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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

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  573 ratings  ·  56 reviews
The Nobel Peace Prize-winner shows how the social business model can harness the entrepreneurial spirit to address poverty, hunger, and disease
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Published May 1st 2010 by PublicAffairs (first published January 1st 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)
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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
Laura
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
"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
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 povert ...more
Andrew
Yunus admits at the end of this book that it's his ambition to dream big. In that context, it's easier to give credit for his idea of "social businesses". He says that our current method of capitalism creates poverty. As a result, he offers the idea of social business as a new sector of capitalism as opposed to the current methods we have to deal with poverty today such as social enterprise, non-profits, CSR intitiatives, etc. I give him the benefit of the doubt that since Yunus is a man of big ...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 s ...more
Mark
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
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 other ...more
Shantanu Roy
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
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
Genius!!

One of the best books I've read. I completely agree with his theoretical framework for Social Business
Niloy
A manifesto with excellent potentials. It could change the world. I suspect it will.
Carlos
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
Linda
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
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L
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
Glenn Williams
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
Rose
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
Avinno
I probably would have given this a 3.5/5 if I could, but oh well...

"Building Social Business" is a book by Professor Muhammad Yunus, in which he elaborates his brand new concept of "Social Business", a self-sustaining business whose prime objective is social welfare and where no profit or dividend is distributed to owners beyond the amount of their initial capital.

The case studies are very interesting to read, such as that of Grameen Danone. He speaks quite fondly of them and nicely describes th
...more
Sal B
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 i ...more
Molly
Overly optimistic about people's value in making the world a better place, at times. Focuses less on the competitive benefits of the social enterprise and more on the technological benefits, which was disappointing to me. Also focused less on the benefit to business than pure altruism.

Overall, probably a 3.5 book, bumped to 4 because it was inspirational via examples.
Trapezio
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
Don Weidinger
multi-dimensional happiness, not have to be selfish be selfless a social business, not helped only by handouts, all about joy do where basic services needed, if hide behind culture then dead culture, Dannon yogurt car healthcare, end poverty end subsidies.
Ike
I enjoyed this book and found it inspiring.

But I was looking for something with more practical tools in it, while this book had more stories to tell of examples of social businesses.

So the book wasn't bad; it just wasn't what I was hoping it would be.

I will read other books by the other though, because it was well written and he's ideas are inspiring.
Sarah
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jo
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
Alice O'herin
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
Jarkko Laine
Nov 23, 2011 Jarkko Laine rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
Sarah
5 stars for the importance of the idea, 3 stars for the writing.
Tashfeen Saeed
Some very interesting ideas, although slightly repetitive - the concept was very new at the time of writing, after all.
BLACK CAT
Differences and elements and examples that make a social business.
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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 t ...more
More about Muhammad Yunus...
Banker to the Poor: Micro-Lending and the Battle Against World Poverty Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism Empresas para Todos: Hacia un nuevo modelo de capitalismo que atiende las necesidades más urgentes de la humanidad عالم بلا فقر :المشروع الإجتماعى ومستقبل الرأسمالية عالم بلا فقر :دور الإقراض بالغ الصغر في التنمية

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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
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