What is social business?

Muhammad Yunus: There is only one kind of business in the world that we all know about, because in economic theory, the way business is presented, business means business to make money. Profit maximization is the mission of the business, so you continue to focus on that. So anybody who comes into business, that’s what he or she does. And to me it is kind of a very narrow interpretation of a human being. I see that as human beings as a money making machine; as a kind of robot-like performance that you . . . the only thing you do is to maximize money; not that you . . . you have no other thoughts. But in real life a human being is much bigger than that. You want to make money. You want to do good to people. You want to make a difference in the world. You want to solve the problems that you see around yourself. But those things are not included in the business world. So I’m saying that in order to justify the totality of the human being, you need to create one more kind of business besides the existing type of business of making money. The other type . . . The second type of business would be business to do good to people without any idea of having benefit for yourself. The first type of business – profit maximizing business – that business is all about you. You want to make money and everything has to come to you. You are the center of everything – all your activity in the business. The second type of business – the social business – is business where you don’t feature at all. Everything is about others. Everything is to help somebody other than yourself. So these are the two types of business, and people have all these elements into yourself . . . into himself. The human being is a multidimensional being. It’s not a single dimensional being, like make money and that’s the only thing you do. But multidimensional aspect can be accommodated by creating that type of business, the social business. And it’s a non-loss, non-dividend company with a social objective. So that’s a case I’m presenting – that this is what is missing in the political framework of capitalism. So that is why we have created so much of a problem around us, because these issues about environment, about poverty, about diseases, about healthcare, about nutrition – all these are ignored because the type of business we are involved with do not pay attention to that. By its very nature, by its very definition it doesn’t pay attention. So we need to have another type of business which will address these issues.

 

 

 

There one kind of business in the world that means business to make money. The second type is to do good to people without any idea of having benefit for yourself.

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