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Grand Duchess Maria Teresa attends Global Social Business Summit

Her Royal Highness Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg, alongside her only daughter Princess Alexandra, attended the Global Social Business Summitt (GSBS) in Paris yesterday, which began on the 4th of November and ends today. Others in attendance at the Cité Universitaire Internationale included Queen Sofía of Spain and Parisian mayor, Anne Hidalgo.

Their Royal Highnesses Princess Alexandra and the Grand Duchess are surrounded by Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo; Professor Muhammad Yunus, founder of the concept of social business and Nobel Peace Prize in 2006; and Her Majesty Queen Sofía of Spain at the welcoming ceremony of the Global Social Business Summit. © Cour grand-ducale / David Nivière

The Grand Duchess, who was in town on the 6th and 7th, also had the opportunity to speak at the 8th edition of the event under the theme “How to Create a New Human Society” in the presence of world experts in inclusive finance and the social economy.

Her Royal Highness the Grand Duchess and Professor Muhammad Yunus whose efforts helped develop the first microcredit institution. © Cour grand-ducale / David Nivière

The Grand Duchess opened her speech by paying tribute to Muhammad Yunus and other GSBS organisers. Yunus was the creator of the first microcredit institution “Grameen Bank.” Maria Teresa said about the Nobel Peace Prize winner, “By the values he carries and the hope that he gives birth to even in the most remote corners of the world, the ‘Social Business’ lays the foundation for our economy of tomorrow.”

Her Royal Highness made a strong plea during her remarks for “an economy at the service of men and not pure finance.” She also welcomed the fact that this has been accepted by CEOs, with her specifically citing Emmanuel Faber, the CEO of Danone, who she said sees that, “the role of a company is to create value, but also to share it for creating wealth without creating more poverty.”

Grand Duchess Maria Teresa also urged the representatives of the world to contribute to the fight “against the inequality of wealth such that we know it today with half of the world’s heritage that belongs to 1% of its richest inhabitants.”

The Grand Duchess also added, “Bankers, states and investors have come together to invent green bonds in order to protect the environment and contribute to the energy transition.”

She closed her speech stating, “I hope that the financial community and investors will put the same commitment and the same creative energy to solve other pressing social issues such as poverty, unemployment, immigration, school failure and even violence.”

The Grand Duchess during her speech yesterday. © Cour grand-ducale / David Nivière

The Grand Ducal Family’s official Twitter account sent out a message in French from the Grand Duchess on the morning of the 6th saying, “Rewrite the rules of the company and redefine ‘new rationality in the business’ request a profound change of attitudes.

“The world that we want is one [Professor] Yunus described: A world with zero poverty, zero unemployment and zero carbon emissions.

“I understand if all these young people who want to be associated with projects of social entrepreneurship for the values they carry.”

© Cour grand-ducale / David Nivière

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