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In the last two decades, free markets have swept the globe, bringing with them enormous potential for positive change. But traditional capitalism cannot solve problems like inequality and poverty, because it is hampered by a narrow view of human nature in which people are one-dimensional beings concerned only with profit. In fact, human beings have many other drives and In the last two decades, free markets have swept the globe, bringing with them enormous potential for positive change. But traditional capitalism cannot solve problems like inequality and poverty, because it is hampered by a narrow view of human nature in which people are one-dimensional beings concerned only with profit. In fact, human beings have many other drives and passions, including the spiritual, the social, and the altruistic. Welcome to the world of social business, where the creative vision of the entrepreneur is applied to today's most serious problems: feeding the poor, housing the homeless, healing the sick, and protecting the planet. Creating a World Without Poverty tells the stories of some of the earliest examples of social businesses, including Yunus's own Grameen Bank. It reveals the next phase in a hopeful economic and social revolution that is already under way--and in the worldwide effort to eliminate poverty by unleashing the productive energy of every human being.


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In the last two decades, free markets have swept the globe, bringing with them enormous potential for positive change. But traditional capitalism cannot solve problems like inequality and poverty, because it is hampered by a narrow view of human nature in which people are one-dimensional beings concerned only with profit. In fact, human beings have many other drives and In the last two decades, free markets have swept the globe, bringing with them enormous potential for positive change. But traditional capitalism cannot solve problems like inequality and poverty, because it is hampered by a narrow view of human nature in which people are one-dimensional beings concerned only with profit. In fact, human beings have many other drives and passions, including the spiritual, the social, and the altruistic. Welcome to the world of social business, where the creative vision of the entrepreneur is applied to today's most serious problems: feeding the poor, housing the homeless, healing the sick, and protecting the planet. Creating a World Without Poverty tells the stories of some of the earliest examples of social businesses, including Yunus's own Grameen Bank. It reveals the next phase in a hopeful economic and social revolution that is already under way--and in the worldwide effort to eliminate poverty by unleashing the productive energy of every human being.

30 review for Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism

  1. 5 out of 5

    Real Supergirl

    Excellent book. Yunus is an inspiring man. I know nothing about economics yet I was able to understand this book, and it has helped me clarify for myself what kind of business I would like to run someday - a social business. Basically, it presents a new model for social services - building organizations that do good work without relying on grants that may or may not be there from year to year, and which have as their chief goal to become self-sustaining. Their goal is to make money, but not Excellent book. Yunus is an inspiring man. I know nothing about economics yet I was able to understand this book, and it has helped me clarify for myself what kind of business I would like to run someday - a social business. Basically, it presents a new model for social services - building organizations that do good work without relying on grants that may or may not be there from year to year, and which have as their chief goal to become self-sustaining. Their goal is to make money, but not maximize profit. It's pretty simple yet radical.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Richard Stephenson

    PROS: Absolutely and awesomely (in the truest form of the word) inspiring as it details a possible and successful venture into social business. The drive, focus, motivation, and innovation is very much appreciated and a great stimulus for anyone ready to consider taking on altruistic endeavors. Seeing just how much impact one person, and all of the wonderful people he came across and worked with, can impact the world it truly refreshing. CONS: The detail on Mr. Yunuss specific journey is quite PROS: Absolutely and awesomely (in the truest form of the word) inspiring as it details a possible and successful venture into social business. The drive, focus, motivation, and innovation is very much appreciated and a great stimulus for anyone ready to consider taking on altruistic endeavors. Seeing just how much impact one person, and all of the wonderful people he came across and worked with, can impact the world it truly refreshing. CONS: The detail on Mr. Yunus’s specific journey is quite awesome, but really only serves as stimulus for the reader. No real, feasible, elbows in the grease plans of action are proposed – only higher level philosophies on how a social revolution could take place. A more apt title might be, “Envisioning a World Without Poverty”. ASSESSMENT: This is an inspirational book and not a how-to guide. I would recommend it with that caveat in mind. I made a blog post about it, too: http://richardstep.com/2010/08/20/boo...

  3. 4 out of 5

    Josephine

    If there were more people like Muhammad Yunus, then maybe his goal of stamping out poverty by 2050 will be achieved hell, maybe hell be able to get Bangladesh there all on his own at the rate that hes going. In Creating A World Without Poverty,, Yunus talks about social businesses and the future of capitalism. In this book, he talks about how, as Grameen Bank became more and more deeply rooted in the social conditions of the poor in Bangladesh, its mandate evolved and broadened as Yunus and his If there were more people like Muhammad Yunus, then maybe his goal of stamping out poverty by 2050 will be achieved — hell, maybe he’ll be able to get Bangladesh there all on his own at the rate that he’s going. In “Creating A World Without Poverty,”, Yunus talks about social businesses and the future of capitalism. In this book, he talks about how, as Grameen Bank became more and more deeply rooted in the social conditions of the poor in Bangladesh, its mandate evolved and broadened as Yunus and his colleagues branched out from microcredit to social businesses. This book was also partly the story of Grameen Danone came into being — Danone, the French food products company, partnered with Grameen to produce affordable, nutritious yogurt for malnourished children in Bangladesh. It’s a fascinating case study in social business. Also interesting: the epilogue includes a transcript of the lecture Yunus delivered in Oslo when he accepted the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of Grameen Bank in 2006. Definitely worth reading.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Snehil

