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

3.95  ·  Rating Details ·  835 Ratings  ·  73 Reviews
Muhammad Yunus, the practical visionary who pioneered microcredit and, with his Grameen Bank, won the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize, has developed a visionary new dimension for capitalism which he calls “social business.” By harnessing the energy of profit-making to the objective of fulfilling human needs, social business creates self-supporting, viable commercial enterprises ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published May 11th 2010 by PublicAffairs (first published 2008)
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Mohammed Abdullahi From the beginning of the Yunus struggle, there was stiffness in the compliance of the mass and it has reached a level that he has to inject some…moreFrom the beginning of the Yunus struggle, there was stiffness in the compliance of the mass and it has reached a level that he has to inject some money into the business, was that capitalist tendency to wear the shoe of socialism? (less)

Community Reviews

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Laura
Jan 14, 2015 Laura rated it it was ok
I was really excited when I found the audiobook of this title on the shelf at Half-Price Books. I had an 8 hour drive coming up, and now instead of spending the time scanning for radio stations, I could listen to a book by the awesomely awesome Muhammad Yunus.

I was psyched.

Unfortunately, the book turned out to be quite disappointing. I was expecting something a LOT more rigorous from an economist. (Edit: I almost said, "from a guy who won the Nobel Prize in Economics," but then I looked it up an
...more
Zenfira
Sep 12, 2013 Zenfira rated it really liked it
"Social business? Awat la aku nak baca, bukan nak buat bisnes pun."

Alhamdulillah, tulisan penerima Hadiah Nobel ini ada membantu buatkan diri sendiri jadi agak praktikal sedikit. Mula-mula memang skeptik dengan perkataan "business" tu tetapi sebenarnya banyak mutiara pengalaman daripada Grameen (bermaksud kampung) ni untuk diri sendiri.

Satu hal yang saya kagum dan terinspirasi adalah betapa dalam kemelut kepayahan satu masyarakat itu pun, inshaAllah jika kena dengan idea yang tepat dan usaha ya
...more
Nityakanuri
Feb 21, 2011 Nityakanuri rated it it was amazing
What I really enjoy about this book is that the author both writes and DOES. So many authors pass judgment on or make claims about the best ways to live and work and conduct oneself; however, Yunus has a history of experiences to validate his thoughts and writing. What's better, those experiences allow him to lay out exactly how to get started. I went to this social entrepreneurship event the other day--Ubuntu Education Fund, Of Rags, and SCHEF all spoke about their various fights against ...more
Roberta
Avevo letto con interesse "Il banchiere dei poveri" e volevo approfondire l'idea del sig. Yunus. Questo libro presenta alcuni progetti concreti di business sociale già in essere e in via di sviluppo. Sono sorpresa di trovare molte multinazionali tra i partner del gruppo Grameen: Danone, Intel, Adidas... Con un po' di cinismo ho pensato che fosse un modo come un altro di lavarsi la coscienza e di darsi un tono buonista sulla piazza internazionale. Anche se non particolarmente esplicitato c'è un ...more
Alejandro
Buen libro. Lleno de propuestas prácticas, consejos y anécdotas sobre como empezar en pequeño para ir hacer creciendo una idea. Quizás sus fundamentos teóricos no están del todo completos y haya que leer Creating a World Without Poverty para tenerlos, pero en cuanto a sus propuestas para acabar con la pobreza es muy bueno.
Sondra
Jul 20, 2015 Sondra rated it liked it
The entire concept of this book is so interesting, but the presentation at times just felt boring and difficult to get through. Yunus is at his best when he is describing why social business and how the businesses he's created are helping to eradicate poverty in Bangladesh. Where I struggled is when he's telling how 'easy' it is to create these businesses. During those sections I felt he could of expanded a bit more on to how EXACTLY financially he made these ideas into reality. For instance his ...more
Mark
Feb 11, 2011 Mark rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
From the guy who brought you the microlending craze comes a fabulous discussion of the social benefit that capitalism is capable of producing. Yunus makes the case that we need to quickly develop a new tax structure that is more nuanced than simply placing establishment into one of two camps: for-profit or nonprofit. There is plenty of ground in between those two poles for an organization who would have profit as an aim but -- but! -- any profits generated from the business have to go back into ...more
Patti
Oct 06, 2011 Patti rated it really liked it
Very impressive theory and cutting edge business model. The case studies show a lot of great examples of how this business works. I would be interested to read additional case studies of how a social business has not been successful as well as how this idea can be as effectively spread across communities in the developed world as it has been in the developing world. A positive message with practical advice for starting a business with the best end benefit I can imagine: making the lives of ...more
Shantanu Roy
Dec 17, 2012 Shantanu Roy rated it really liked it
Thought provoking concept of Social Business is presented here. This new pattern of business is emerging. I think this pioneering idea will attract many people who will step in this path.I feel ultimately social business will bring betterment for the society though it it is too early too comment.
Karin
Mar 22, 2012 Karin rated it it was amazing
Excellent book. This should be a must read for every single business student and every single corporate executive. I also think it is valuable for people who work in not for profits and NGOs. Think different is a good perspective here.
Javier Boncompte
Jun 28, 2011 Javier Boncompte rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011
Genius!!

