village. This is how the idea and name “Grameen” and Grameen Bank came into being. Since then the Grameen Bank has gathered over 8.3 million borrowers of which 97% are female. In addition to this, the World Bank recently approved it has enabled millions of individuals to escape poverty with dignity. Prof. Yunus describes it as a program that will put poverty and homelessness in a museum for our children to visit.
Since the founding of Grameen Bank, the Grameen family has grown to dozens of organizations in Bangladesh and worldwide that successfully operate across the sectors of healthcare, education, communication and agriculture.
THE GRAMEEN VISION
In his book “Creating A World Without Poverty” Prof. Yunus’ has listed his dreams for the year 2050. They start with his most powerful message: “There will be no poor, no homeless and no children on the street. There will be a poverty museum in each country […].” He goes on with his vision to create a world without wars, nuclear weapons, terminal illnesses, such as cancer or AIDS. He envisions a world where everybody will have access to a high-quality medical care, […] a global education system […], and live peacefully and harmonically contributing to the empowerment of human potential. Also, he states that Social Business will be an essential part of the corporate world.
GRAMEEN CREATIVE LAB’S MISSION
Together with his Creative Advisor Hans Reitz, Prof. Yunus founded the Grameen Creative Lab in 2008 with the mission to create a global Social Business movement. GCL reaches out to the corporate world to help corporates understand what Social Business is and how they can establish one. It also addresses young entrepreneurs and students who want to make a change in the world through Social Business.
With the goal to further expand this movement and bringing world-wide awareness to the idea of Social Business GCL has held the first Global Grameen Meeting in 2009. The now called Global Social Business Summit became the leading forum for Social Business worldwide bringing together experts from corporations, civil society, governments and academia with the goal of sharing experience and developing Social Business ideas with the partners and supporters of Grameen.
THE POWER OF GRAMEEN
Over the past 8 Summits almost 5.000 participants from up to 60 countries have been registered, more than 150 Social Businesses were presented and thousands of people have been encouraged to join the Social Business movement. GCL was able to get big corporates like BNP Paribas, McCain and BASF to commit themselves to the Social Business concept and by this taking their responsibility in building a new civilization.
And it all started in a village of Chittagong with the vision of one man to eradicate poverty and help people to live a life in dignity.
The Power of Grameen is the power to change the world. Namely, enable the poor to create a world without poverty, enable the homeless to create a world with affordable housing for everyone, and enable the starving to create a world with sufficient and healthy food. All by unleashing the energy and creativity that is inherent to all human beings.
YOU’VE GOT THAT POWER TOO!
Grameen is just the beginning. In order to realize the world Prof. Yunus is envisioning it needs you! If we want to change the situation and build a new civilization, we need to change the current system. Every one of us beholds the power to make that change happen.
If you want to build a new civilization by helping or establishing a Social Business claim your spot at the Global Social Business Summit and get in touch with the global Grameen and Social Business community.
Go to www.gsbs-2018.com for more information about the summit
Visit www.grameencreativelab.com to find out more about our work and impact
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Interested in finding out more about the Grameen family?
Find here a list with all Grameen organizations: https://grameenfoundation.app.box.com/s/l64q5oylw88rm2jbfs9p
Further Social Businesses:
Magdas Hotel: https://www.magdas-hotel.at/