    This is a very inspiring book. Dr Yunus, the inventor of the concept of Grameen Banking (Micro-banking), and the Grameen bank won Nobel peace prize in 2006. In this book, Dr Yunus has elaborated on the idea of Grameen bank and several other projects he and his team have started to uplift the poor. It is amazing how he identified the true needs of the poor and had confidence in them as people and did what he did. He thinks through every concept or problem very thoroughly and goes into the roots This is a very inspiring book. Dr Yunus, the inventor of the concept of Grameen Banking (Micro-banking), and the Grameen bank won Nobel peace prize in 2006. In this book, Dr Yunus has elaborated on the idea of Grameen bank and several other projects he and his team have started to uplift the poor. It is amazing how he identified the true needs of the poor and had confidence in them as people and did what he did. He thinks through every concept or problem very thoroughly and goes into the roots of it and comes up with a solution. Then he thinks through the solution also, very thoroughly. I felt that he is a person who dares to dream impossible and then makes it possible. The success of his Grameen bank and other Grameen projects is aw-inspiring. I share his belief that most people have an innate desire to help others and this is the reason they donate money. Through this book Dr. Yunus is urging people to start Social businesses instead of giving money in charities. I more than agree with his thinking that charities are mostly counter-productive. His concept of social business is very novel and at first sounds like fantasy but then he proves it that it can be a reality. Donon Grameen joint venture is a powerful example though which he has demonstrated that if you dare to dream, nothing is impossible. A social business, as he describes it, is basically investing in a business that benefits the poor by providing services they need, by giving them employment, by purchasing the goods they produce etc etc. The people who invest in this business do not get any dividend from the business but they can eventually get their investment back as the business flourishes. And the business is part owned by the poor people. For sure, it is much better that giving them money in charities. As he explains and I share his thoughts, charities can dry out but a business may have no end. More importantly, it make the people self-reliant that not only uplifts them financially but also increases their self-esteem, confidence and worth in the society. In a charity, the giver and receiver are on separate levels and never equal, but a social business would bring them on the same level. His belief that it is better to help a woman in a family than a man is well-placed. He also touched on the international politics, business and environmental issues. That is where he sounded more like a professor (his original profession). He has pointed out the problems quite aptly and he advocates that social business is the only way to change the situation. I don't think anyone else is proposing any other solution to these issues, so I think he is right that social business is the only way. If I had not read the last part of his book, I would have given this book 5 stars. In that last part, where he talks about the climate change issues, he ends up scolding the west. All through the book he is showing faith in goodness of humanity and he proposing ways in which the world can help overcome poverty. But at the end he rebukes the Western nations for being irresponsible towards the environment. I agree that west has a lot of work to do in this regard but his blame is too biased and probably not well thought. I often feel that it is an unfair comparison when the figures of carbon emission are given on the basis of "per-capita" for various countries. Automatically the North American countries like US and Canada fair the worst. And then the countries like India, China and a lot of over-populated countries, who fair much much better feel they are doing nothing wrong but the West is and thus the west is solely responsible to the environmental woes which are disproportionately affecting the poorest nations and people the most. I suggest that this carbon emission should be calculated per-square Km (area in any unit) that will spread the blame equally. After-all the countries who have let their population increase uncontrollably have to be held responsible too. The last part of the book left me a little defensive..... thus the four starts.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lizzie

    If you have ever wondered about the ability of third world countries to help their citizens move out of poverty, this book is for you! Yunus is an inspiring man who started Grameen Bank in the eighties, a forerunner of many of the microlending institutions that now exist (Kiva being the most famous one in American philanthropy circles). The premise of this book: that everyone in the world in poverty can move themselves out of poverty through the model of microlending and social enterprise is If you have ever wondered about the ability of third world countries to help their citizens move out of poverty, this book is for you! Yunus is an inspiring man who started Grameen Bank in the eighties, a forerunner of many of the microlending institutions that now exist (Kiva being the most famous one in American philanthropy circles). The premise of this book: that everyone in the world in poverty can move themselves out of poverty through the model of microlending and social enterprise is truly visionary. While there are portions of the book that are likely many years from coming true, the bulk of the book is based on strong, supporting evidence from the work of Grameen Bank, which is nothing short of revolutionary. Grameen Bank has worked to transform the poor women of Bangladesh into self-supporting women who work for a living and have a house and money to educate their children. Yunus truly deserved to win the Nobel Peace Prize. The portions of the book about social enterprise are less based in documentation. While a few social enterprises have gotten off the ground, the growth has not been as widespread as Yunus claims. Perhaps if more people read this book, they will be inspired to start true social enterprises.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jarkko Laine

