Building Social Business: The New Kind of Socialism that Serves Humanity's Most Pressing Needs - Muhammad Yunus
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Building Social Business: The New Kind of Socialism that Serves Humanity's Most Pressing Needs - Muhamman Yunus

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Brief Summary:
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. In Building Social Business, Professor Yunus shows how social business has gone from being a theory to an inspiring practice, adopted by leading corporations, entrepreneurs and social activists across the world.

Amazon Main Page:
http://www.amazon.com/Building-Social-Business-Capitalism-Humanitys/dp/B004LQ0E7I

Amazon Genre:
Business & Investing

Amazon Customer Reviews Page:
http://www.amazon.com/Building-Social-Business-Capitalism-Humanitys/product-reviews/B004LQ0E7I/

Book Web Site:
http://www.muhammadyunus.org/Publications/building-social-business-the-new-kind-of-capitalism-that-serves-humanitys-most-pressing-needs/

Author's Web Site:
http://www.muhammadyunus.org

Author Audios/Videos:
http://www2.lse.ac.uk/newsAndMedia/videoAndAudio/channels/publicLecturesAndEvents/player.aspx?id=667
http://fora.tv/2010/05/26/Dr_Muhammad_Yunus_Building_Social_Business
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kW-4gJmXy5M
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84lwmwW6TY0
http://wn.com/muhammad_yunus_social_business

Author's Bio Page:
http://www.muhammadyunus.org/About-Professor-Yunus/profile-of-professor-muhammad-yunus/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muhammad_Yunus

Blogs/Articles/Reviews About the Book:
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7721946-building-social-business
http://www.thesocialcontract.com/artman2/publish/tsc_20_4/tsc_20_4_walker_printer.shtml
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2010/05/17/capitalisms-makeover-economist.html
http://greenbookreviews.ca/2010/08/building-social-business/
http://innovationwatch.com/building-social-business-the-new-kind-of-capitalism-that-serves-humanitys-most-pressing-needs-by-muhammad-yunus-public-affairs/

Other Books by This Author:
Banker to the Poor: Micro-Lending and the Battle Against World Poverty; Public Affairs; 2003; ISBN 9781586481988
A World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism; Public Affairs; 2008; ISBN 9781586484934
Building Social Business; Public Affairs; 2010; ISBN 9781586488246

Similar Books by Other Authors:
Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism
Banker To The Poor: Micro-Lending and the Battle Against World Poverty
Social Entrepreneurship: What Everyone Needs to Know
How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas, Updated Edition
Mission, Inc.: The Practitioners Guide to Social Enterprise (Social Venture Network)
The Power of Unreasonable People: How Social Entrepreneurs Create Markets That Change the World

Notes and Excerpts from Book:

Social businesses create an idea for a new form of capitalism and a new kind of enterprise based on the selflessness of people, which I call social business. It’s dedicated to solving social, economic and environmental problems that have long plagued human kind. Every human being is born into this world fully equipped not only to take care of himself or herself, but also to contribute to the well-being of the world as a whole. Grameen has given me an unshakeable faith in human creativity and the firm belief that human beings are not born to suffer the mystery of hunger and poverty. To me, poor people are like bonsai trees. Poor people are bonsai people. There is nothing wrong with their seeds specifically, he never gave them the proper base to grow in. Once the poor can unleash their energy and creativity, poverty will disappear very quickly. No doubt humans are selfish beings, but they are selfless beings too. Both of these qualities co-exist in all human beings.

You see the need for two kinds of businesses: one for personal gain, and another dedicated to helping others. In one kind of business, the objective is to maximize profits for the owners with little or no consideration for others. Social business is a non-loss, non-dividend company entirely dedicated to achieving a social goal. The company makes a profit, but no one takes the profit. The whole idea of making personal profits is removed from this business. The owner can take back over a period of time only the amount invested. People will give not only money, but also their creativity, networking skills, technological prowess, life experience, and other resources to create social businesses that can change the world. Once the idea of social business becomes known, many will divert some of their money from profit-making businesses to social businesses. Government money traditionally expended on social programs will be used on social business and social responsibility funds can be used for social businesses.

Many young people who dream of a better world will think about what kind of social business they would like to create. While still in school, young people may start designing social businesses and even launch social businesses individually or collectively to express their creative talents in changing the world. One attractive area will be creating jobs in special locations or for particularly disadvantaged people. Designing each small social business is like developing a seed. Once the seed is developed, anybody can plant it where it is needed. Since each unit is self-sustaining, funding does not become a constraint.

Eventually we will need a separate stock market to make it easy to invest in social businesses. The motivation will be to enjoy the pride and pleasure of helping to solve difficult social problems. A social business seeks to solve a social problem by using business methods including the creation of failed products and services. There are two kinds: Type I social business is a non-loss, non-dividend company devoted to solving a social problem and owned by investors. The second is a profit making company owned by poor people either directly or through a trust for social cause. This is a Type 2 social business. Social entrepreneurship relates to a person. It describes an initiative of social consequences created by an entrepreneur with the social vision. The initiative may be a non-economic initiative or business initiative with or without personal profit.

The self-employed women’s organization, SCWA, is a trade union of self-employed Indian women and now has over 900 or 1000 members throughout India and its member select their own leaders. If you want to solve people's problems, social business is the way forward. Social business is the new category of business. It brings a new dimension for the business world and a new feeling of social awareness among business people. I am not asking business people to give up any of their businesses nor asking them to convert their businesses into social businesses. All I am saying is if you are worrying about social problems you can make a significant contribution to resolving the problems through the mechanism of social business.

