Synopses & 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 that generate economic growth even as they produce goods and services that make the world a better place.
In this book, Yunus shows how social business has gone from being a theory to an inspiring practice, adopted by leading corporations, entrepreneurs, and social activists across Asia, South America, Europe and the US. He demonstrates how social business transforms lives; offers practical guidance for those who want to create social businesses of their own; explains how public and corporate policies must adapt to make room for the social business model; and shows why social business holds the potential to redeem the failed promise of free-market enterprise.
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.”
The Nobel Peace Prize-winner shows how the social business model can harness the entrepreneurial spirit to address poverty, hunger, and disease
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.