    The question after reading this book is not whether the book was good or not but what do I want to do about the challenge it sets. Someone here commented that the final chapter about putting poverty to museums was naive and unrealistic. While that may be true, the image of my grandchildren going to such a museum and wondering why on earth did our parents allow poverty to last so long touched me deeply. I can't help but feel that there is a whole lot of truth in this idea. It is unethical of us The question after reading this book is not whether the book was good or not but what do I want to do about the challenge it sets. Someone here commented that the final chapter about putting poverty to museums was naive and unrealistic. While that may be true, the image of my grandchildren going to such a museum and wondering why on earth did our parents allow poverty to last so long touched me deeply. I can't help but feel that there is a whole lot of truth in this idea. It is unethical of us to accept poverty as a given and not fight to eradicate it for good! No less than it was unethical to let slavery continue, or close our eyes from apartheid happening in South Africa. I don't think all of the social business ideas presented in the book are perfect solutions, but the concept of social business is definitely an important tool in making poverty history. And it's not limited to solving the poverty issue but also a viable model for organizing other kinds of not-for-profit activities. Definitely a book worth reading!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Chang

    Muhammad Yunus and his work are really amazing. Reading about the different Grameen businesses really overwhelmed me and made me wonder where on earth do I begin to start to achieve something even remotely close to that??! But it is inspiring and really makes you wanna stop sitting around and do something! The book is rather academic though, like a thesis, so I had to skim through some parts which were overly informational/ argumentative. I didn't really need persuading about the benefit of Muhammad Yunus and his work are really amazing. Reading about the different Grameen businesses really overwhelmed me and made me wonder where on earth do I begin to start to achieve something even remotely close to that??! But it is inspiring and really makes you wanna stop sitting around and do something! The book is rather academic though, like a thesis, so I had to skim through some parts which were overly informational/ argumentative. I didn't really need persuading about the benefit of social business. But on the whole, being a social-entrepreneur-hopeful myself, it really helped me in my understanding of what a social business really is, as well as the strengths and weaknesses (social impact wise) of the different kinds of business structures.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Apryl Anderson

    I read this in the spirit of celebration for what's already been done, and with brave hope for the future...but it didn't give me the answers I really wanted. I want to defeat the spirit of poverty that permeates every level of society. Poverty of wealth is a symptom of the far greater disease. Yunus is catalyst to healing, but this goes far deeper and into the oppression that leads to death. Social business is a powerful component of the cure, but how does every individual recognize and accept I read this in the spirit of celebration for what's already been done, and with brave hope for the future...but it didn't give me the answers I really wanted. I want to defeat the spirit of poverty that permeates every level of society. Poverty of wealth is a symptom of the far greater disease. Yunus is catalyst to healing, but this goes far deeper and into the oppression that leads to death. Social business is a powerful component of the cure, but how does every individual recognize and accept their particular vein of gold?

  9. 5 out of 5

    Atul Sabnis

    Without doubt, Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism is an inspiring book. I did not have a specific expectation of the book, when I started it - having known about the Grameen initiative and its activities. I started reading this book as a part of a course that I am doing (required reading). In reading the book, however, many ideas, thoughts and guiding philosophies came to the fore. It is quite revealing about how the idea of micro-credit has worked, Without doubt, Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism is an inspiring book. I did not have a specific expectation of the book, when I started it - having known about the Grameen initiative and its activities. I started reading this book as a part of a course that I am doing (required reading). In reading the book, however, many ideas, thoughts and guiding philosophies came to the fore. It is quite revealing about how the idea of micro-credit has worked, their systems, processes, and importantly - the role of the "human" factor in a business (whether social or profit-oriented). It is a simple read, employs simple language. It is also a smooth read - something that you do not encounter quite often, these days. There may be a good reason for this. Muhammad Yunus knows exactly what he believes; perhaps that's the reason for his articulation. He works with such a broad spectrum of people; perhaps that's the reason for the simplicity of presentation. It is, really a story book: a story of the Grameen initiative, the genesis, the growth and the future. There are a few compelling and innovative ideas and thoughts for businesses of all sorts - the focus, undoubtedly on social businesses. Not all of them are laid out on a platter for you in a bulleted list or in a grid like a standard management help book. But without explicit mention or presentation, they come to the fore. As I neared the end of the book, however, I felt a sense of obstinate and inflexible stand on the constitution of a social business and the ideas for the future of social business and the new world order became slightly vague and romantic even. For someone who invented the concept of a social business, I found this stand -- of strictly separating financial and social profit -- suffocating. No doubt, he provides good reason for this strict separation; to my mind, however, it is the basis of confining a mind to think further. When the description of an innovative idea (the Grameen initiative) disallows further innovation (that has a chance of making it popular and bringing more people to the idea), it seems counter-productive. It is still a good book and it still worth reading.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

