Sunday, October 03, 2010
As part of McGill's Homecoming weekend I attended this year's Beatty Lecture. The Speaker was Prof Muhammad Yunus. I am a big fan of Prof Yunus's microcredit. Prof Yunus is an amazing speaker. His latest idea is social business. He is a very happy and joyous individual.. He stated that all humans are entrepreneurs and that his goal was to eliminate poverty. His concept of lending to the poor to create small businesses is indeed brilliant.
He has also set him several so called social businesses. Essentially these are run like businesses, but all profits are reinvested. For instance he started Grameen cell phone company. He lends money to women , to buy cell phones and they rent out these phones to their neighbours. This gives these families a business and spreads phone service. These social businesses can be used to solve problems and are essentially self financing charities.
The audience gave Prof Yunus a standing ovation for several minutes. He took several questions. I got to shake his hand after the event. I sent him a congratulatory email and he almost immediately answered. A gracious and brilliant man. He believes in business and particularly he believes in people. He will even be on The Simpsons tonight. I will post the video of the speech when I can get it.
Here is a lecture he gave earlier this year in California. ( My thanks to my new friend Alam Jahangir for the photos)