Dr. Muhammad Yunus is an economist, banker, and social entrepreneur from Bangladesh who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 for pioneering the concepts of microcredit and microfinance. In 1983, Dr. Yunus founded Grameen Bank, which has lent over 8 million microloans to borrowers too poor to qualify for traditional assistance. Approximately 97% of those loans are to women.
Dr. Yunus’ most recent book, “Building Social Business: The New Kind of Capitalism That Serves Humanity’s Most Pressing Needs” will be the topic of his keynote presentation. Dr. Yunus will discuss what he calls "social business,” also known as social enterprise, in which corporations, entrepreneurs, and outreach organizations establish for-profit commercial enterprises that generate economic impact and direct profits toward solutions that fulfill human needs.
“The Greater Rome Chamber of Commerce is excited to host such a prominent international figure in Rome, Georgia,” said Ms. Kaiser. “The mission of the Greater Rome Chamber of Commerce is to promote prosperity in Rome and Floyd County for and through its business membership. The best way to promote prosperity is to provide an opportunity to earn a living. Dr. Yunus’ message will illustrate how any community can promote prosperity by helping individuals build businesses using their personal skills and trades.”
“We were able to connect with Dr. Yunus last year when we approached him regarding the Chamber’s annual Confluence innovation conference (www.confluencerome.org),” added Vice-Chair of the Business and Professional Division Elaina Beeman, Northwest Georgia Housing Authority. “Dr. Yunus was unavailable at the time, but he offered to visit in the future. We are excited that Dr. Yunus will visit Rome in September, and I know that you will be inspired by his message.”
“There is a great need for using innovation to address social issues,” added Willis Potts, Temple-Inland, retired, and former Chair of the University System of Georgia Board of Regents. “For this reason, we integrated the theme of social entrepreneurship into Confluence, and we identified Dr. Yunus as the consummate example of the human side of innovation. His concept of microlending is the direct connection among free enterprise and social change.”
In 2013, Dr. Yunus received the inaugural Forbes 400 Lifetime Achievement Award for Social Entrepreneurship. While accepting this award at the Forbes Philanthropy Summit, he received a standing ovation from the audience of high-powered wealthy business leaders after sharing his inspirational story and a message of “help others help themselves.”
The lecture will begin at 4:00pm in the Rome City Hall/Auditorium, followed by a brief question and answer session and a book signing. The event is open to the public. This special event will be paid for by sponsorship and ticket sales. Tickets can be purchased through the Greater Rome Chamber website www.romega.com using the Community Calendar.
Sponsorships are available. Current sponsors include Georgia Highlands College, Georgia Northwestern Technical College, and Logical Systems. For more information, please contact Lowell Pratt, Director of Entrepreneurship & Innovation, at email@example.com or 706-291-7663.