    This was very interesting. Yunus brings forth the idea of running a sustainable business for the express benefit of society, rather than shareholders. The main principle of the book is that, instead of running a business as a profit-maximizing business, a business could be run (he doesn't go as far as to say that all businesses _should_ be run this way, which is probably a smart move) as a social-benefit-maximizing business. Investors would get no dividends or return on their money, they would This was very interesting. Yunus brings forth the idea of running a sustainable business for the express benefit of society, rather than shareholders. The main principle of the book is that, instead of running a business as a profit-maximizing business, a business could be run (he doesn't go as far as to say that all businesses _should_ be run this way, which is probably a smart move) as a social-benefit-maximizing business. Investors would get no dividends or return on their money, they would just eventually get their money back (therefore earning them a negative real return due to inflation). Although I have serious doubts about his assertion that social businesses are the "Future of Capitalism," I find them interesting and think they definitely have a place in the business realm, especially for people who are more concerned about doing good with their money than their money doing good for them. All-in-all I enjoyed it, and would recommend it. The issues I have with the concept come from a number of books on irrational behavior that I've read (namely Sway and Predictably Irrational), which show studies that show that humans are much more willing to give their time when there is no monetary reward involved. I feel this would have a close correlation to the concept of charity-giving vs investing, in that once the business aspect of it comes into play, people will have a natural (and subconscious) response that will reduce their likelihood of investing in a social business, as it now becomes partially a business issue, whereas a charitable donation is always simply a "feel-good" issue, and business doesn't come into it as you never expect to see that money again. Further, people who give to charity for the feel-good factor as well as the tax advantages will have to forego the tax benefits as investments are most certainly not tax-deductible. Despite these concerns, it is a viable concept and can be considerably more effective than your traditional charity (as a dollar invested will continue to sustain the business and help people, whereas a dollar donated has a one-use policy)

  11. 4 out of 5

    Vishanta

    Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus has become my hero & a role model now. He rightly proved in reality that social business could indeed exploit capitalism to help create better lives of poor. A prologue of good handshake, Yunus starts with free-market economics, globalization and economic boom in countries, then makes a deep dive that neoliberalism in fact creates better upper half leaving the rest in sheer poverty, then questions whether govt is the answer for reformation or is it NGOs or Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus has become my hero & a role model now. He rightly proved in reality that social business could indeed exploit capitalism to help create better lives of poor. A prologue of good handshake, Yunus starts with free-market economics, globalization and economic boom in countries, then makes a deep dive that neoliberalism in fact creates better upper half leaving the rest in sheer poverty, then questions whether govt is the answer for reformation or is it NGOs or multilaterals or CSRs. Finally he argues that social business is solution to eradicate poverty & should be millennium development goals. The way how Grameen bank was started whilst resistance & discouragement from people and govt is worth reading - a real inspiration & defying natural economics where "man", "woman", & "child" never existed (a blind spot in conventional economics), Grameen embraced the human touch. Moreover, the notion behind the bank is empowering women, motivating them who in fact builds the society & nourish future generation. The group of five of borrowers is really a nice concept which brings faith in micro-credit thereby guaranteeing 99% loan repayment. Very much liked the idea of 'Grameen Sikkha' & contribution invested in a time deposit, where 6% annual interest is used for child education - brilliant concept. Good insights for regional cooperation in SAARC region and support for SAFTA. Professor Yunus builds the recipe for his social thrust and suggest Social Stock Exchange, Social Mutual Funds which is his sheer appreciation to build a better world where not a single human being is a poor. A good explanation on how IT could be harnessed to eradicate poverty. Indeed IT narrows down the gap of digital divide and creates tremendous opportunities. Hazards of Poverty chapter is very knowledgeable and presents a vivid reality of greenhouse gas emission effect and the right of each and every human over the earth assets. Prof Yunus, undoubtedly, is a living God for the poor.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    Great book! Very inspiring! Makes me want change the world and fix the problems around me. Muhammad Yunus is a good example of doing something about a problem and not a small one either. As a university professor teaching economics in Bangladesh surrounded by poverty he decides to do something. He starts a bank to help those in poverty get out from the moneylenders' control. Yunus is passionate about the mission to end poverty globally and has a lot of interesting ideas. Many of them have worked Great book! Very inspiring! Makes me want change the world and fix the problems around me. Muhammad Yunus is a good example of doing something about a problem and not a small one either. As a university professor teaching economics in Bangladesh surrounded by poverty he decides to do something. He starts a bank to help those in poverty get out from the moneylenders' control. Yunus is passionate about the mission to end poverty globally and has a lot of interesting ideas. Many of them have worked in Bangladesh, but there is much more to do. I wish I understood economics better to know whether what he suggests could work. He hopes to look beyond capitalism and create more than a stock market--a social stock market where social businesses and individuals work together to solve some of the worlds biggest problems. Social businesses are businesses that take care of themselves (unlike nonprofits), but their soul purpose is not profit, but a specific social benefit. Yunus suggests that we shouldn't underestimate human capacities--we should think beyond profit as a motive, change our concept of credit-worthy, and expand our understanding of entrepreneurship and employment. "One of the deep-rooted characteristics of human beings is the desire to do good for other people. It is an aspect of human nature that is totally ignored in the existing business world. Social business satisfies this human craving....People want meaning in their lives--the kind of meaning that comes only from knowing that you are doing your part to make our world a better place (p. 162)." Yunus envisions a world where poverty is only in the museums because there are no poor, no beggars, no homeless, no passports, no disease, one currency and peace around the world. Sounds to me something like the life described in Moses 7:18. :)

