On the 28th of November, 2014, Prof. Muhammad Yunus and La Trobe Business School signed a memorandum of understanding to establish one of only twenty plus Yunus Social Business Centres around the world. Professor Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Laureate, also accepted an appointment as Emeritus Professor of the La Trobe Business School. Professor Yunus advises the Head of School and the Director of the YSBC on strategic projects to enhance La Trobe Business School’s mission of promoting Responsible Business and to enhance engagement with business and the wider community for student success. Many of La Trobe’s students are ‘first in family’ to attend university. La Trobe also draws its students from catchments and schools with fewer advantages.
The La Trobe Yunus Centre joins the ranks of other Yunus Centres based at universities including the University of Florence in Italy, the Rikkiyo University in Japan and the California State University of the Channel Islands in the US. La Trobe University’s Yunus Centre is the first ever Yunus centre based at a Business School. Headed by director Professor Gillian Sullivan Mort, the centre is run by her and (fractionally appointed) COO Rafiuddin Ahmed, who is currently completing his PhD in the area of Social Business. Other Academic and research advisors at La Trobe’s Yunus Centre include University Associate Professor Clare D’Souza (for Sustainability and Environmental Consciousness), Associate Professor Vanessa Ratten (for Entrepreneurship and Innovation), Dr Emma Sherry (for Sport and Social Impact with Application to Social Business), Mr Jeremy Seward (for Competitions for Innovations in Social Business and Social Entrepreneurship) and Professor Kamran Ahmed (for Financial Sustainability Metrics). Other academic collaborators are Dr. Tanvir Ahmed, Dr Menuka Jayaratni and Dr Quan Nguyen.
The centre will focus on five main objectives: raising awareness around Social Business among students and in the wider community, providing training and education to anyone who is interested, starting up a mentoring programme for Social Businesses (accessible to students and members from the wider community) and cultivating academic research in the field of Social Business.
The Yunus Centre will also be running a Student Club for anyone who is keen to know more about social business, or to get involved with a pitch or idea of their own. Meetings will be organised and headed by Rafiuddin Ahmed.
To know more about the YSBC at La Trobe University or to get involved please see the La Trobe Business School Yunus Centre website.
To be connected with the students Social Business Club, activity and events please join the La Trobe Business School’s Social Business Club on Facebook, or visit the Social Business Club’s official web page.