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Building Social Business [Audio]


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Muhammad Yunus, a native of Bangladesh, was educated at Dhaka University and was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to study economics at Vanderbilt University. In 1972 he became head of the economics department at Chittagong University. He is the founder and managing director of Grameen Bank, a pioneer of microcredit, which an economic movement that has helped lift millions of families around the world out of poverty. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006. He also received a Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama in 2009 and was named one of Fortune's 12 Greatest Entrepreneurs of Our Time in 2012. Ray Porter is an AudioFile Earphones Award-winning narrator and fifteen-year veteran of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. He has appeared in numerous films and television shows, including Almost Famous, ER, and Frasier.


Yunus (Creating a World Without Poverty) uses the selfish/selfless dichotomy of human nature to explain the fundamental difference between his concept of for-profit business vs. the social business. While the former seeks to maximize profit for the benefit of the owners, the latter aims to pursue social objectives for the benefit of poor customers and employees. Likewise, the social business differs from a traditional nonprofit because, like a for-profit business, it is self-sustaining through its sale of goods and services. Yunus developed the social business concept during the crushing 1974 Bangladesh famine. Local villagers, seeking aid for their entrepreneurial endeavors, found themselves virtually enslaved to moneylenders. By repaying the loans owed by these 42 enterprising souls, Yunus stumbled on the concept of microcredit. VERDICT Yunus engagingly profiles international social businesses, whether launched by multinational corporations or conceived by ordinary people with a vision to solve social problems. He offers practical advice for starting your own social businesses: from idea generation to the nuts and bolts of launching and running the concern. His impassioned dream of a different version of capitalistic endeavor is as inspirational as it is practical.-Carol J. Elsen, Univ. of Wisconsin-Whitewater Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.

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