Creating a World Without Poverty: How Social Business Can Transform Our Lives: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism Hardcover – 3 Jan 2008
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"(I)n Creating A World Without Poverty, Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus argues convincingly that social business is an achievable way of exploiting capitalism to help the poor. Yunus moves the debate beyond the tired argument that the rich should simply donate to those less privileged, and demonstrates that the free market can in fact be used to the advantage of the less well offThis book is a must-read for policymakers or philanthropists, and its conversational style and straightforward logic also make it appealing to the layperson." --Scotland on Sunday
About the Author
Muhammad Yunus, a native of Bangladesh, was educated at Dhaka University and studied economics at Vanderbilt University, USA. 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.
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Top Customer Reviews
If I could give this book one hundred stars, I would; that would still be too few. Books have the potential to advance and create discussions about ideas, concepts, and practices that can reform everything we do in needed directions. Creating a World Without Poverty is one of the few books I've ever read that fulfills that potential.
Professor Yunus (co-winner with the Grameen Bank of the Nobel Prize for Peace in 2006) has written an extremely thoughtful and thought-provoking work that successfully argues for a new type of organization to serve the unserved among the poor, the social business. A social business seeks to optimize social benefits rather than profits. In defining its purpose, a social business begins by defining a social need that wouldn't otherwise be served. Profits are kept at the minimum level needed to keep the enterprise viable. Ideally, no dividends are paid to owners. The original investors get a return of their capital, and then the organization is purchased by the poor . . . using microcredit from organizations like the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh. The Grameen Bank is a model for such an enterprise, and in the book Professor Yunus describes several other ventures that the Grameen Bank has initiated with partners steeped in expertise related to the needs of the poor.
Professor Yunus describes his experiences in founding the Grameen Bank and the lessons he learned from this work:
1. The poor are very capable of solving problems -- survival needs have honed their skills.
2. Poor people often need very few resources to pull themselves out of poverty.Read more ›
This book is written in an easy to read style and is mostly Yunus' personal manifesto for ending poverty in the world. I suspect if you have read his other book then there will be quite a lot of repetition in this one.
The book seems to be mostly based around four themes.
1. The Grameen Bannk and related companies and their success (mainly) as a tool to empower poor women and allow them and their families to escape poverty in Bangladesh.
2. Some ideas for his models of 'social businesses' no-loss, no-dividend which operate with own stock market, investors guaranteed start up money back but no profit, ideally long term ownership by the poor communities served. He emphasises the limitations of profit maximising companies to meet all the needs of humans in terms of our desire to do good.
3. One example of a social business set up between Grameen and Danone.
4. Various other factors on Yunus' wish list of solving world problems and the requirements for international regulation and consensus as well as local 'social forum' solutions.
There are some interesting ideas and Yunus probably has the energy and vision to see some of them realised. I did not find them as ground breaking and life changing as I kind of expected from other reviews I'd read.
The one element that I found very useful was the 'Sixteen Decisions' that Grameen borrowers have to commit to. These 16 factors are used to measure whether a family is poor or not or has moved out of poverty.Read more ›
You will be surprised what you will learn and it will give you a way of owning a business and still being able to compete against Profit Making Businesses. If only more people would go down the road of the ideas in this book we would be living in a better place right now.
The style of the book is positive and hopeful throughout, even when he describes aspects of the business which have not worked out, or which could have been done better.
For anyone who has read the previous book - "Banker To The Poor" you may be a little disapointed that this book, repeats a lot of the content of that book, but it helps to set the context here. There is also very little detail of how the Grameen model of busines works, so you come away wanting to find out more and buzzing with ideas of how it could be applied in other places.
All in all, a highly recommended read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Reading this book really shows the difference between replacing competition with co-operation and what this man has achieved through determination and selflessness.Published 10 months ago by bashi luxton
Everything was as expected. The book came within the promised time-frame, and the book was in mint condition. So generally just as I could wish for.Published on 26 Oct. 2011 by Wichmand
OK, so his insistence on "I" can be a little wearing; but inspiring stuff on "social business" nonetheless. Read morePublished on 23 Oct. 2011 by Pete Burden
A very interesting and moving account of his work in alleviating poverty principally through microcredit. Read morePublished on 5 Dec. 2010 by The Emperor
This is an inspiring book about overcoming poverty through social business.
If you are interested in learning the work of Muhammad Yunus in Bangladesh, the Grameen Group, how... Read more
Great book with great ideas, heavy reading at times unless your into financial models etc Would make a good study book for socio economicsPublished on 7 Jan. 2009 by R. Herron
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