B Leader Professor Muhammad Yunus explains in this interview with the World Economic Forum how he has used social business—corporations set up to use private-sector, profit-generating means—to solve environmental and social problems. The social business model is radically different from the non-profit model, Professor Yunus explains: rather than relying on philanthropy, social businesses generate a profit which is simply folded back into operations rather than distributed as a dividend to shareholders.
By focusing solely on areas where a human need exists, social businesses also differ from many standard, for-profit businesses. That has not prevented Professor Yunus from partnering with them on social business ventures, however, developing an affordable, nutritive yogurt with partner Danone, and creating a one-euro pair of shoes with Adidas, both intended for sale in areas of the world lacking in even basic resources.
Full interview available here.