With 20 fully operational social businesses, more than 200 entrepreneurs and 800 jobs across 7 countries, Social business and Yunus Social Business (YSB) have grown in significance but also in maturity. Social Businesses are those that solve a social or environmental problem using what would be seen as a traditional business practice (rather than a not-for-profit). They at least break-even and any profits from the business are reinvested into expanding the solutions. Investors may see some return, but value solving the issue for society more highly than monetary return.
The concept of social business, came from Professor Yunus’ successful experiences and lessons from Bangladesh, and has proven to provide long-term, sustainable solutions to development. YSB’s ‘Incubate and Finance’ methodology has begun to create tangible social impact and they aim to scale further enabling more and more entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into reality and impact many more people—with a bold goal of annually financing 4-6 social businesses in each of their 7 operating countries.
YSB runs its operations with the discipline of an investment fund, and expects social businesses to operate as market-based private-sector companies. “We do not donate to the social business we work with; we instead have an ‘Incubate and Finance’ model that that we believe maximizes the long-term impact of philanthropic capital.”
You can read more about their work in their report: The Power of Social Business.