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UNH Welcomes Nobel Laureate, Microfinance, and Social Business Pioneer Muhammad Yunus

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

UNH will welcome Muhammad Yunus , Nobel Laureate and pioneer of the microfinance industry, to campus this fall as the keynote speaker for the statewide New Hampshire Social Business and Microfinance Forum and the Social Business Innovation Challenge for New Hampshire college students.

The New Hampshire Social Business and Microfinance Forum and the Social Business Innovation Challenge will be held Monday, Sept. 30, 2013. The events are being hosted by UNH, and organized by the Paul College of Business and Economics and the Carsey Institute.

“We are honored that Professor Muhammad Yunus will share his knowledge about the concept of social business and how this approach can contribute to the state of New Hampshire and beyond,” President Mark W. Huddleston said.

The winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, Yunus will give the keynote address at the New Hampshire Social Business and Microfinance Forum, and will present the awards at the Social Business Innovation Challenge. Only the seventh person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize (2006), the Presidential Medal of Freedom (2009), and the Congressional Gold Medal (2013), Yunus is best known for his pioneering work as the founder of the Grameen Bank, as the “father of microcredit,” and more broadly for the movement to create social businesses.

Social businesses create innovative solutions to difficult problems such as poverty and climate change. Unlike traditional nonprofit organizations, social businesses aim to be market-based and to

fund their operations and growth through earned revenues rather than donations. Like for-profits, social businesses harness the best of market-based approaches, but have a primary social, rather than financial, objective. Social business provides a necessary framework for tackling social issues by combining business know-how with the desire to improve quality of life.

The first Social Business Innovation Challenge asks college students from across the state to find innovative, business-oriented solutions to pressing social and environmental issues at the state, national or global level.

“UNH has long been distinguished by its strong sense of responsibility for the well-being of our beautiful state, and a commitment to serving the public good. As one of America’s land-grant research universities, we aim to contribute to a vibrant economy in our state, while responding energetically and effectively to the new social and environmental challenges posed by the 21 st century. Through many initiatives, UNH align its strengths with the needs of our state, our nation and our world,” Huddleston said.

The Social Business Innovation Challenge will be in advance of the Paul College’s annual spring Holloway Prize Competition, which celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2013. The Social Business Innovation Challenge is open to any current student enrolled at a New Hampshire college or university as well as summer 2013 graduates. Students can register their intent to compete starting May 30. The deadline for submissions is Sept. 15. For more information, visit .

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