One of the best books I've read. I completely agree with his theoretical framework for Social Business
Niloy
Apr 06, 2012 Niloy rated it it was amazing
A manifesto with excellent potentials. It could change the world. I suspect it will.
Gia Villafer
Oct 18, 2016 Gia Villafer rated it it was amazing
Definitivamente es un buen libro para aquellos que desean iniciar camino como emprendedores sociales, facilita el entendimiento de este nuevo movimiento .
Carlos
Jul 12, 2011 Carlos rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Este livro faz uma proposta ao leitor que pode revolucionar o mundo. Pela primeira vez, li sobre uma proposta que pode realmente abordar o problema da pobreza de uma forma realista e com boas perspectivas.

O livro fala-nos sobre um novo tipo de empresas: a empresa social. Esta é igual a todas as empresas existentes excepto no objectivo: ao invés de maximizar o lucro para os seus donos, procura resolver um problema social. Simples? Sim!

O objectivo desta empresa é gerar lucros mas não para enriquec
...more
Anthony Greco
Sep 03, 2015 Anthony Greco rated it really liked it
Yunus creates a troubling false dichotomy between social business and "traditional" profit maximizing business. Either a company is a social business or a profit maximizing business (that only cares about profit). In order to be a social business there must be no dividends and no return on investment (by non-poor investors/shareholders). Obviously, there is more than those two categories--many companies don't fit. I think social business is complementary to social entrepreneurship and conscious ...more
Glenn Williams
Sep 13, 2011 Glenn Williams rated it liked it
Muhummad Yunus, author of 'Banker to the Poor', and founder and managing director of Grameen Bank, presents a compelling case for establishing social businesses that focus on overcoming poverty and other significant issues. He argues that capitalism should serve humanity’s pressing needs.

Central to Yunus' beliefs is the position that 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. It is an a
...more
Riku Sayuj

Is Yunus the only practicing (as in the type who never came across the proverbial armchair yet) nobel laureate in economics? (his field is, if not the nobel)

His ideas and beliefs are rooted in and grown from the experience of running what sounds like hundreds of companies and offshoots and sister concerns - almost all successful, launching an entire industry and redefining one of the oldest businesses of the world.

Yet, in spite of full awareness of the credentials of the author, everything insid
...more
Rose
Jul 28, 2011 Rose rated it really liked it
This is the third book by Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize winner for the micro-credit agency Grameen Bank that offers financial services to the poor at reasonable interest rates. In "Creating a World Without Poverty," Yunus introduced the concept of a social business, an enterprising new form of capitalism with the objective of fulfilling human needs. Social business creates self-supporting, businesses whose primary goal is to solve a social problem or otherwise make the world better.

In B"uild
...more
L
Feb 04, 2011 L rated it really liked it
Random thoughts:

There was quite a bit of overlap with his other books, but I enjoyed it nevertheless. His writing is clear, although slow at times. I'm intrigued of his concept of social businesses, which is very specific, and not broad like the term 'social enterprise'. Social businesses are no-loss, no-dividend companies. Yunus seems adamant on both terms - there should not be any grant support, and there cannot be any promise of returns, however small. And none of the current legal structure
...more
Sal B
Aug 18, 2012 Sal B rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Muhammad Yunus is in a powerful position to advocate for his vision of social business, but this book is a mish mash of ideas and case studies and entreaties to just get out there and start a social business. He defines social business a sustainable business that delivers zero returns to investors but where start-up capital is repaid although not pegged to inflation, even if it takes 50 years. This is a much narrower definition than my general understanding of social enterprise - the key point ...more
Linda
Jan 25, 2013 Linda rated it really liked it
I learned of Muhammad Yunus, the author of Building Social Business: The New Kind of Capitalism That Serves Humanity’s Most Pressing Needs, while researching microfinance. Mr. Yunus is a pioneer in the microfinance industry. During the 1970s, he founded Grameen Bank, a microfinance institution in Bangladesh. I was fascinated by the work of Mr. Yunus and wanted to learn more so looked for additional reading material. Building Social Business looked intriguing and it was.

