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Video interview: Yunus calm despite 'aggressive attacks'
Professor Muhammad Yunus is a Nobel Peace Laureate, globally recognised social entrepreneur, and one of the pioneers of microfinance.
This is an edit of the full interview, which can be found below.
Professor Muhammad Yunus remains calm and upbeat despite the 'aggressive attacks' upon him by the Bangladeshi government, he revealed in a video interview with socialenterpriselive.com.
Yunus was forced to stand down on 12 May from the mircro-finance institute Grameen Bank after sustained attacks from the Bangladeshi government.
The majority owners of the bank with a 97% share are the 8 million women who access the tiny loans it provides. The Bangladeshi government forced him to quit, stating that at 71 he is too old to run a state bank. The remaining 3% shares of Grameen Bank are government owned.
It was reported on 18 May that the government is now in the process of nationalising the bank and will remove the nine women board members who represent the borrowers.
Yunus expressed concern that the government is now turning its attention to the other social businesses he has founded in Bangladesh, which include the largest telecoms firm in the country and the Grameen-Danone partnership which produces the yoghurt, 'Shakti Toi'.
The meeting with socialenterpriselive.com came after an interview with Liam Black, co-founder of Wavelength and the Friends of Grameen initiative, at the offices of the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA). This interview was broadcast live online and is available to watch in full now.
Despite the sustained pressure Yunus has come under, he remained optimistic and upbeat in both interviews. He spoke enthusiastically about the UK government's Big Society Bank plans to release unclaimed assets to social enterprises, and suggested that dormant patents could be utilised in the same way.
He cited the example of major corporations buying up hundreds of patents to protect their business from rivals, and claimed that these could be licensed to social businesses for use for social purposes.
Yunus also asserted that social business should protect against mission drift by operating with 'complete transparency' and being run as non-profits. He argued for an annual certification programme that social business should submit to, an idea not dissimilar to another UK initiative, the Social Enterprise Mark.
Watch the full interview:
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