  13. 5 out of 5

    Mina Villalobos

    The book is full of great and inspiring ideas and it's helped me structure what I want to do -just having a name to call it, a social business, actually helps a lot. The anecdotal stuff is great and the suggestions as to what to do to start getting rid of poverty in your town/city/country at all excellent and very moving and empowering. My only complain about this book might be that at some point it just starts going the same things over and over again, so the third quarter of the book was The book is full of great and inspiring ideas and it's helped me structure what I want to do -just having a name to call it, a social business, actually helps a lot. The anecdotal stuff is great and the suggestions as to what to do to start getting rid of poverty in your town/city/country at all excellent and very moving and empowering. My only complain about this book might be that at some point it just starts going the same things over and over again, so the third quarter of the book was rather low to read through. It picks the pace again by the end, and I would recommend it to anyone looking for an alternative to regular business, anyone wanting to improve the world, anyone wanting to be part of the solution and not the problems. The book addresses the creation of social businesses, entities that work just like regular businesses except that their purpose is not profit maximizing but the generation of a benefit, and they are no-debt, no profit, as they are self sustainable unlike non-profits and charities, but pay no dividends as any profit is reinvested to provide more benefits to the population or to improve the service. It details how they can function and what kind of changes would need to be made in the world if we want to see poverty ending.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Marcus

    This book has several 5 star ideas, but ultimately is too long in it's prose. Dr. Yunus , Nobel Prize winner, describes his concept of a "Social Business" in this book. A social business operates exactly as a for profit entity, but has social goals rather than a goal of maximizing profit. To facilitate this all investors agree to receive only their original capital back after which the business pays no further dividends and reinvests all its' profits into it's social goals. I find this an This book has several 5 star ideas, but ultimately is too long in it's prose. Dr. Yunus , Nobel Prize winner, describes his concept of a "Social Business" in this book. A social business operates exactly as a for profit entity, but has social goals rather than a goal of maximizing profit. To facilitate this all investors agree to receive only their original capital back after which the business pays no further dividends and reinvests all its' profits into it's social goals. I find this an intriguing idea as this construct is superior to a standard charity since it is perpetual and it's growth is determined by it's management instead of fund raising. I felt the descriptions of a social business stock exchange were somewhat far fetched, as I am not sure how one would value a social business since it has no dividend stream. The book contains a heartwarming story of Grameen Danone a JV between Grameen Bank and Danone to improve nutrition of poor children by creating a food which is inexpensive and nutritious. I think that Social Business is a powerful idea and I hope that it can be applied successfully such as Dr. Yunus has done with Grameen Bank in Bangladesh.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ime'... Imelda

    The reason why Id reading this book was actually to learn about the microcredit itself; the mechanism, how it works and others related. Well, I do learn a little bit about the microcredit, but I learned more about poverty and how private sectors could actually contribute to the poverty itself. I learned a little bit about social business which I actually think that it is a great idea, yet Im quite pessimistic whether such concept can be applied to all companies in the world. They would probably The reason why I’d reading this book was actually to learn about the microcredit itself; the mechanism, how it works and others related. Well, I do learn a little bit about the microcredit, but I learned more about poverty and how private sectors could actually contribute to the poverty itself. I learned a little bit about social business which I actually think that it is a great idea, yet I’m quite pessimistic whether such concept can be applied to all companies in the world. They would probably make other company to operate as social business, but I don’t think they would give up their current profit company. I do agree in some concepts that poverty is about the state of mind; thus it is possible to eradicate. Yet, we need to be more focus in it. This book is more about Yunus’ experiences in dealing with microcredit, with Grameen Bank. It wasn’t an easy job, but it looked like that not-easy-kind-of-job could actually save lifes. A good book that I can consider as a chapter of Yunus’ life. Not really a kind of book that describes the system of Grameen Bank. Ime’…

  16. 5 out of 5

    Rose

    Social business is a powerful idea: a business whose primary goal is a particular social good, and whose investors and shareholders agree up front that no one will take any profit out of the business. Any profit that a social business makes is reinvested into the organization itself to further its social goals. By removing the profit motivator, Muhammad Yunus believes that poverty and other societal ills can be addressed through this form of social capitalism. As a book, I should just warn you Social business is a powerful idea: a business whose primary goal is a particular social good, and whose investors and shareholders agree up front that no one will take any profit out of the business. Any profit that a social business makes is reinvested into the organization itself to further its social goals. By removing the profit motivator, Muhammad Yunus believes that poverty and other societal ills can be addressed through this form of social capitalism. As a book, I should just warn you that there is enough overlap between all three of Yunus' books - "Banker to the Poor," "Creating a World Without Poverty," and "Building Social Business" that you probably want to choose the best one and read that. Creating a World Without Poverty focuses on the philosophy behind social business, and why Yunus thinks it will work. Building Social Business aims to serve as a how-to guide for social entrepreneurs. It would probably be better to combine all of these books into one. However, the ideas are excellent, and Yunus is an enthusiastic and engaging writer.