The Bottom Line

Readers don
...more
Rian Nejar
Jun 02, 2015 Rian Nejar rated it liked it
Although some call Professor Yunus's system of social business 'A visionary new development of Capitalism,' it is hard not to see it for what it is: a highly profitable money circulation system that works with a limited, captive, group of micro-business entrepreneurs who are compelled by circumstances to a desperate drive to succeed. Tapping into the same system, the darker side of capitalism extended the model to what is called microfinance, which, at its exorbitant rates of interest for money ...more
Hugoxl
May 22, 2016 Hugoxl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
No livro a empresa social Mhuammad Yunus , economista/ activista e premio Nobel da paz (2006), manifesta a sua convicção recorrendo a exemplos práticos ,nos quais esteve envolvido, que muitos dos problemas sociais nos países sub-desenvolvidos, podem ser resolvidos através de “empresas sociais”. Yunus considera que criação de empresas tendo como objectivo resolver problemas sociais- falta de água numa determinada região e erradicação de doenças - associadas a grandes grupos económicos, podem ser ...more
Trapezio
Aug 12, 2016 Trapezio rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
Social business, could be part of the solution that this world urgently needs. Muhammad Yunus passionately argues the benefits of social business and tries hard to formulate the basics of this new concept. The basic premise is that every human being likes to make a change to the world he lives in. Understandably, social business as an idea is still in its formulation stages. Yunus lists out quite a few projects which are exciting and which reveals the hidden potential of this model.

This book is
...more
Saeed Nahian
Dec 03, 2015 Saeed Nahian rated it really liked it
This book is an excellent rendition on how to invest in
poor countries while getting a modest return and doing
much good at the same time. The classic profit maximization
model does not produce optimum results because many
working poor simply cannot afford the higher prices.Overall this is a great book, telling of what might evolve into a massive shift in how capitalist economies operate. Social Business fills an important gap left by capitalism and can also sit comfortable alongside it.

Yunus has sp
...more
Sarah
May 05, 2013 Sarah rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jo
Aug 06, 2014 Jo rated it it was amazing
The single most inspiring book I've ever read. Mr. Yunus has lifted and is still lifting hundreds of people out of poverty, and is the most deserving recipient of a Nobel Peace Prize I can think of.

"Dreams are made out of impossibles. We cannot reach the impossibles by using the analytical minds trained to deal with hard information that is currently available. These minds are fitted with flashing red lights to warn us about obstacles we may face. We'll have to put our minds in a different mode
...more
Jarkko Laine
Nov 23, 2011 Jarkko Laine rated it liked it
Recommends it for: world changers
I enjoyed reading about the progress of various Grameen businesses, but it would have been nice to hear even more about Social Business projects outside the Grameen family as well. Compared to "Creating a World Without Poverty", in this book, Yunus spends more pages on advice for starting your own business, which is great -- except that the advice doesn't get deep enough to provide a good starting point for your own business.

In all, however, this is an interesting and inspiring book for a great
...more
Alice O'herin
Apr 21, 2012 Alice O'herin rated it really liked it
Yunus is certainly inspiring. His belief in the power of humanity to eliminate poverty is contagious. This was my first Yunus book, and it was enough to send me on a search for his other earlier books in order to learn more about the founding story of Grameen.

One pitfall I saw with this book is that it was too Grameen-focused (I suppose this makes sense in light of the fame and his unique background as its founder). Still, with a title like "Building Social Business," I expected a book that woul
...more
Eatyoualive
Jan 08, 2012 Eatyoualive rated it did not like it
A very bad book. Makes little sense, and is quite judgmental, leaving arguments after assertions instead of proper reasoning. It is more like a letter to the employees of Grameen Bank, less like an actual book.

To everyone wanting to know about social business, this book does not really analyze the concept, even though they were supposed to pioneer the concept through this book. So, in that respect this book is a massive failure.
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Dr. Muhammad Yunus is a Bangladeshi banker and economist. He previously was a professor of economics and is famous for his successful application of microcredit--the extension of small loans given to entrepreneurs too poor to qualify for traditional bank loans. Dr. Yunus is also the founder of Grameen Bank. In 2006, Yunus and the bank were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize "for their efforts ...more
More about Muhammad Yunus...

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“As a social business, Grameen Danone follows the basic principle that it must be self-sustaining, and the owners must remain committed to never take any dividend beyond the return of the original amount they invested.” 0 likes
“When a crisis is at its deepest, it can offer a huge opportunity. When things fall apart, we can redesign, recast, and rebuild.” 0 likes
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