My name is Sabine McNeill and I am creating this site because, thanks to Chris Macrae, I read “Creating a World without Poverty – Social Business and the Future of Capitalism” by Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus.
Based on my experience of organising the Forum for Stable Currencies at the House of Lords, I am deeply committed to making a difference to the future of capitalism. Hence I stuck my neck out to make an event happen at St. James’s Piccadilly for Dr. Yunus. At only three weeks notice, a volunteer co-organiser materialised in the guise of Dr. Lilly Evans who has also become a valued co-author here.
The book consists of 3 parts:
- The Promise of Social Business
- The Grameen Experiment
- A World without Poverty.
In Chapter 1, Dr. Yunus addresses the following issues:
- institutions have failed us
- poverty is not getting less but is increasing
- the current development framework isn’t good enough
- poverty is not a problem of the poor but of society
- capitalism is a ‘half-developed structure’ with a ‘conceptualisation failure’.
As a professor of economics, he addresses the growth dilemma and aims at a Social Stock Market. He has a chapter on New Yardsticks for Evaluating Business and Bringing Meaning to Business Life. For making money out of money and for the sake of making money does not give us satisfaction.
Credit Comes First and Charity is not Always the Answer are other chapter titles. In fact, he calls charity ‘trickle-down economics’. His secret for making the Grameen Bank happen was ‘credit without collateral’.
I have been advocating Green Credit for governments which is exactly what microcredit is for illiterate women in Bangladesh: credit without collateral.
‘Social Business‘ as defined by Dr. Yunus, is the 3rd way between ‘capital as usual’ and ‘philanthropic investment’:
- addressing social objectives of health, education and the environment, i.e. climate change
- leaving profits in the business after investments have been paid back, i.e. investors need to contribute if they want to be paid
- empowering the poor and the disadvantaged to own social businesses, i.e. women
- in London, the probability is 2.5% for women getting funding – according to one of the Directors of Trapezia, the first venture capital fund for women.
All this boils down to the ethical question: are you just charitable and play what Yunus calls ‘trickle-down economics’ or do you put your money where your social objectives are?
PS. The header photo is taken in São Jorge, Azores, Portugal, as I learned through the community of WordPress theme designers.