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In November 2016, Ideos – Centre for Social Impact, HEC Montréal and the Yunus Centre agreed to create the first Yunus Centre in Canada. The Centre will be inspired by the philosophy of Bangladeshi economist Muhammad Yunus, founder of the Grameen Bank and Nobel Peace Prize winner in 2006. Consult the HEC Montréal press release about this.

Led by Professor and Director of Ideos – Centre for Social Impact, Luciano Barin Cruz, one of the centre’s objectives will be to work with Canadian companies to develop social impact projects.

The aim is to mobilize the expertise of major Canadian companies for socially innovative projects.

– Luciano Barin Cruz

In addition, projects supported by the Yunus Centre must be profitable. The organizational form of the social enterprise therefore favours financial sustainability. If social impact is the main objective, the enterprise must sell products and/or services to finance its activities, while working towards its social objective.


Muhammad Yunus is an economist and entrepreneur from Bangladesh known for founding the Grameen Bank in 1976, the first microcredit institution. Professor Yunus and the Grameen Bank were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006.

Since 2006, local and international interest in Professor Yunus’ work has continued to grow. In order to respond to this ever-increasing attention, an organization aimed primarily at promoting and disseminating Professor Yunus’ philosophy, with a particular focus on social concerns, was created in the form of the Yunus Secretariat. In July 2008, the Yunus Secretariat was renamed Yunus Centre.

Since its creation, the Yunus Centre has been the resource centre for all Grameen social activities both in Bangladesh and globally. The Centre promotes and supports the spirit of global social change through various events, social media, publications and websites. The Yunus Centre also contributes to forging sustainable and productive relationships between all social business institutions around the world. The Centre is chaired by Professor Muhammad Yunus and its Executive Director is Ms. Lamiya Morshed.

[Traduction libre de l’anglais, source Yunus Centre]


Social businesses are business models with the primary mission of having positive social impacts. In a social business, investors/owners can gradually recover the money invested, but they cannot take a dividend beyond that point. The purpose of the investment is to enable the enterprise to achieve one or more social objectives through the activities of the enterprise: no personal gain is expected by investors.

The company must cover all the costs generated by their activities, while making a profit, but with priority given to the achievement of its social mission (e.g. health, housing, financial services for the poorest, nutrition for malnourished children, energy, etc.).

It is the positive impacts of the enterprise on people or the environment, rather than the amount of profit made in a given period, that makes it possible to measure the success of the social enterprise. In addition, the operation of the enterprise must be sustainable, and the aim of creating positive social impacts must be clear.

[Traduction libre de l’anglais, source Yunus Centre]


  1. Business objective will be to overcome poverty, or one or more problems (such as education, health, technology access, and environment) which threaten people and society, not profit maximization.
  2. Financial and economic sustainability.
  3. Investors get back their investment amount only. No dividend is given beyond investment money.
  4. When the investment amount is paid back, company profit stays with the company for expansion and improvement.
  5. Gender sensitive and environmentally conscious.
  6. Workforce gets market wage with better working conditions.
  7. … Do it with joy!

Yunus centre activity

Social Business Creation Competition