  17. 5 out of 5

    AuthorsOnTourLive!

    We met Muhammad Yunus when he visited the Tattered Cover Bookstore in Denver. You can listen to him talk about "Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism" here: http://www.authorsontourlive.com/?p=232 About this podcast: Muhammad Yunus, a native of Bangladesh, was educated at Dhaka University and was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to study economics at Vanderbilt University, and in 1972 he became head of the economics department at Chittagong University. He is We met Muhammad Yunus when he visited the Tattered Cover Bookstore in Denver. You can listen to him talk about "Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism" here: http://www.authorsontourlive.com/?p=232 About this podcast: Muhammad Yunus, a native of Bangladesh, was educated at Dhaka University and was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to study economics at Vanderbilt University, and 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, an economic movement that has helped lift millions of families around the world out of poverty. Yunus and Grameen Bank are winners of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize. Yunus dicusses his book "Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism," in which he outlines his vision for a new business model that combines the power of free markets with the quest for a more humane world-and tells the inspiring stories of companies that are doing this work today.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    The idea was good. Instead of a corperation with the intent of making a profit, make a corporation with the intent of doing good and being self-sufficient. Both would still compete in the same markets for the money of the users, but instead of reporting to share holders who care only about "the bottom line," these shareholders would also be invested in the idea of providing clean water, bringing people out of poverty, etc. The book though, was horrible. Maybe its how all business books are The idea was good. Instead of a corperation with the intent of making a profit, make a corporation with the intent of doing good and being self-sufficient. Both would still compete in the same markets for the money of the users, but instead of reporting to share holders who care only about "the bottom line," these shareholders would also be invested in the idea of providing clean water, bringing people out of poverty, etc. The book though, was horrible. Maybe its how all business books are written. All the information you need in the first chapter and then endless examples and repetition after that. If you read Muhammad Yunus's nobel prize acceptance speech, you'll get the basic gist of the book. "Mainstream free-market theory suffers from a 'conceptualization failure,' a failure to capture the essence of what it is to be human.' (18) "Poverty is the absence of all human rights" (239)

  19. 4 out of 5

    Drick

    If you wanted to test an idea that would help poor people rise out of poverty, Bangladesh would be the perfect place to start. That is what Muhammed Yunus did with his concept of social business. A social business is a business whose sole purpose is to alleviate the suffering and deprivation of poor people. It operates on basic business principles but does not have the purpose of returning value to shareholders, but rather addressing the needs of the poor. It is different than a socially If you wanted to test an idea that would help poor people rise out of poverty, Bangladesh would be the perfect place to start. That is what Muhammed Yunus did with his concept of social business. A social business is a business whose sole purpose is to alleviate the suffering and deprivation of poor people. It operates on basic business principles but does not have the purpose of returning value to shareholders, but rather addressing the needs of the poor. It is different than a socially responsible business in that it is not concerned with profit and investment return, but quality of life. It is different than a non-profit company in that investors get their money back, just without dividends. This is the idea that Yunus describes and promotes in this book. While Yunus is an economist, he writes for the lay reader. At times the book seems redundant, but the power of histories and the success of the Grameen Group of companies he has created overshadow any deficiencies in the writing

  20. 5 out of 5

    Richard

    This book is one of those your eyes would pass over quickly in a bookstore while your mind also dismisses it as a dreamer's fantasy. But if you know anything about the author, Muhammad Yunus, you might know that he and his Grameen Bank won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006, not (just) for his writing but for the impact he has had on the lives of poor people in his Bangladesh and in other places in the world, primarily through his concept and implementation of micro lending, micro credit. This is the This book is one of those your eyes would pass over quickly in a bookstore while your mind also dismisses it as a dreamer's fantasy. But if you know anything about the author, Muhammad Yunus, you might know that he and his Grameen Bank won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006, not (just) for his writing but for the impact he has had on the lives of poor people in his Bangladesh and in other places in the world, primarily through his concept and implementation of micro lending, micro credit. This is the second of his books that I have read, and it covers some of the same ground as his first, "Banker to the Poor," but it picks up from that book, story and details how Yunus's thinking and actions have progressed. A large part of this book discusses what Yunus terms "social business," his ideas on how we can use the strengths of traditional capitalism with a social agenda. This guy is doing it. If there is such a thing as a 'practical visionary,' then Yunus is one.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Long

