Manila Trip and Social Business Youth Summit:

The team of Grameen Australia delegates traveled to metro Manila for the final leg of the Social Impact Mission 2019. While there the team experienced Grameen’s Social Business Hub in action. The week consisted of visits to Grameen Centres in North Pasay and Taytay to meet the local entrepreneurs making a change in their livelihood through social businesses. These visits involved attending Centre meetings, observing the business skills training sessions run for the entrepreneurs as part of the mentoring component of the project, home visits to some of the entrepreneurs, and a first-hand look at the goods and services being produced by these entrepreneurs. In North Pasay, the delegates also visited North Pasay High School to observe the café ‘FoodLab’, the collaborative project between Grameen Philippines and the Telstra Foundation. The café is located within the School and provides training to students in basic food preparation and handling, coffee-making, customer service, and cash management. Further, the café frequently stocks the goods produced by students’ parents who are Grameen entrepreneurs running a social business.

The delegates attended the ANZCHAM Luncheon to learn about women in business. Nobel Peace Laureate and Founder of Grameen Bank, Professor Muhammad Yunus discussed the importance of empowering women and the poor, and how the mechanism for achieving this is through social businesses. The delegates were kindly invited to attend the Rotary Club’s 100th Year Anniversary Event with Professor Muhammad Yunus to hear him speak about the future of social businesses and their potential to effectively drive a global wave of economic advancement.

The week concluded with the Social Business Youth Summit, the mission of which is to inspire and enable young people to transform their communities through social businesses in order to achieve real change across the world. The Summit brought together over four hundred youths in Manila, and this year was proudly co-hosted by Grameen Australia Philippines. The Summit explored the technological innovations which are redefining our world, and how to leverage these advancements in order to scale the impact of social businesses. A highlight of the Summit was Professor Muhammad Yunus’ keynote speech on ‘Creating a World of Three Zeros’, that being, zero poverty, zero unemployment, and zero net carbon emissions. Additional highlights included the Panel Discussion on ‘Creating an Ecosystem that Inspires Innovation and Social Businesses’, the Seminar Session on ‘How to start a Social Business’, the Microfinance Forum, the Panel Session on ‘Women and Girls Combatting Social Stigma’, and the creative workshops on current issues such as ‘Youth Engagement in Social Business’ and ‘Turning Social Business into Pop Culture’.

~ Lucy Goodin (Projects Director)