Social Business

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= "Profit is redefined in human terms rather than pure quantitative analyses that remove human and social concerns in the name of profit" [1]



Concept of non-profit/non-loss business proposed by Mohammed Yunus after his experience with the Grameen Bank.

Muhammad Yunus:

""A social business is defined as a non-loss, non-dividend company dedicated to meeting social needs; such as ensuring affordable healthcare for all, promoting better nutrition for children, creating employment for the unemployed, moving towards a safer environment, enhancing the process of women empowerment and providing safe drinking water. " (


Social Business is a term proposed to lead us to rethink how business is done: An organization designed consciously around sociality and social tools, as a response to a changed world and the emergence of the social web. (Stowe Boyd).

=> see the entry Social Business Design for the latter meaning.

Yunus-type Social Business

Sanjay Perera:

"In his latest book, Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism, Yunus explains that a social business is an enterprise quite different from a cooperative or a charity. It is essentially a business set up to provide necessities for the poor like drinking water, food or healthcare.

In Yunus's own words on social businesses from the book:

"...a business designed to meet a social goal...a business that pays no dividends. It sells products at prices that make it self-sustaining. The owners of the company can get back the amount they've invested in the company over a period of time, but no profit is paid to investors in the form of dividends. Instead, any profit made stays in the business -- to finance expansion, to create new products and services, and to do more good for the world."

So companies or people put in capital to set up the business and provide low cost products for the poor. Once the money invested is earned by the initial investors, all other money that comes in goes towards financing the business itself. Hence, this becomes an exemplar of a self sustaining enterprise. This is a non-profit, non-loss business which does not answer to shareholders in providing them great returns on equity, just the basic sum they put in for that equity. The example looked at in detail in the book is how French corporate giant Danone provides daily yogurt cups which cost 6 euro cents (9 cents US) for the Bangladeshis." (

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Check this out for more:

  1. Muhammad Yunus on the Concept of the Social Business [2] [3]

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