On June 28th, 2012 the third Worldwide Social Business Day took place in many places in the world. For example, In Dhaka (Bangladesh), the Yunus Centre organized a large celebration with 2 days of workshops and conferences and in Wiesbaden (Germany), the Grameen Creative Lab organized a informal event to share social business ideas.
In Paris, we chose to give voice to social business makers. As Emmanuel Marchant, danone.communities GM, said in the introduction of the evening, Professor Yunus is an amazing entrepreneur, who inspired a lot of people to join the social business movement, giving them a lot of energy to dream and build a world without poverty. To Emmanuel, social business makers are "heroes", trying to make the world a better place thanks to an entrepreneurial initiative. This evening was dedicated to better undestand why and how they decided to get involved in such a difficult journey.
We started by listening to testimonies from 4 changemakers with complémentary points of view:
- Academic: Bénédicte Faivre-Tavignot, Head of the Social Business Chair at HEC business school, with courses and research about social business topics
- NGO: Judith Jakubowicz, general coordinator at Convergences 2015, a platform for thought in Europe that aims at building new convergences between public, private, and solidarity-based actors to promote the Millennium Development Goals and to alleviate poverty
- Corporate: François Colomban, Food design director at Danone, whose work is not to invent tomorrow's food but the day after tomorrow's food (François is deeply involved in the Lemateki project in Senegal, as you can see in this video)
- Entrepreneur: Yves Eonnet, CEO at Tagattitude, a technology company specialized in phone-based electronic transactions
These four pionners shared during one hour with the public their personal journey into social business, their personal boosters and brakes (doubts and difficulties).
As the ambition was to make this conference interactive, we then listened to testimonies from the public, with the presentation of various initiatives contributing to the development of the social business movement. Students, entrepreneurs, innovators in existing organizations, all explained what motivated them to go ahead ans leave the beaten track. For example, Arnaud Poissonier, founder of Babyloan, narrated with humour and emotion how he discovered micro-finance : after several years of wealth management in a major bank, "serving rich people who always are in a bad mood", Arnaud fell in love with micro-finance one day in Tadjikistan, after meeting a women beneficiary with an amazingly big smile, just because someone lend her a 30$ micro-credit. This day, he discovered a finance basically useful for people, "the finance of smile" as he calls it, and decided to launch a micro-finance platform on the internet to finance micro-entrepreneurs in the world, inspired from Kiva in the USA.
To finish, Franck Riboud, Danone's CEO, is whishing you a Happy Social Business Day in this short video :
Bonus: happy Social Business Day from La Laiterie du Berger : click here :)