Grameen Creative Lab @ Kyushu University
The Grameen Creative Lab@Kyushu University, headed by Prof. Masaharu Okada, was established in March 2010 with the goal to proactively carry out education, research, and incubation of social business in collaboration with the Grameen family, Japanese companies, NPOs/NGOs, universities, and governments. GCL@Kyushu University is committed to providing knowledge and facilitating the social business dialogue between different entities in order to benefit society in a positive way.
About Kyushu University
Kyushu University is one of the national universities in Japan. In the year 2009 it carried out 611 collaborative research projects with companies. Kyushu University collaborates with Grameen Family in Bangladesh and this collaboration aims to utilize the university’s knowledge and strategic position on the Asian continent. In 2007 Kyushu University and Grameen Communications jointly carried out a project towards the computerization of microcredit served by Grameen Bank in Bangladesh. To find out more about Kyushu University, visit their website.
What happened so far?
GCL@Kyushu Training Week
In May 2010 Kyushu University received intense training during a training week conducted by the GCL, which prepared and enabled them to independently promote social business in Japan. During this week, a team of six professors of different fields and selected faculty members and students learned about many social business examples. Moreover, they received intensive training, which prepared them to jointly organize an open Social Business Lab during this week, with more than 70 participants.
Social Business Labs
Several Social Business Labs already took place within the scope of the GCL@Kyushu University initiative since May 2010. During these events a large number of individuals coming from different fields such as government, business & NGO sector, were exposed to the idea of social business, and exchanged their ideas for social business initiatives. Speeches about social business were held by representatives of Kyushu University and of The Grameen Creative Lab. Q&A sessions also took place, which helped participants understand the concept better.
GCL@Kyushu University plans to hold more Social Business Labs and many other activities in the future. They opened a Grameen Creative House in April 2011, a place where students receive advice and support and where they can meet in order to exchange social business ideas.
Grameen Yukiguni Maitake joint venture
As one of the outcomes of the training week and the results of the workshop sessions, GCL@Kyushu University signed a joint venture agreement in October 2010 with Yukiguni Maitake, a leading Japanese agro-company, and the Grameen Krishi Foundation, in order to form Grameen Yukiguni Maitake Ltd. This joint venture operates as a social business and has the goal to produce high quality mung beans in Bangladesh for both domestic consumption and export to Japan. Check out this article for more info.
Japan Tour 2010
In addition, GCL and GCL@Kyushu jointly organized the Japan Tour of Prof. Yunus in July 2010. During this exciting ten day trip, we had many highlights including a meeting with the Royal Family, a meeting with Prime Minister Kan, the launch of the Grameen Uniqlo joint venture, and many more highlights. Read about all of them in our Japan tour diary.