May 11, 2010
Social business is a visionary new dimension for capitalism, developed by Muhammad Yunus, the practical genius who pioneered microcredit and, with his Grameen Bank, won the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize. By harnessing the energy of profit-making to the objective of fulfilling human needs, social business creates self-supporting, viable commercial enterprises that generate economic growth even as they produce goods and services that make the world a better place. It works because social business targets business opportunities neglected by traditional profit-maximizing companies, and invest any profit not in rewarding shareholders but in extending the ambition of the business. It is, in this way, not-for-shareholder capitalism.
In this book, Yunus shows how social business has gone from being a theory to an inspiring practice, adopted by leading corporations including BASF, Intel, Danone, Veolia, and Adidas, as well as entrepreneurs and social activists across Asia, South America, Europe, and the United States. He demonstrates how social business transforms lives; offers practical guidance for those who want to create social businesses of their own; explains how public and corporate policies must adapt to make room for the social business model; and shows why social business holds the potential to redeem the failed promise of free-market enterprise.
Muhammad Yunus was born in Chittagong, Bangladesh, educated at Dhaka University, was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to study economics at Vanderbilt University, and became head of the economics department at Chittagong University in 1972. He is the founder and managing director of Grameen Bank. Yunus and Grameen Bank are winners of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize. Karl Weber is a writer based in Irvington, New York. He co-authored Yunus’s bestselling book, Creating a World without Poverty.