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USG Economic Development Conference Features Nobel Prize Winner

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Atlanta — September 30, 2011

The acknowledged founder of the “microcredit” concept, Dr. Muhammad Yunus, will be the featured speaker at a daylong economic development conference being hosted by the University System of Georgia (USG).

The “Social Business and Microcredit” conference will be held on Mon., Oct. 17 in Atlanta at Georgia Tech’s Ferst Center. The conference also will showcase business proposals by USG students to address a number of social issues facing Georgia communities.

“We are delighted that Prof. Yunus will help anchor this event,” said USG Chancellor Hank Huckaby. “Our goal is to pull together a number of key state players in economic development along with our talent in the University System to explore ways in which our partnership efforts can better benefit Georgia’s economic recovery and possibly create the potential for new businesses and jobs.”

Yunus is the 1996 Nobel Peace Prize winner for his pioneering work in microcredit, the extension of very small loans (microloans) to those in poverty designed to spur entrepreneurship. He has since expanded the concept to incorporate a larger focus on social business models – creating business solutions to social issues. The USG-sponsored competition requires students to submit entries that meet the requirements of social business.

“I am excited about the conference and how this can be a starting point in addressing many of the socio-economic problems in the State of Georgia and elsewhere,” Yunus said.

In addition to the USG, the following agencies and organizations are involved with the conference: Georgia Department of Education, Georgia Department of Economic Development, Georgia Department of Community Affairs, Georgia Department of Human Resources, Technical College System of Georgia, Georgia Student Finance Commission, Department of Early Care and Learning, Governor’s Office of Student Achievement, Georgia Professional Standards Commission, Georgia Economic Developers Association, Georgia Chamber of Commerce, Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, Georgia Independent College Association, Association of Education Agency heads, TiE – the Indus Entrepreneurs, Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta, and Yunus Creative Lab.

Conference attendees will include representatives from public and private colleges and universities and technical colleges, from state economic development agencies, state and local elected officials, and chambers of commerce.

For more information about the Oct. 17 conference, see: http://www.usg.edu/social_business_microcredit/

For more information about Yunus and microcredit, see: http://www.muhammadyunus.org/About-Professor-Yunus/cv-of-professor-muhammad-yunus/

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