In May 5-9, 2019, we participated in the “Grameen-Sunpower Social Business Startup Tour in Bangladesh”, co-hosted by Sunpower Co. Ltd. and Grameen Group. This was the first visit to Bangladesh for us.
This tour aims to create a trigger for SMEs in Japan to start up their social business in overseas. Sunpower Co. Ltd. has been working as a social business of recycling used tires and auto repair in Bangladesh with the Grameen Group, which includes the world famous Grameen Bank, etc..
This time, we had a chance to visit a lot of Grameen companies and their activity sites in a short period of time. It has become a precious opportunity to think about our future business in the context of social business again.
Because it is Bangladesh that has the population of almost 200 million people, there is a reason that the social business is needed. But, the method and essence might be fit in current Japan.
Also, it was also an opportunity to reconsider the role of community in social businesses. I also learnedand start to think how to support community businesses in Japan, Indonesia, and other countries, as establishing business first to get profit before doing social business.
Luckily, we could meet Dr. Muhammad Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank in this occasion. Dr. Yunus emphasized the importance of starting business from the reality as field and dream and positive belief for the future. We cannot forgot his strong statement.
I would like to thank the San Power Co. Ltd. and the Grameen Group for conducting such an fruitful opportunity. And if possible, we hope that we will continue to contact and do something new in the future.