More About “Building Social Business”

Building Social Business

Muhammad Yunus shows how the social business model can harness the entrepreneurial spirit to address global problems.

Microcredit? To Him, It’s Only a Start  NY Times Book Review

It’s hard to fault Dr. Yunus’ intentions and his optimism. Those things have already taken him awfully far. But it’s a bit premature for him to assert that his social business movement is on the verge of reshaping the world economy.

Hear, Hear for Profits Sanford Social Innovation Review

We peer into the mind of a visionary thinker who sees boundless possibilities and constantly enables and energizes those around him—he was one of the first to see the untapped potential of those living at the bottom of the pyramid.


Quote of the Week

Building Social Business

The more time you spend among poor people, the more you become convinced that poverty is not the result of any incapacity on the part of the poor. Poverty is not created by poor people. It is created by the system we have built, the institutions we have designed, and the concepts we have formulated.

-Muhammad Yunus, Building Social Business

What to Think About While Reading ‘Building Social Business’

Building Social Business, Uncategorized

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1. What is your definition of social business?

2. Do you agree with Yunus that social businesses must invest 100% of profits back into the social mission? What are some incentives beyond profit to interest investors -assuming they are not all motivated by social good outcomes?

3. Marketing: should businesses focus more on the product they are selling to consumers or advertise their social mission as well?

4. How can nonprofits and social businesses balance the expectations of donors/investors, customers, and beneficiaries?

5. Corporate Social Responsibility is a growing area many businesses are adding to their companies. In your opinion, does this count as social business?

What questions do you have about social business?

Building Social Business

Books, Building Social Business


This month’s book is Building Social Business by Muhammad Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank and microcredit. Social business is a growing enterprise model in which entrepreneurs and investors use profit for social good over personal financial gain.

Building Social Business draws its examples for creating a sustainable model from Grameen’s long list of endeavors, which include selling low-cost nutritious yogurt and addressing the water crisis. Part of Yunus’s definition of a social business is investing 100% of profits back into the enterprise. I wonder if asking investors to give up profits/dividends completely is realistic but I expect he will address this.

Social business has gained a lot of support recently and some (me, depending on the day) argue they are the refined, self-sustaining version of nonprofits. They are ‘all the rage’ right now (WhyDev has dubbed the phenomenon MOSE – My Own Social Enterprise), and this book will offer a good look at how they can be a part of international development…and creating a world without poverty.

A winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, Muhammad Yunus’s other works include Banker to the Poor and Creating a World Without Poverty.