Olympians encouraged to drive social business at Summit

9 | 11 | 2017

World Olympians Association (WOA) President Joël Bouzou joined a host of speakers at the 2017 Global Social Business Summit this week, discussing the role of Olympians and social business. He was speaking for the WOA and on behalf of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), representing the IOC President, Thomas Bach.

President Bouzou delivered a key note speech entitled “A New Wave of Inspiration”, focusing on the opportunity for Olympians to use the power of sport to drive change in society. The World Olympians Association, which supports social business initiatives led by Olympians, recently financed the establishment of a chicken farm in Zimbabwe. The chicken farm not only provides jobs for the local community, but profits are then used to fund athletics coaching courses for local Olympians.

WOA President, Joël Bouzou, said:

“Every day, I see how Olympians and elite athletes use the influence they have through excelling at their sport to inspire, to support their communities, to help mend the scars of post conflict societies and to bring hope, jobs and financial support to those in need.

“Sport is also a champion of equity and demonstrates that with goals and work, a better future is possible for anyone. This is one of the messages we can pass to underprivileged youth.

“At this Summit, I wanted to share these experiences and inspire those working in other sectors to mobilise local Olympians for this special type of business.”

The two-day conference, held at the Cité Universitaire de Paris, in the French capital, was hosted by Nobel Laureate and social business pioneer Professor Muhammad Yunus.

Leaders from around the world shared ideas on social enterprise, with President Bouzou highlighting the different touch points with sport and business. Joining Professor Yunus and President Bouzou were, among many others, Her Royal Highness The Grand Duchess of Luxembourg Maria Teresa, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, and Thomas Gass, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs.