Stand with Professor Yunus

On New Year’s Day, the social enterprise community work up to the news that Nobel Laureate, Professor Muhammad Yunus was to be sentenced to six months in jail on charges of violating labour laws in his home country of Bangladesh. He is currently on bail pending an appeal.

Professor Yunus is one of the true pioneers of the social enterprise movement crediting with lifting millions out of poverty through the innovative use of micro-finance, something which earned him the title of ‘banker to the poor’.

The harassment and now sentencing of Professor Yunus has been condemned by fellow Nobel Laureates, global leaders and concerned citizens from around the world as being politically motivated. Amnesty International stated that the Bangladeshi Governments’ actions are “emblematic of the beleaguered state of human rights in Bangladesh, where the authorities have eroded freedoms and bulldozed critics into submission.”

Not only is Professor Yunus an inspiration to social entrepreneurs around the world he is also a real friend of Social Enterprise UK, having spoken with and met some of our members at a reception in Parliament and also taken part in our online Social Enterprise Futures conference in 2021.

Our Chief Executive, Peter Holbrook believes that not only is the persecution of Professor Yunus politically motivated but also point towards the real dangers faced by those who dare challenge the status quo, telling Pioneers Post that “if you really get close to achieving your mission [of] positively changing the world in a structural and systemic way, then existing sources of power will come after you.”

Show your support and solidarity

We’re encouraging our members to show that they stand in solidarity with Professor Yunus through sharing a picture of them holding a sign stating ‘I Stand with Yunus’ and then posting this on social media using #IStandWithYunus.

Peter Holbrook and Lord Victor Adebowale showing solidarity with Muhammad Yunus

Our Chief Executive, Peter Holbrook, and our Chair, Lord Victor Adebowale showing their support for Professor Yunus

Whilst work proceeds behind the scenes to fight for the overturning of this unjust sentence, showing that Professor Yunus is supported and appreciated by the movement he did so much to inspire will keep his case on the radar and hopefully help keep his spirits up. His team at the Yunus Centre are encouraging everyone to get involved and are in direct contact with him passing on messages of support.

Please do show your support by taking this simple online campaign action.  

You can also still add your name to this open letter signed by 188 global leaders created when the Bangladeshi Government’s harassment of Professor Yunus became apparent. Signatories include over 100 Nobel laureates, Barack Obama, and former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. To add you name email