When you mix profit and social benefit and say that your company will pursue both goals, you are making life complicated for the CEO. Social business gives a clear unambiguous mandate to management. There is no balancing act involved. Every decision can be measured against a single yardstick. What will enable us to provide the greatest possible benefit to society? Grameen Fund has 25 million subscribers and 400,000 telephone ladies. Grameen Energy sells 14,000 solar home systems per month to villages. Anyone who has an idea for social business should start working on it as soon as possible. Even if it improves life for only five people, it is worth undertaking; but even if the work has a positive impact on 5 or 10 people, you have an inventive seed you can now plant a million times. Smart talents and creative individuals can produce innovation that government is really capable of developing.

Social business represents a new way for human beings to express their entrepreneurial spirit. An entrepreneur is a risk taker; a person driven by the burning desire to put his business idea into action. He has the right to tackle difficulties, to experiment boldly, to work long hours, and to experience personal setbacks without becoming discouraged. Some MBA programs may offer a social MBA degree as a new form of education, which I hope will soon be offered. Social business also provides an outlet for the creativity that millions of people have within themselves. Creativity does something grand that can be as simple as noticing the local problem and saying, "I wonder whether anyone has ever tried to solve the problem by doing this?" A small local solution can become the seed of a global solution. Social business also offers an opportunity for individual renewal. Knowing people in every walk of life during that change, but somehow never managing to experience it, many of us feel trapped. Secure a life that never leads the treadmill of routine work and unthinking consumption. At the same time we wish we could escape into a different way of life where we can leave our signature on this planet and discover the endless talents buried within us. Social business is a new way of framing our existence that offers opportunity to redesign our lives even as we improve the planet we inhabit. Thanks to the social business classes, you now see things you never saw before.

Grameen Danone started selling yogurt in Bangladesh. For the first year they had a lot of trouble with the business and they had to re-think the business from the ground up. Take a social problem you want to solve and then seek a business solution for it. Look at the world around you and ask what disturbs you, what you really want to change. Identify the real cause of the problem. Ask yourself, "Can I design a social business to solve this problem?" Don’t be discouraged because some of them span things that cannot be done. Those may be the very things that your unique talents have equipped you to do. You share creativity. Any small creativity can be turned into big creativity to the power of technology. Things that you cannot believe today will happen tomorrow. Have you used technology to address social problems? This is the great challenge and opportunity for social business. Keep it simple. The first design of a social business is to be a roaring success. The first trial usually ends up in failure. It's like putting a rocket into space. Rockets explode on their launching pads. Find a product or service that empowers your customers. Try to offer them something they do not just consume, but that gives them the chance to earn more or save more then they spend on your product. Provide unemployment. Your social business could be designed in such a way that you help people through giving them good jobs. Single mothers - you could work with disabled people making their disability irrelevant. You might eventually transfer ownership of these small businesses to the employees who run them and enable entrepreneurship. The strongest lessons in my life have taught me that there is enormous creative and entrepreneurial potential on all people. It provides stability. You could think of ways to spread the risk across many people much as an insurance company does. You could organize people into groups that support one another as a cooperative does. Technology is used by the wealthy to address the needs of the poor, perhaps receiving a social franchising option that will allow them to simply expand the reach of an existing social business. This process of imitation, replication, experimentation, and improvement would enable micro-credit to grow from an exterior practice in the villages of Bangladesh into a world-wide movement that has improved life for at least 159 families on five continents.

You can copy Best Practices. Take away the element of personal profit and make it a social business. Don’t be discouraged by a start that appears unpromising. Over time many people had new features, devices, clever improvements, and found ways to streamline and enhance the system. Keep stretching up to reach the sky. The rewards offered by social business employers are actually greater than those offered by traditional businesses. Social business offers me the opportunity to change the world, to become part of the solution rather than part of the problem:

  • On what is my social objective?
  • Whom do I expect to help with my social business?
  • What social benefits do I intend to provide?
  • How is the impact of my social business measured?
  • What social goals do I hope to achieve in my first six months?
  • If my social business is successful, how can it be replicated or expanded or are there additional social benefits that can be added to the package of offerings I will create?

It’s important to run a social business on an open source basis and it makes sense for social business owners to share information and ideas rather than hoarding them. See Grameen’s CL forcreativelabs.com for more information and details. The end of poverty. Everyone has a strong selfless impulse, a desire to help others that is just as great as that desire for personal gain, but traditional capitalism has never cared to make use of the strong urge in human beings. Everyone on this planet suffers personally when anyone’s life is wasted. What will the world be like 20 or 50 years from now? We could speculate, but I think an even more important question is what do we want the world to be like 20 years or 50 years from today. The difference has great significance. In the first formulation we see ourselves as a path of unfolding events. In the second we see ourselves as active creators of its desired outcome. Dreams are made out of the impossible. I will have to put on my Internet a different note when we think about our future. We will have to dare to make bold leads to make the impossible possible. As soon as one impossible becomes possible, it shakes up the structure and creates a domino effect, preparing the ground for making many other impossibles possible. We will have to believe in our wish list if we hope to make it come true. We will have to create appropriate concepts, institutions, technologies and policies to achieve our goals. The more impossible the goals look, the more exciting the tasks become. Fortunately for us, we have entered into an age when dreams have the best chance of coming true. Do our dreams sound impossible? If they do, that means they are likely to come true if we believe in them and work for them, so let’s agree to believe the dreams and dedicate ourselves to making the impossible possible. If you are willing to share the extremes with me and to join the people around the world who are already beginning to transform their dreams into social businesses, let’s undertake this exciting journey together.

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