Kiva is very excited to welcome Yunus Social Business (YSB) Funds as a new partner! In this earlier blog post we explained the importance of social businesses, which are defined as non-dividend businesses specifically created to solve a social problem. YSB was created in 2011 to expand and raise awareness about this movement, and offers advisory services and incubator funds to social businesses. They are currently working in Haiti, Albania, Brazil, Colombia, Tunisia and Togo with plans to continue expanding globally.
YSB was co-founded by Professor Muhammed Yunus, who played a hugely influential part in microfinance history when he started Grameen Bank in Bangladesh. His life’s work continues to revolve around his commitment towards alleviating global poverty, and with YSB he has turned his focus to business as a solution. Businesses are created around a specific social problem, which can range from health and nutrition initiatives to renewable energy to skills training for youth. The prime difference is they rely on good business practices instead of charity for their growth and success.
Through these commitments, YSB is able to create livelihoods and employment opportunities in vulnerable and underserved communities, offering a way for these communities to create a better future for themselves. With their incubator funds, they seek out social entrepreneurs and afford them access to additional training, business development, and funding to help them succeed.
While YSB favors businesses that help provide employment opportunities to young people, encourage entrepreneurship, empower women, and stimulate economic activity outside of urban areas, they ensure that all of the businesses they bring on are creating impact in regions that need them most. Many are standard enterprises like bakeries or chicken farms that have a community re-investment component, such as building or supporting local schools.
Here at Kiva, we feel this has amazing potential to create huge impact worldwide, and we are excited to pass along the opportunity to support these businesses to you, our lenders. Kiva capital will be used to help finance these small- and medium-sized enterprises in key impact areas through a partner that has the expertise and resources to help them scale and reach more people worldwide. Check out their current loans here, to help create better livelihoods in these featured communities!
Learn more about YSB Funds in this video:
Have questions about YSB Funds? About our field partners? Send them our way at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monica Oyarzun is a Research and Communications Intern for Kiva's Strategic Initiatives team, which works to identify and manage new partnerships that can create positive social and environmental impact among the populations they serve. She has prior experience in lending and microfinance, and has also worked with impact assessment metrics, helping companies develop and implement sustainable business practices to create greater social impact.