09/07/2019 - 09:01

Social Business Day: when sport brings about social change

Peace and Sport advocated on how social business can strengthen peace-through-sport initiatives, on the occasion of the 9th Social Business Day organized by the Yunus Center on 28 and 29 June in Bangkok, Thailand. This year’s conference theme was based upon Professor Muhammad Yunus’ mantra: “Making money is happiness, making other people happy is super happiness”.

During the plenary session “Social Business in Sports: Individual, Club, Federation and Olympic”, Peace and Sport highlighted how social business offers an innovative economic model to international solidarity organizations with the example of social business for sport. Social business is a cause-driven business that sees profit invested in social issues such as healthcare, housing, education, environment and benefiting to the community. It is a sustainable business model for non-profits as it enables to reach economic independency while achieving social goals.

Pierre-Antoine Lefèvre, International Development Officer at Peace and Sport, said:

“Peace and Sport, like many organizations, has a business model partly based on donations. Donations makes us happy because it enables us to run field programs, but it doesn’t make us super happy because it is not sustainable. Meeting Professor Muhammad Yunus a few years ago helped us adapt our economic model to social business. “

In December 2017, Peace and Sport launched an innovative partnership with Professor Muhammad Yunus, Peace Nobel Prize laureate (2006), and the operational branch of the Yunus Centre, the Grameen Creative Lab. Objective: stimulating entrepreneurial activities for the most vulnerable populations while promoting the practice of sport as a tool for peace. In 2018 Peace and Sport moved forward with the Foundation “Amigos del Mar” based in Cartagena, Colombia.

Peace and Sport is currently developing a pilot project in the community of Tierra Bomba Island. The production of water sports accessories is based on the recycling of the worn plastic of the island. This innovative project is one of the first social businesses in sport. The project should generate economic development that will empower the community of the island while contributing to the resolution of environmental problems related to the proliferation of plastics.

Social Business Day is an annual two-day conference organized by the Yunus Centre, and is hosted by Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus.  The conference serves to highlight developments in the realm of social business and to provide social entrepreneurs with the opportunity to connect with established individuals in the field. It is one of the largest gatherings of the social business community, bringing together leading experts, academics, innovators, and aspiring business owners. This year, the conference was hosted by the Yunus Center at the Asian Institute of Technology (YCA) and take place in Bangkok, Thailand.

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