Stella Arcà: “Social business is about creativity”
Not just an internship, my journey in Bangladesh has been a life experience that completely changed my life. Everything started during the social business course at EADA Business School with Ph.D. Elisabeth Garriga, when she suggested the opportunity to do an internship for one month in Dhaka (Bangladesh) at the Yunus Centre, a resource centre for many social business.
Motivated by a strong passion for social impact and helping others, was that the moment I realized that after my graduation at EADA I needed to go to Bangladesh, in order to deeply understand if my future career could be in the field of the social business. Bangladesh has been the place where the concept of social business was created by Professor Muhammad Yunus, who won the Nobel Prize in 2006 for founding the Grameen Bank and pioneering the concept of microcredit. Not just learning what a social business is and how it works, what led me to go to one of the poorest countries in the world like Bangladesh was the will to witness with my eyes that reality. What I saw were huge problems such as poverty, health care, water, nutrition, education, corruption, flood and garbage. So I needed to see and live day by day in order to be better aware of the reasons why people have been suffering tremendously.
I needed to see and live day by day in order to be better aware of the reasons why people have been suffering tremendously
The social business impact
From a professional point of view, my experience at Yunus Centre has enriched my knowledge about social business learned at EADA Business School. In this sense, I really had the opportunity to analyse in detail many social businesses, among which I can list Grameen Bank, Grameen Danone, Grameen Veolia, Grameen Intel, Grameen Telecom, Grameen Shakti, Grameen Telecom Trust, Grameen Health Care, Grameen Trust and Grameen Shamogree. In this way, I learned how to measure the social impact of any social business, how to create a social business plan with the creation of my own social business; and how to make it profitable and sustainable over the time.
Regarding the social impact it was incredible and exciting to see the impact of some social businesses such as Grameen Bank that lowered the percentage of poor people from 76% to 31%, by changing the life of many people in Bangladesh. I met women that started their own small business to be financially independent, after borrowing money at the Grameen bank, and where proud of that change in their life. After the analysis of all these social business, an important lesson to take away is that social business is about creativity. This is because with creativity each of us can solve a social problem in a way that has been never done before, which would create a social impact that could really make a change on people, countries, organizations and society.
Social businesses like Grameen Bank have changed the life of many people in Bangladesh
Changing the world
From my perspective, this journey in Bangladesh has completely changed my life. Discovering day by day and really close the major problems these people and this country has been having, I started to be conscious of how many social problems we need to solve in this world, and I started to feel the responsibility to make a change. I can proudly say that I came back from Bangladesh with a huge passion towards making a social change in this world and in our society. I look forward to starting my career in the field of social business. That is because I have had the chance to witness the power of a social business in changing people’s life in a sustainable way by leaving a sign that would make a difference in the long term. Additionally, I had the possibility to meet in my team incredible people from all over the world, who were sharing with me the same passion for social business and that thought me a lot of things.
Professor Muhammad Yunus invites to imagine big things but starting from very small things
To be inspired by the words of the Nobel Prize Professor Muhammad Yunus, has been something incredible. Believing in the power of imagination, he invited us to imagine big things, but by starting from very small things. This is because if the little thing works, then you can make it bigger, as he did with the Grameen Bank starting from the little village of Jobra. Something that really impressed me positively is how Yunus motivated us to be entrepreneurs, and how he sees all the human beings as entrepreneurs, with abilities, skills and a huge creative power. Instead of living our life with the purpose of profit maximization he inspired us, young passionate about social business, to leave a sign in this world creating an impact on people’s lives in the long term.
I feel really grateful to have discovered the concept of social business in my course at EADA Business School by having the possibility to live this eye opening experience that was a turning point in my personal and professional life. I encourage all the young people passionate about social business to live this extraordinary and intense experience, in order to be inspired by a visionary leader like Muhammad Yunus, and to understand who you are and what you want to achieve in life.
Post written by Stella Arcà, who has graduated from the EADA International Master in Marketing.