    It's hard not to be swept up in Yunus' Pollyanish positivity. He is, after all, the founder of what is arguably the most successful social change organization in recent history. The Grameen family of organizations (which now include textiles, telecommunications and aquaculture, to name just a few) is nearly ubiquitous, and attracting the interest of such massive multi-nationals as Danone Group and Adidas for strategic partnerships. Given this meteoric rise, one can forgive Yunus his It's hard not to be swept up in Yunus' Pollyanish positivity. He is, after all, the founder of what is arguably the most successful social change organization in recent history. The Grameen family of organizations (which now include textiles, telecommunications and aquaculture, to name just a few) is nearly ubiquitous, and attracting the interest of such massive multi-nationals as Danone Group and Adidas for strategic partnerships. Given this meteoric rise, one can forgive Yunus his pie-in-the-sky dreams of eradicating poverty, ignorance, and literally ending world hunger (his bullet pointed wish-list at the end of the book is a bit Disney). If man's reach exceeds his grasp, Muhammad Yunus continues to exceed our imaginations by daring to dream big. He seems to say to the world: "If, at first, you don't succeed. . . dream bigger."

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jeff

    I was incredibly enlightened by this book. I have long been a supporter of those with lesser means - but I learned so much about the groundbreaking work that has occurred in Bangladesh over the past 30+ years to lift millions out of poverty. So many "social businesses" have emerged from his leadership and work, to empower the poor. Professor Yunus is clearly a well-educated and articulate man -- his word choice and powerfully influential arguments really struck me. There are so many good, PROVEN I was incredibly enlightened by this book. I have long been a supporter of those with lesser means - but I learned so much about the groundbreaking work that has occurred in Bangladesh over the past 30+ years to lift millions out of poverty. So many "social businesses" have emerged from his leadership and work, to empower the poor. Professor Yunus is clearly a well-educated and articulate man -- his word choice and powerfully influential arguments really struck me. There are so many good, PROVEN ideas in this book -- it is an inspiration. No wonder he and his Grameen Bank microfinance organization were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006. I listened to the audio book -- a great diversion for my lengthy winter commutes this past few weeks. I've been aware of Goodreads for quite a while, but didn't become a member until finishing this book - it deserved a review!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Chade66

    If you have read "Bank to the Poor" there are parts of this you can skim/skip towards the beginning where he talks about the founding of Grameen Bank. I find his idea of social business (and his definition of it) interesting, and the idea of a wish list for social change interesting too. Sometimes in the day-to-day grind of what you are doing at work, you sometimes lose sight of what the work is supposed to be getting you. I think you lose opportunities that way. Its important to keep your eye If you have read "Bank to the Poor" there are parts of this you can skim/skip towards the beginning where he talks about the founding of Grameen Bank. I find his idea of social business (and his definition of it) interesting, and the idea of a wish list for social change interesting too. Sometimes in the day-to-day grind of what you are doing at work, you sometimes lose sight of what the work is supposed to be getting you. I think you lose opportunities that way. Its important to keep your eye on the target. I don't agree with all his wishes and some seem so far fetched as to be complete fantasies, yet I find that I hope that he's right, I want to believe. And who can agrue with the idea that poverty should only exist in museums as something that we, as a global community, have overcome.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Lexi

    Read this actually a few months ago, but was reminded of it from a tweet this morning. The book is solid. A good idea, well-described, in language a non-economist can understand. Yunus is looking to bridge the innovation and efficiency of for-profit business with the social-improvement mission of the non-profit sector. I say: It's about freaking time!! No, business models can't solve everything (but you can expect Yunus to think so as a Nobel Winning Ecnomist and founder of the Grameen Bank), Read this actually a few months ago, but was reminded of it from a tweet this morning. The book is solid. A good idea, well-described, in language a non-economist can understand. Yunus is looking to bridge the innovation and efficiency of for-profit business with the social-improvement mission of the non-profit sector. I say: It's about freaking time!! No, business models can't solve everything (but you can expect Yunus to think so as a Nobel Winning Ecnomist and founder of the Grameen Bank), but Yunus conceives of a business model which can, in the right context, combine profitability with helping the poor, solving social problems, and changing the world for the better. BTW, he is pulling all this off in more than a dozen companies in Bangladesh and beyond, so it's not all pipe dreams. I highly recommend this book!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Missjgray

    I kinda blew through this one and then called it "done." I was mostly interested in a non-Christian's motivations for helping the poor. This book is mostly about the "how" not the "why" and focuses on Yunus' Nobel-Peace-Prize-winning work with social-business and micro-finance, which is, of course, highly commendable. I did not find a satisfactory answer to the question of why business should be called upon to be socially conscious. From either a Christian standpoint or a secular one. Also, I'm I kinda blew through this one and then called it "done." I was mostly interested in a non-Christian's motivations for helping the poor. This book is mostly about the "how" not the "why" and focuses on Yunus' Nobel-Peace-Prize-winning work with social-business and micro-finance, which is, of course, highly commendable. I did not find a satisfactory answer to the question of why business should be called upon to be socially conscious. From either a Christian standpoint or a secular one. Also, I'm a little hesitant with blending categories of "money making" and "social change" because they are is such strong opposition. But I guess it works. I wonder if this kind of thinking is sustainable beyond the current (highly guilt-manipulated) generation. Christ has to be the answer and the reason for the answer.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

