Dear Professor Yunus,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Since my first meeting with Professor Muhammad Yunus 14 years ago, I make a point in promoting his concept of Microcredit each time I have the opportunity to do so, in Luxembourg and abroad. After years of visits on the field, I can confirm that the credit tool initiates a virtuous cycle, restoring dignity to human beings who never should have lost it. This extraordinary success story of the Microcredit concept can be repeated, hopefully even extended in the larger field of Social Business.
Solving a social problem by developing a sustainable non-profit-business requires courage, creativity, excellence, selflessness and a true love for those in need. Professor Yunus combines all these qualities in an incredible way. Our long term friendship and our cooperation on different projects is based on our common commitment to serve the poorest of the poor.
My presence and the presence of my eldest son, Crown Prince Guillaume, who already attended the Summit in 2009, is a sign of our commitment. We are both convinced that this new dimension of Social Business in our economies can make a real difference in the life of the most vulnerable in our societies.
As a member of a Royal family, I see my personal role as being a link between different actors, between Professor Yunus and people who could be interested by his revolutionary concept and the way of putting it into practice and implementing it. It is always a great pleasure to see how new ideas and initiatives develop after such meetings.
I am very grateful to Professor Yunus and Hans Reitz who introduced this year the philosophy of Social Business in Luxembourg to representatives from different sectors. Several actors are currently exploring ways in which Social Business could be implemented in the Grand Duchy in the coming years.
This is why the Crown Prince and I have come with a delegation from Luxembourg, most of whom are specialists in Microfinance. They are here to share their experience with colleagues and to discover and I hope, be inspired by the challenging activities in this new field.
Thank you very much for your attention.
For those of you, who have special interests or questions, I invite you to speak directly to the representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Directorate for Development Co-operation (Marc Bichler, director)
ALFI, the « Association of the Luxembourg Fund Industry » (Thomas Seale, Vice-Chairman of ALFI, and Board Observer of LuxFlag, a non-profit association awarding and promoting the LuxFLAG Microfinance Label)
ADA, “Appui au Développement Autonome”, a non-profit organisation specialised in microfinance (Robert Wagener, president)
the European Microfinance Platform, a network of over 120 organisations and individuals active in the area of microfinance (Axel de Ville, president)
the University of Luxembourg (Dr. Ariane König, in charge of sustainable development at the university)