September 21, 2013, 06:00

Over the past years, Professor Muhammad Yunus has taken the experience and expertise gained from the success of Grameen Bank, to introduce a new business model – Social Business. A social business is a non-dividend company created to solve a social problem. Like an NGO, it has a social mission and like a firm it generates its own revenues to cover costs. Investors may recoup their investment. All profits are reinvested for growth and innovation, or to seed new social business ventures. The Global Social Business Summit is the worldwide leading forum for social business to spread awareness of social business and to foster discussions and collaborations for new social business ventures.


With the idea of social business, Prof. Muhammad Yunus has introduced a new dimension for capitalism: a business model that does not strive to maximize profits but rather to serve humanity’s most pressing needs.

A social business aims at solving social problems with products and services at affordable prices, or giving the poor and marginalized people ownership in a business and therefore allows them to share in its profits.

A social business pays back only its original investment and reinvests its profits in innovations or further growth that advance its social goals. Although the social business is pioneering in its aims, it is traditional in its management. Its workforce is professional and paid according to market wages.

In every sense the social business is sustainable: in its direct environmental impact, its impact down the value chain, and critically, in its financial independence.

This is a key difference between social business and charity. Once its initial investment is repaid, the social business aims to be financially self-sustaining, giving it the independence and security to focus its efforts on the long-term improvement of the lives of the disadvantaged.


Social business follows 7 principles, which serve as its defining elements:

  1. Business objective will be to overcome poverty, or one or more problems (such as education, health, technology access, and environment) which threaten people and society; not profit maximization.
  2. Financial and economic sustainability.
  3. Investors get back their investment amount only. No dividend is given beyond investment money.
  4. When investment amount is paid back, company profit stays with the company for expansion and improvement.
  5. Environmentally conscious.
  6. Workforce gets market wage with better working conditions.
  7. ...do it with joy.



The current economic and financial crisis makes it very clear that the system that we have is

not sustainable, and thus it is the right time for us to change the ways we do business and build them in a new way. If you are interested to learn more about social business and connect with practitioners and experts in the field, the Global Social Business Summit will be the place to be for you.

The Global Social Business Summit is the worldwide leading forum for social business, non-loss, non-dividend companies with a social goal. It serves to spread awareness of social business, foster discussion and collaboration between practitioners and stakeholders, as well as present and conceive best practices.

The annual event is organized by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus and his Creative Advisor Hans Reitz, which gathers experts from private sectors, civil society, governments and academia over a few days of meetings, forums and workshops.

The Global Social Business Summit is a platform where we can create our own space of inspiration and determination, create new value in the face of generational and structural shifts and leverage far-reaching advances in science and technology for our communities.

We are looking forward to meet and connect with you at the Global Social Business Summit 2013, which will be held from 07 – 09 November 2013 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.