    Had he a time machine, Muhammad Yunus could have prevented the death of over a billion people by counseling Karl Marx on Capitalism's power to truly transform the world, eliminate poverty, and raise people by their own bootstraps out of despair and into self reliance. Yunus's vision, followed completely, would do just that. I believe this gentleman from Bangladesh could be one of the most important figures of the 21st century, whose ideas could have deep impact on even the 22nd century, and Had he a time machine, Muhammad Yunus could have prevented the death of over a billion people by counseling Karl Marx on Capitalism's power to truly transform the world, eliminate poverty, and raise people by their own bootstraps out of despair and into self reliance. Yunus's vision, followed completely, would do just that. I believe this gentleman from Bangladesh could be one of the most important figures of the 21st century, whose ideas could have deep impact on even the 22nd century, and beyond. A touch dry in some places, and visionary almost to a flaw, Yunus details the means by which the "social business" could be used to create entrepreneurial "perpetual motion machines", self-perpetuating means of addressing various social ills. A worthwhile read; I will most certainly keep my ears to the wind as to this brilliant man's efforts.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Margaret

    Excellent book. I saw one less than stellar review and she sounded like a jaded b*tch who doesn't see the potential society has for progress beyond its own selfish means. Even if Yunus' hopes are far reaching, I don't think they are impossible when you see everything he's done. And with the people he helps, they will continue to spread this hope for a world without poverty and one with peace.... at this rate, with the economy tanking, we may all need his expertise one day and be vulnerable Excellent book. I saw one less than stellar review and she sounded like a jaded b*tch who doesn't see the potential society has for progress beyond its own selfish means. Even if Yunus' hopes are far reaching, I don't think they are impossible when you see everything he's done. And with the people he helps, they will continue to spread this hope for a world without poverty and one with peace.... at this rate, with the economy tanking, we may all need his expertise one day and be vulnerable enough to share his same dreams with the same energy. If you have any interest in starting your own company, please read this book first. If you have any interest in society, in creating peace, or just in learning, I would definitely recommend any Yunus book.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Robert

    This book has some really great ideas. He talks about Social Business from the aspect of helping the poor, but I felt it should have been extended into the environment. He does mention the environment, but does not talk as extensive as poverty. I understand that his specialty is poverty not environmental issues, but he obviously is concerned with the earth as a whole and working to make the world better for future generations. Anyone who is concerned with social issues should read this book, This book has some really great ideas. He talks about Social Business from the aspect of helping the poor, but I felt it should have been extended into the environment. He does mention the environment, but does not talk as extensive as poverty. I understand that his specialty is poverty not environmental issues, but he obviously is concerned with the earth as a whole and working to make the world better for future generations. Anyone who is concerned with social issues should read this book, which should be all human beings. At the same time, someone involved in social issues should be thinking about the issues in a different way and come up with ideas very similar to those borught up in this book.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Dan

    Mohammad Yusuf flushes out the idea of something he calls a "social business," which is a business that does not seek profit maximization. Instead it strives to maximize its progress towards a specific set of development goals in a self sustaining way that does not require donations. Grameen Bank, the micro-lending company he founded, is a perfect example. The results speak for themselves, and he and Grameen Bank received a Nobel Peace Prize for their impact on poverty. This is an exciting and Mohammad Yusuf flushes out the idea of something he calls a "social business," which is a business that does not seek profit maximization. Instead it strives to maximize its progress towards a specific set of development goals in a self sustaining way that does not require donations. Grameen Bank, the micro-lending company he founded, is a perfect example. The results speak for themselves, and he and Grameen Bank received a Nobel Peace Prize for their impact on poverty. This is an exciting and thought provoking read. I did not want to put it down until I was finished. If you're into development, you have no excuse for not reading this.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Russ King

    An amazing book, not so much from how it is written but from the sheer strength and innovation of the ideas that the author has used to lift thousands of people out of poverty without using charity. Yunus was told that you can't lend money to the poor as they won't pay it back. He proves that with the right support, the poor are better at handling debt and turning it to profit than the Western world. The ideas in this book blew me away and my life has not been the same since. I ma now determined An amazing book, not so much from how it is written but from the sheer strength and innovation of the ideas that the author has used to lift thousands of people out of poverty without using charity. Yunus was told that you can't lend money to the poor as they won't pay it back. He proves that with the right support, the poor are better at handling debt and turning it to profit than the Western world. The ideas in this book blew me away and my life has not been the same since. I ma now determined to include some form of social enterprise into my life. Read this book and you probably will too.

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