Saskia Thais Bruysten
Co-Founder & CEO

“We are creating a fourth sector in society. Look at that vision! Isn’t that exciting?” Saskia Thais Bruysten, co-founder and CEO of “Yunus Social Business”, travels a lot to work with people in Albania, Haiti and Bangladesh on helping them build their own social businesses. Her advice: “Be a revolutionary if you can! I believe I was much too “clean”!”


Drei Ratschläge an Dein 14jähriges Ich!

Trust in yourself, believe in your own creativity and don’t be too shy to believe that you can actually do something really great and something for the rest of the world and question. Don’t see that the world this is the way the world is, question it think about how the system can be changed and be a revolutionary if you can, I believe that I was much to clean, I was much to like part of the system for many year and didn’t question it, maybe now I’m starting to move a little bit in the system trying to change it a little bit. Be daring be in some ways … believe in yourself believe in your potential, that you have on the one hand and on the other hand challenge the system that you’re in. If you do that early on that helps you develop your character and eventfully, I’m sure you’re going to do something great, that’s all I can say to 14 year olds.

Was steht auf Deiner Visitenkarte?

My name is Saskia Bruysten and I’m the co founder and CEO of Yunus Social Business.

Was ist das coolste an Deinem Job?

It’s just, we are creating a fourth pillar in society, look at that vision isn’t that existing right now we have the government sector we have the business sector, we have the third sector kind of the NGO world, and what we are doing, we are really creating a fourth sector in society and that’s incredibly exciting I believe because we can through this and even if it’s just one part in society but we can change the way how people think about business nowadays and for me that’s … I get goose bumps talking about that, it’s looking at capitalism and transforming it and making it useful for society and we’re not saying that the normal business as we all know it shouldn’t exist. It can continue existing but we’re suggesting a new alternative and that is incredibly existing and the of course I have the luck to meet a lot of young people and a lot of business people, and a lot of NGO people and entrepreneurs so it’s just such a diverse group of people that I get to meet every day through my work and that’s just why I just absolutely love it.

Welche Einschränkungen bringt Dein Job mit sich?

I don’t really think that there are any restrictions in working in the field of social business, I mean I love it many people love it, so I don’t see any restrictions, but if you really … like there’s one single restriction that I could possibly imagine, if your only goal in life is to make money and you see money as the absolute end in itself and not as a means to an end that’s how I see it, then maybe you’ll be unhappy in social business because it’s not only about money, it’s about doing something for others and with others, so in that case there might be a drawback that you see but I don’t really think that there are that many people that think that way, I think that’s a false assumption in the economic system and I don’t think that it actually is reality

Worum geht es in Deinem Job?

Well there is no daily business that’s the same it’s very different every day and that’s exciting. So what we do at Yunus Social Business, is on the one hand we treat social business incubator funds and on the other side we provide advisory services to governments to big cooperates, to NGOs to help them create social businesses. On the first run to gain the incubator funds that’s really the area that we’re focusing on the most nowadays and we have a fund in Haiti and one in Albania and we’re expanding now in to Brazil and Togo and Tunisia. Those are the countries we’re working in right now. So my day is crazy I travel around a lot I live half of my life in planes I have the feeling, but it’s very exciting on the one hand I hung out at conferences like here at the Global Social Business Summit on the other hand, I work with people in Haiti, in Bangladesh, in Albania etcetera on helping them build their own social business, so very diverse.

Wie sieht Dein Werdegang aus?

Well, I mean I have a business background, so I come from the dark side, I wasn’t born in the social business world, I used to be a management consultant for the Boston Consulting Group, one big management consultancy, worked with them in Munich and then also in New York for several years and then I decided somehow that can’t be it in life and it’s one thing I learned a lot etcetera but I also wanted to do something for the broader society. I decided to go back to university I did a second masters there at London School of Economics in London, in International Relations and History and by chance I was very lucky to attend a speech of Professor Yunus there at the university, so I saw it heard about social business I didn’t know about that term in that way yet especially not the model where we create social business with big cooperates and I though wow this is great I can use my network, I get to muse what I did at BCG but I can actually now do in the social business world. Literally a few weeks later a close friend of mine and somebody else then introduced me to Professor Yunus I had the chance and then I helped create together with another entrepreneur, I was there from the start at Grameen Creative Lab and now about a year ago I founded my own company with professor Yunus , called Yunus Social Business.

Ginge es auch ohne Deinem Werdegang?

For the same job some of the consulting experience I think is useful, if you want to help others create social business that is a useful background and most of our employees come either from the consulting world or from the venture capital world, some from SME development but generally that’s the area that they come from similar to me. Not everyone has be somebody that helps create and incubates social business there can also be people that set up their social business and you don’t … you can come from any back ground really, you can be a backer and decide you want to create a bakery social business in Haiti you come from … you can be somebody that is farmer and decide that you will create a forestry social business, all of that is really possible, you don’t need a specific back ground, for our specific background model my background is practical but I’m sure there would many other people that could do the same work, so it’s not too simple to create a social business and not too difficult to create a social business.