May 26, 2013 | 11:24 AM (BD Time)
26 May, 2013 Sunday
Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus with the students of Syuyukan Senior High School in Fukuoka. Professor Yunus addressed the high school students ranging in 16-18 years in age. All Japanese students of this age group are required to study about Grameen Bank and Professor Yunus' work and philosophy in their school textbooks.
Japan social business fund announced
Miki Watanabe, CEO and Chairman of Watami, a leading restaurant chain in Japan, Malaysia, Taiwan, China, in consultation with Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus, has announced the creation of a US$ 20 million Social Business Fund for Japan to finance innovative non-dividend businesses.
The announcement came during the opening session of the 3rd Social Business Forum Asia 2012, which took place in Fukuoka City, Japan, on 21-22 July, said a press release.
Professor Yunus inaugurated the Forum which was attended by social business delegates from several Asian and European countries. Yunus Shiiki Social Business Research Centre of Kyushu University is hosting the Forum.
Watanabe, who was a front-running Mayoral candidate for Tokyo city government in the last city election, is a successful entrepreneur and founder of Watami restaurant chain. He is convening a large event to be attended by 12,000 Japanese youth from all over Japan on January 30, 2013 as a final event of social business design competition. The winning designs will receive investment funds from the newly announced social business fund. Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus will be the Chief Guest in this event.
During Social Business Forum Asia at Kyushu University presentations were made on successful social businesses such as Grameen Yukiguni Maitake, Sheanut project in Ghana, Grameen Capital India, Watami Social Business and several projects from Malaysia. The forum also hosted an exciting idea contest for social businesses participated by Japanese student groups from around the country. Eight top business plans were selected from 30 entries, which were presented at the forum on July 21. Eleven-member distin guished jury board selected the winning social business plan. This business plan is designed to create a social business company called "Re Cosme" that aims at recycling the massive amounts of half-used and unused cosmetic items that people throw away. These waste will be collected and used for producing painting materials for art work. It was announced that the winning team would be given scholarship to attend the Global Social Business Summit that will take place in Vienna Austria from 8-10 November 2012.
During his stay in Fukuoka Professor Yunus was invited to visit Syuyukan Senior High School where he addressed students from grade 9 to 12. It may be mentioned that Professor Yunus received the Asian Grand Cultural Prize in 2001 from the City Government of Fukuoka., the press release added.
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