Wednesday, January 23, 2013

what change do you wish to see in the world?

Muhammad Yunus, banker to the poor, has come out with a book titled Building Social Business: The New Kind of Capitalism that Serves Humantiy's Most Pressing Needs. To help you understand what that social business means exactly, a quick vocabulary lesson. A social business is a non-loss, non-dividend company designed to address a social objective within the highly regulated marketplace of today. It is distinct from a non-profit because the business should seek to generate a modest profit but this will be used to expand the company’s reach, improve the product or service or in other ways to subsidise the social mission.

Yunus' promotes building businesses that can help people, and with these businesses we will start to see a change in the world around us. BSB is designed to help you start your own, with every aspect of your business plan included. Yunus' idea is that you should build a social business as you would a profit-maximizing business. However, much of your profit will stay in the company so that it can expand and help even more people.

BSB focuses prominently on the Type I Social Business:
1. The business objective is to overcome poverty or one or more problems (such as education, health, technology, access, and environment) that threaten people and society--not to maximize profit.
2. The company will attain financial and economic sustainability.
3. Investors get back only their investment amount. No dividend is given beyond the return of original investment
4. When the investment amount is paid back, profit stays with the company for expansion and improvement.
5. The company will be environmentally conscious.
6. The workforce gets market wage with better-than-standard working conditions.
7. Do it with joy :) (you really can't do it any other way)

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