The 30th Social Business Design Lab took place on September 17 at the Grameen Bank Auditorium.
Over 120 participants and observers from national and international organizations with diverse background attended the program.
The Design Lab was chaired by Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus. He opened the lab by welcoming the guests including those participating from 70 other countries via live stream.
Professor Yunus then provided an update on the projects presented at the lab so far. He reported that out of a total of 357 projects presented in the earlier 29 design labs, 335 projects were approved for investment; most of them are already in operation.
At the 30th lab, six new social business plans were presented.
Among them were Nobin Udyokta businesses by young entrepreneurs who are the children of Grameen Bank borrowers. These are Sonia Tailors of Ms Khadiza Sultana Sonia, Kamal Store by Md Saiful Islam Shujon, Jolekha Dairy Farm by Ms Iti Begum.
Three open social business projects were also presented. They were related to manufacturing affordable sanitary napkins for garments workers and school students in Chittagong, providing technical support to young entrepreneurs, and manufacturing of accessories for solar home system in Gaibandha.
All the business proposals were applauded warmly by the participants. There were several rounds of discussions on how each social business could be improved and strengthened during the main session as well as in breakout sessions. All projects were approved for investment.
In between sessions, there was a Q and A session with Professor Yunus with online participants from different countries. Usually participants from 70 countries take part in these Design Labs, through internet.
Professor Yunus thanked the participants for the innovative social businesses and noted that it was exciting that so many ideas were now a reality. He also invited participants to the 31st Social Business Design Lab, to be held on October 15, 2014.
The first Design Lab was held on 5th January, 2013. Since then a total of 30 design labs were organized by Yunus Centre.