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Building Social Business: The New Kind of Capitalism That Serves Humanity's Most Pressing Needs Hardcover – May 11, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs; First Edition edition (May 11, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1586488244
  • ISBN-13: 978-1586488246
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #253,817 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

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.”

 

About the Author

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 co-authored Yunus’s best-selling book, Creating a World Without Poverty.


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Customer Reviews

It really opens your eyes to how businesses can/should be.
Elizabeth
People interested in solving the problem of POVERTY in the world should read, digest, and put into action Muhammad Yunus' proven theories about Social Business.
F. Dostie
Oh, the book is also well organized, clear and easy to read.
Michael Uschold

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Michael Uschold on May 22, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is a superb book on all counts. The author, Mohammed Yunus, is the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize winning economist for his work in micro-credit to end poverty in Bangladesh. Over the years he realized that his micro-lending work resulted in the creation of a very different kind of business, one whose focus is social good rather than profit. He calls it "Social Business". It addresses some of the fundamental shortcomings of capitalism which we are all too familiar with when profits come before people and when the success of the world's economy is predicated on unsustainable growth (e.g. environmental damage, labor abuses). Capitalism also provides no answers for poverty - there is not enough profit there. Indeed, it is part of the cause. Capitalism misrepresents human nature as being mono-dimensional, seeking only to maximize profits.

Yunus takes great pains to explain the concept, addressing many questions he frequently gets. It is different from a regular business in that all profits are rolled back into the business to create more social benefit, rather than paid out as dividends to investors or owners. He compares Social Business to many other efforts and kinds of organizations devoted to creating social good. For example, unlike a charity, Social Business is financially self-sustaining, not having to devote major resources to getting donations. It is attractive for people who wish to support social causes because the money they invest in a social business comes back to them, and can be re-invested to get further social returns. He also discusses NGOs, Social Marketing, Social Entrepreneurism Corporate Social Responsibility and various new kinds of organizations that are popping up.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Michael Griswold VINE VOICE on July 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book on social business draws a lot from Yunis' other two booksBanker To The Poor: Micro-Lending and the Battle Against World PovertyCreating a World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism with the exception that it goes a little farther in-depth on the Dannon project and other corporations that are taking notice of the social business phenomenon and producing new ventures. The book also goes further into encouraging people to start their own social business If you've read his other two books, this one has a small amount of new information, but if you've read the other two, you'll most likely notice a lot of repeat information/familiar bits from his previous work. For the person new to social business read his other work before this one.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Michelle Mount on April 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Another incredible insight from an exeptional man. Make sure to read if you're interested in Social Business. For info on Grameen read his first book. For info on microfinance and social business in general, read his second book. This one is very targeted.

We run a social business in conjunction with the Yunus Center, the book inspired us to change how our company was structured resulting in amazing gains. My major criticism is however, major. Yunus describes various Grameen businesses, though he does not make the distinction which ones are social businesses and which are for profit. The context leaves one to believe that they are all socially structured and the only way one would know to the contrary is to have an on the ground knowledge of Grameen operations. What could have been interesting would be to instead embrace the truth and launch a chapter on why some Grameen companies became for-profit. He would have done well to tackle this ambiguity head on.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Joseph S. Maresca HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on September 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Building Social Business by Dr. Muhammad Yunus 2010

Reviewed by: Dr. Joseph S. Maresca

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.
To some extent, this phenomenom is happening in the
USA. Hence, there are Grameen branches in Brooklyn
and Queens, New York.

Yunus guarantees loans to the poor ; thereby acting as
an intermediary. This is not much different from the
USA government guaranteeing certain loans to
borrowers. The result is that bankers are much more
willing to lend money due to the guaranteed payment.
Borrowers repay in small weekly amounts. Women
have great drive to overcome poverty. The Grameen
Bank lends $100 million dollars a month in
collateral free loans averaging $200 apiece .
The repayment rate is an astounding 98%.

Grameen lends money to beggars to sell toys,
households and foodstuffs door-to-door.
There are 100,000 beggars in the program.
Since implementation of the program, over
18,000 beggars have quit begging.

Grameen offers children of borrowers money to go
to school. And so, 50,000 students are pursuing
medicine and engineering coursework. This program
is microcredit or microfinance at its best. In some
cases, a mother may be illiterate and her children
go on to become physicians and engineers
due to the Grameen Bank.

Grameen Violia Water sells pure water at a price
that the poor can afford.
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