Extract from Muhammad Yunus book: ‘Building Social Business’

Extract from Muhammad Yunus book: ‘Building Social Business’

Defining Social Enterprise


If you invest a thousand dollars in a social business, you’ll get back a thousand dollars-not a penny more.  We are strict about this because we want ro make it very clear that the notion of personal financial benefit has no place in social business.


Because social business is a new idea, I’ve devoted a lot of time and energy to defining it precisely and figuring out ways to communicate its nature dearly and compellingly to the general public.


When companies and wntreprenuers meet with us to learn about the social business concept and explore ways to get involved in this movement, we share the Seven Principles with them. Theyserve as a touchstone and a constant reminder of the values that are at the heart of the social business idea.


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 susrainability.


3. Investors get back only their investment amount. No dividend is given beyond the return of the 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!!! 


Social business is about totally delinking from the old framework of business-not accommodating new objectives within the existing framework. Until you make this total delinking from personal financial gain you’ll never discover the power of real social business. 


Let’s be very honest: The profit motive is extremely powerful. Once it gets its nose under the edge of the tent, it soon takes over the entire dwelling space.