Thursday, November 1, 2007

Yogurt in the BOP: Yunus & Danone Partnership

Muhammad Yunus and the French company Danone have partnered to create a social business enterprise in India.

According to Fortune magazine, Danone will work with Yunus to build a factory that makes yogurt. The yogurt would be fortified to help curb malnutrition and priced (at 7 cents a cup) to be affordable. All revenue from the joint venture with Grameen would be reinvested, with Danone taking out only its initial cost of capital, about $500,000, after three years.

The factory - and ultimately 50 more, if it works - will rely on Grameen microborrowers buying cows to sell it milk on the front end, Grameen microvendors selling the yogurt door to door and Grameen's 6.6 million members purchasing it for their kids. It will employ 15 to 20 women.
And Danone estimates that it will provide income for 1,600 people within a 20-mile radius of the plant. Biodegradable cups made from cornstarch, solar panels for electricity generation and rainwater collection vats make the enterprise environmentally friendly.

Rethinking the divide between profit motive and social good is an emerging trend for business, and Yunus is at the forefront of the movement. "If we can create this," Yunus says, "the world will be a much better place."

The factory, Grameen Danone, opened last year.


carolina said...

a great example the world should have ... danone has indeed shown their empathy to support efforts related to poverty alleviation. i hope to see similar works in many more communities in need.

carolina, indonesia

Gilda Pedraza said...

Gosh, big companies like COKE should be doing this! It will not only be environmentally and socially sustainable but profitable, too!

Copyright©2007-2010 Sustainable Business Design