Speakers at a Social Business Day 2018 forum on Friday said social business can be the best tool for companies to implement their corporate social responsibility (CSR) and ensure equity in society using the potential of individuals.
The Bangladesh Forum, one of the six country forums, was held as part of the two-day Social Business Day celebrations organised by Yunus Centre on the Electronic City Infosys Campus.
Claiming that the rich are becoming richer while the poor poorer in spite of high GDP growth, Architect and Urban Planner Mubasshar Hussain said corporate companies can work more for the poor people adopting the social business system. “Ensuring growth for all is still a big challenge,” he added.
Amir Humayun Mahmud Chowdhury, Managing Director of Chittagong Social Business Centre Limited, underscored the need for utilising the possibilities and potentials of Bangladesh, especially the marginalised areas that are not given much attention.
Professor Jahangir Alam Chowdhury from Dhaka University identified shortage of funds as well as lack of availability of related texts to study as challenges that academicians face to get involved in or work on social business.
As the term ‘social business’ is a new concept, relative reading materials are still not easily available, he said.
At the forum to review the present social business initiatives in Bangladesh, Nazneen Sultana, Managing Director of Grameen Communications, and Abida Sultana, Co-founder of Onnosheba, described their experiences of getting into social business.
A group discussion on five different topics– women empowerment, agriculture, entrepreneurship, environment and microfinance -– was also held during the forum where the discussants came up with some suggestions for development through social business such as supporting women even after their marriage and empowering them through excellence-building workshops, encouraging social business for small farmers, ensuring green business for sustainable environment and so on.
The five other country forums that took place during the event simultaneously are India Forum, China, Hong Kong and Taiwan Forum, Australia, Philippines and Malaysia Forum, Thailand and Japan Forum, and Europe Forum.
Professor Muhammad Yunus in his closing remarks of the country forum said the forum was initiated to gather people of the same country or region and connect their ideas together through discussions.