25 February 2013
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African Development Bank (Abidjan)

National Conference On Social Business in Tunisia

press release

"Social Business has enormous potential to solve social problems in a financially sustainable way, both in Tunisia and across Africa." - Prof. Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and Chairman of Yunus Social Business.

"The Bank Group is pioneering the Social Business model in Africa. Its aim is not just to create jobs and empower young people - but also to generate income and develop an entrepreneurial culture for the poorest and most vulnerable people in Africa."- Donald Kaberuka, President of the African Development Bank Group.

Nobel Peace Laureate Prof. Muhammad Yunus will be the featured speaker at the National Conference on Social Business organized by the African Development Bank Group in Tunis on Wednesday, March 13, 2013.

Prof. Yunus is the pioneer of the Social Business model, which has been immensely successful in his native Bangladesh, India, Haiti, Albania and other countries. It has effectively helped reduce poverty and improve social welfare by encouraging the poorest and most vulnerable to participate in socially and environmentally sound businesses in order to enhance income generation, entrepreneurship development and job creation.

The Social Business model has not yet prevailed in African countries, however. The African Development Bank is taking a lead role in promoting Social Business in Africa together with the Regional Member Country (RMCs) governments, international development partners, social business experts, and other key stakeholders. In June 2012, the Bank's Program on developing a Holistic Social Business Movement in Africa (HSBM) received a Policy and Human Resources Development Grant of Japan (PHRDG) for a two-year period.

Implementation of the HSBM Program is a priority of the Bank. It is an integral part of the Bank's vision of inclusive growth as outlined in the draft Long Term Strategy (LTS) and draft Human Capital Development Strategy. It contributes directly to the Bank's core agenda of skills and technology development, private sector development, and governance. It is also in line with the Bank's draft Private Sector Development Policy and the Joint Youth Employment Initiative.

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