Yunus devotes many pages to defining (or redefining, as the case may be) ‘social business’, a term which was first coined in the Victorian era. To Yunus a ‘social business’ of the 21st century is defined by having a unique mission “to overcome poverty, or one or more problems (such as education, health, technology access, and environment) which threaten people and society.” Yunus also specifically excludes profit maximization for shareholder wealth in ‘social business’, contrary to the primary purpose of a corporation in today’s market economy.
This book is a quick and fun read for those of you interested in business innovation or entrepreneurship. As all his books have been, Building Social Business is distinctly idealist, although less painfully so than Creating a World Without Poverty. While he has spent most of his professional life in academia, it doesn’t show-through in this writing. Every chapter includes a plethora of examples, ideas and even some jokes which engage the reader and make this non-fiction read a fairly easy one on the cranium. We would definitely recommend this one!