Gordon Brown and Muhammad Yunus; In search of businesses that do good
There were glimmers of sunlight and smiles raining on 10 Downing Street for the first time in a long while when Nobel Prize winner Muhammed Yunus met with Prime Minister Gordon Brown on 21st April 2008 for a meeting in which Yunus expresses the importance of micro-financing in Africa.
Rule-breaker, innovator, risk-taker, visionary, pioneer, banker to the poor and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Bangladesh’s Professor Muhammad Yunus’ achievement’s are a huge leap forward for social enterprises. The inspirational microcredit revolutionary is the perfect example of how to set up a profitable business that also provides real social benefit to some of the poorest people in the world…
Find below the script of the meeting between Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Muhammed Yunus.
Scene 1 Greeting
Prime Minister Gordon Brown: Hello How are you, what a pleasure
Dr. Muhammad Yunus: It’s a pleasure for me
PM : It’s good to see you
(They Shake Hands)
Scene 2 Muhammad Yunus Introduces himself to the camera from the heart of 10 Downing Street
I am Muhammad Yunus from Bangladesh with Grameen bank. We lend money to extremely poor people for income generating activities. I am suggesting that Africa needs a lot of micro-finance programs – tiny loans 30 dollar, 45 dollar 100 dollar – and paid back in weekly installments. It doesn’t need any collateral. It doesn’t need any lawyers into it but the repayment rate is very high: 98% or 99%.
Micro-finance is very important because it allows people to bring out their own initiative, bring out their own capability. And they can move on their own speed to create income, to get out of poverty. And people in Africa are very enterprising people, particularly women. Micro-finance focuses on women. Today in Bangladesh within Grameen Bank we have 7.5 million borrowers a- 97% of them women. The Prime Minister is very much aware of it; very supportive of it. So we will discuss how to make it happen in Africa
Scene 3 PM and Dr Yunus sitting round a cup of tea
PM There is so much goodwill to the work you have been doing, and it is so important
Scene 4 After tea: Muhammad Yunus denouement
At the same time, we will be discussing another concept – the social business : business to do good to people – (show copy of Dr Yunus new bestselling book Creating a World Without Poverty- Social Business, The Future of Capitalism ). This is business where you aim at the social objectives, not for making money for yourself. You cover your cost, make profit but the profit doesn’t go to investors or outsiders but stays with the company to achieve the goal that you set out to help achieve or lead.