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Building Social Business: The New Kind of Capitalism That Serves Humanity's Most Pressing Needs

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Overview

Muhammad Yunus, the practical visionary who pioneered microcredit and, with his Grameen Bank, won the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize, has developed a new dimension for capitalism which he calls "social business." The social business model has been adopted by corporations, entrepreneurs, and social activists across the globe. Its goal is to create self-supporting, viable commercial enterprises that generate economic growth as they produce goods and services to fulfill human needs. In Building Social Business, Yunus shows how social business can be put into practice and explains why it holds the potential to redeem the failed promise of free-market enterprise.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

CHOICE, September 2010
“In nine short, well-written chapters, Yunus provides genuine insight into global poverty and a unique perspective on the ways in which social businesses can coexist with traditional businesses to alleviate poverty and improve the lives of the world's citizens.” 

Malaysia Star, July 10, 2010
“’Social business is about joy,’ says Yunus. Indeed, and the book itself is joy to read. In modest prose, Yunus tells of undertakings that instill hope. He also gives a lot of ideas, along with nuts-and-bolts practical advice for people who are ready to take the plunge into the world of social business. In the years to come, it seems certain that social business will become an integral part of our economic structure and will positively change the lives of many people.” 
 
Daily Times (Pakistan), August 7, 2010
“Yunus may be an astute (social) businessman, but he also has a savvy side. He is quick to point out that working for any social business does not mean lowering one’s standards, for they offer employees competitive salaries and benefits; it simply means not profiting from the poor…Yunus has a Nobel Peace Prize 2006 (shared with Grameen Bank) to show for his efforts, and is already playing around with the building blocks of a new poverty-free world order.”
 
The Spectator, June 2010
“[A] reminder that capitalism can take kindlier forms: microfinance pioneer Yunus explains how he believes social enterprise can redeem what he regards as the failed promise of free markets.”  
 
Sacramento Book Review, June 22, 2010
“Giving poor people the resources to help themselves, Dr. Yunus has offered these individuals something more valuable than a plate of food, namely security in its basic form…. Dr. Yunus has invoked a new basis for capitalism whereby social business has the potential to change the failed promise of free market enterprise.”
 
The Independent, June 6, 2010
“There are times when Professor Yunus' aims for Glasgow sound like something out of the Conservative's "Big Society" pitch. His latest book, Building Social Business, is 300 pages of Big Society pleading for people to go out there and create businesses which generate cash and contribute to the greater good at the same time.”
 
Daily Star (Pakistan), August 1, 2010
“Even a hard-core skeptic would find it difficult not to dream once the magic of Dr Muhammad Yunus' words as presented in the book start to make sense.”
 
Stanford Social Innovation Review, Fall 2010
“I found much to admire here and in the man, whose work I have long respected. The book is a refreshingly easy read... [Yunus] fills his book with practical examples, tactics, ideas, and insights.”
 
BusinessWorld (India), September 25, 2010
“Yunus’s approach is balanced and practical. There is no sermonising or the usual ‘we are from the not-for-profit sector and do gooders so we know best’ approach… one cannot but marvel at Yunus’s intense attempts to champion the cause of eradicating poverty. His is a case of a noted economist making a journey into the real world to face real problems and happily using his personal brand to strike tie-ups with leading multinationals to solve these problems. He needs to be read, understood; and he needs to be judged not only on his results, but on the sheer weight of his efforts. In India, good writing on the social sector is woefully inadequate. While high profile outfits such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have helped raise visibility in the sector, there is still little understanding of social business. This is an excellent read in that space.”

Library Journal
Yunus (Creating a World Without Poverty) uses the selfish/selfless dichotomy of human nature to explain the fundamental difference between his concept of for-profit business vs. the social business. While the former seeks to maximize profit for the benefit of the owners, the latter aims to pursue social objectives for the benefit of poor customers and employees. Likewise, the social business differs from a traditional nonprofit because, like a for-profit business, it is self-sustaining through its sale of goods and services. Yunus developed the social business concept during the crushing 1974 Bangladesh famine. Local villagers, seeking aid for their entrepreneurial endeavors, found themselves virtually enslaved to moneylenders. By repaying the loans owed by these 42 enterprising souls, Yunus stumbled on the concept of microcredit. VERDICT Yunus engagingly profiles international social businesses, whether launched by multinational corporations or conceived by ordinary people with a vision to solve social problems. He offers practical advice for starting your own social businesses: from idea generation to the nuts and bolts of launching and running the concern. His impassioned dream of a different version of capitalistic endeavor is as inspirational as it is practical.—Carol J. Elsen, Univ. of Wisconsin-Whitewater
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781458758781
  • Publisher: ReadHowYouWant, LLC
  • Publication date: 9/4/2010
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.82 (d)

Meet the Author

Muhammad Yunus

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 coauthored Yunus's best-selling book, Creating a World Without Poverty.
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Table of Contents

Introduction Social Business---From Dream to Reality

1 Why Social Business? 1

2 Growing Pains 33

Lessons in Adaptation and Change from the Story of Grameen Danone

3 Launching a Social Business 57

4 To Cure One Child 95

A Case of Social Business in Healthcare

5 Legal and Financial Frameworks for Social Business 111

6 Grameen Veolia Water 133

A Social R&D Project for Addressing the World Water Crisis

7 Creating a Global Infrastructure for Social Business 153

8 Glimpses of Tomorrow 173

More Social Businesses Are on the Way

9 The End of Poverty 195

The Time is Here 195

Index 207

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 8 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 30, 2010

    the most important book microeconomist networkers will ever need

    My dad at 87 is probably the senior microeconomist; they are the open networkers with boundless curiosity (see dads 40 years of articles at The Economist) who aim to openly bring down degrees of separation and who once in a generation help everyone and communities connect and overthrow greedy macroeconomists like wall street 00s including the uneconomic goldman sachs and any global professionals who gave up hippocratic oaths;

    dad rated the first yunus social business book the best system design for humanity read he'd ever seen; I am confident enough that this book is even better for people everywhere who want a sustainability 2010s to rise exponentially to have ordered 1000 books to share with entrepreneurs designing the most critical open solutions to sustainability challenges impacting communities and job creation everywhere - if that's what you get out of reading this book, happy to be contacted
    chris macrae

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 13, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    An inspirational manifesto for altruistic capitalism

    Muhammad Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank, a microcredit lender, won the Nobel Peace Prize for his contributions to fighting world poverty. Although the government of Bangladesh eventually forced him to leave the bank (possibly for political reasons), his views still convey great force. Yunus espouses an economy that embraces humanity as a pool of positive potential. His book, written with Karl Weber, lays out a blueprint for "social business." It details compelling case studies of how various Grameen enterprises handle everyday market problems. getAbstract recommends it to executives who want to enfranchise good works, and to garage-office entrepreneurs and public policy technocrats who believe in a world with less poverty, but who need a little guidance to get there.

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