Creating a World without Poverty defines from page 21 onwards what a social business is and what it is not:
- it needs to have social objectives: e.g. health, education, poverty or environment
- it needs to be owned by the poor or disadvantaged, e.g. women, young people or long-term unemployed men
- investors may not, after having had their investments paid back, take profits out of the enterprise.
Wikipedia’s definition is here. According to Dr. Yunus, social businesses are run as ‘non-loss’ and ‘non-dividend’ operations. For young entrepreneurs, this implies mentoring.
And for the investor, this means stopping ‘capital as usual’ and starting ‘credit as if people and planet mattered’. More ‘messages’ approved by Dr. Yunus are here.
At St James’s I invited Aubrey Meyer to give his moving audio-visual presentation for I wanted to make the link between ‘time is running out’ for actions regarding climate change. ’Social business’ is the most effective route for shaping the future of capitalism that is available to creative entrepreneurs.
Dr. Yunus responded to the climate challenge by talking about Bangladesh as being a victim of climate change ever since the floods started getting worse and worse… ‘Capitalism as usual’ is thus the perpetrator.
The ‘social business’ that I’d like to start a la Yunus is the Sustainable Investment Network – which, eventually, is meant to fund social businesses. In computing terms, this may be called ‘bootstrap funding’…