8th Social Business Design Lab
The 8th Social Business Design Lab took place on 14 September 2013 at Yunus Centre. About 250 participants from different organizations including representatives from numerous national and international NGOs, business leaders, academics and specialists attended the event. Among them Mr. Kazi Zahedul Hasan, Founder and Managing Director Kazi Farms Group, Professor Dr Shafique Ahmed Siddique, Chairman, Board of Trustees of Bangladesh University of Business and Technology (BUBT); Dr Muhammad Abdus Sabur, Board Member of Sajida Foundation.
The Social Business Design Lab is chaired by Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus and is a platform for the presentation and launch of social business ventures. As before, the program was divided in three parts - update of past social business projects, new project presentation and group discussion suggesting improvements on those projects.
At this lab six new social business plans were presented including Social Business Hospital Project by Sajida Foundation, Social Business for Biomass Power Solution to convert rice husk into fuel by Sarkar Ardhendu Director of S D Tex Promoters Ltd and Solid Waste Management Social Business presented by Mr Noor Mohammad Executive Director of Khulna based RUSTIC to convert solid waste from slums and rural households into compost. Three Nobin Uddokta projects, presented by children of Grameen Bank were also elaborated at the Lab. These are Biplob Poultry Farm by Mr Biplob Kumar, Imran Livestock Farm by Md. Dalower Sarker and Sharfiul Cow Fattening Project by Shariful Islam. There was also a special presentation o f Doctor in a Box - Preventive Healthcare Social Business by Dr. Ashir Ahmed of Kyushu University Japan.
These business plans were then intensively discussed in different groups which came up with necessary recommendations. Each project gave its time-line for implementation. Finally the participants selected one Project Bondhu (Project Buddy) for each project to act as a mentor to finalize the plan.
Two new social businesses were launched. Mr Forhad Hossain of Attyo Unnayan Sangstha (AUS) Dairy Khammar Project made announced conversion of his existing business into social business and Mr P K Saha of Rose Sweater Ltd another announced the launch of a social business to sell water pumps, fertilizers, and quality seed to farmers.
The Design Lab was live streamed through the internet. The next Design Lab will take place on November 16, 2013.
Professor Yunus thanked the participants for coming up with innovative social business plans and encouraged the designers to implement the projects and for other participants to support them as investors, saying that participation by individuals is key for success. The participants showed strong determination to translate the social business plans into reality as soon as possible.