from the Daily Beast an Excerpt of Yunus’ book Creating A World Without Poverty!
First, we need to broaden the concept of business by including social business in the framework of the marketplace. Making it easy for individuals and companies to see how business practices can be applied to solving social problems, especially those spawned by poverty, while reinvesting profits in the growth and expansion of the benefits thus created can create a “virtuous cycle” of ever-improving conditions for the planet’s least-fortunate citizens.
Second, we need to create inclusive social services that can reach out to every person on earth. These include services normally treated as part of the for-profit sector (such as financial services, food supply, and housing), those usually provided by government or non-profit institutions (such as education), and those that may traditionally be provided on either a for-profit or a not-for-profit basis (such as healthcare). It is absurd that after thousands of years of social and economic development, our systems in all these areas have such enormous blind spots—black holes into which hundreds of millions of people fall, simply because they don’t fit in the existing “business models.”
Third, we need to design appropriate information technology devices and services for the poorest and most underprivileged members of society and to make sure those devices and services get into the hands of those who need them. Information is power. If we guarantee that our most powerless citizens (men and women, young and old) have access to wireless telephony, Internet service, global television and news services, and other emerging forms of information technology, we will quickly find these people becoming more effective advocates for their own rights and interests.
For anyone who is wondering, “How can I contribute?” my answer is this: Start by designing a business plan for a social business. Decide which social problem you’d most like to tackle. Figure out what resources you can use to address it. Develop a plan for applying these resources efficiently and effectively. Then try turning that plan into reality. The social business you create based on your plan may be small, but if it works, it could end up being replicated in thousands of locations—and so end up changing the world.
I think I’d do a series of posts on musings about social business.