“Yunus Social Business – Global Initiatives” has been co-founded by Peace Nobel Laureate Prof. Muhammad Yunus, the pioneer of microfinance from Bangladesh. The organisation is managed by two dynamic woman, Saskia Bruysten (CEO) and Sophie Eisenmann (CFO). Their aim: to kick-start new social businesses by providing them with mentoring & coaching as well as with the necessary financing. They have been incredibly successful in doing this. As of today, they created local chapters in 7 countries, including exotic but very challenging places such as Haiti where they work together with, among others, the Clinton Global Initiative and the Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation.
A key challenge for the YSB team is finding the right blend of capital for their incubator funds. Supporting early stage, socially oriented businesses, requires a blend of donations or grants and patient investment capital.
The new online platform which is operated by Sosense, achieves this goal: It allows to professionalize business partnerships that engage corporations in supporting a social business. The platform is designed to run crowdfunding campaigns, manage donations, issue donation vouchers, and – a new feature within Sosense’s product portfolio – to host an internal membership area designed to facilitate financial investments into a social business, such as a zero-interest loan.
A “Yunus Social Business” is an enterprise which solves the needs of the poor in a financially self sustainable way. Key areas are nutrition, affordable shelter, access to education, health services, safe drinking water, sanitation, energy or communication services. Muhammad Yunus defined strict criteria for any social purpose driven business to classify as a “Yunus Social Business”. Most importantly: The businesses shall create revenues and be financially self-sustaining, they should, however, not pay out any profits to financial investors. Surplus revenues should stay within the charitable system and be employed to further improve the services for the poor.
“We are proud”, comments Patrik Elsa, CEO of Sosense, “to be part of this exciting movement to transform parts of our economy into a social benefit economy. It is initiatives such as Yunus Social Business – Global Initiatives which showcase how businesses can be designed as a means to produce a social good”.