Tuskegee University hosts Ala. Social Business Forum

TUSKEGEE, AL (WTVM) - One of the most celebrated economists of this century and 2006 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Dr. Mohammad Yunus, traveled to Tuskegee University Friday, holding a statewide conference on solving the problem of poverty in Alabama.

Dr. Yunus' expertise and passion has been helping the world's poor lift themselves up from poverty by helping to level the playing field economically.

He made his second trip to Tuskegee today to fulfill a promise that he made last year to help Macon County become a "model area" for the nation.

"I was told that this was the poorest counties in the whole nation and I said that should be a thing of the past. It should build a new identity," explains Yunus.

Yunus asked campus leaders in Alabama to encourage their students to look at the social problems in their own communities and design a Social Business.

"We have representation from every campus, all parts of the state and this is a new beginning because his focus is the traditional business problem solving is not working, so there has be to a new way and that what he is proposing, a social business where you do a for profit business, but the profits stay in the business so it can grow and sustain to solve the community problems," states Dr. Mohammad Bhuiyan, Vice President of Tuskegee University.

At Friday's Social Business Forum, 16 teams from universities all over the state competed for the chance to have their Social Business plans evaluated and possibly funded by attending investors.

"This is what the competition is all about. One, about the familiarity and the intensity of the problem itself around your own location and then lead you to find a solution and once you do that whatever solution you come up with is not a local solution anymore, it becomes a global solution," says Yunus.

Yunus is one of seven people in the world who has received the Nobel Peace Prize, the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal.

Macon County officials believe his leadership and insight will help turn this beloved area around.

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