Monthly Archives

October 2015

Addressing global goals through social business ventures

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A charity dollar has only one life. A social business dollar can be invested over and over again,” Professor Muhammad Yunus.

The 2015 Global Social Business Summit will provide an ideal platform for practitioners, partners and supporters of the social business landscape to collaborate and learn from each other to leverage best practice approach and tools to enable social business ventures to continue addressing key issues of clean water, education, health, climate change and unemployment. In the lead up to this global event, here are some social businesses who are providing employment opportunities and impacting thousands of lives.

What is a social business?

A social business is a financially sustainable business created to solve a social problem through sound business practices. Although original investments may be recouped, all potential profits are reinvested to increase the organisation’s social impact.

Recently the world’s leaders adopted the United Nations 17 ambitious global goals for sustainable development, which if carried out will eradicate poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and combat climate change.

Each global goal, especially goal’s #1 no poverty and #2 no hunger are being addressed by some of our social business entrepreneurs in developing economies in Eastern Europe, Africa, and Central and South America.

For example, in northern Uganda, the LRA civil war displaced 1.5 million people who now face a lack of income, low crop yields and high youth unemployment. Social businesses like Aryodi provide displaced small-holder farmers with a means of earning from producing high quality honey.

In Colombia, Bive provides low cost high quality healthcare to over 15,000 patients across the Caldas region, 90% of whom are from low and middle income families.

Since Prof. Muhammad Yunus practiced the concept of social business in Bangladesh over 30 years ago, we have started to see this applied in developing economies around the world. As the world becomes more connected, we are working hard to develop tools and financial instruments that will help social businesses in developing economies to access commercial capital without mission adrift.

How can the social economy leverage commercial capital without mission adrift?

Across the world, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) lack access to finance. With 50 to 250 employees, SMEs are too large for micro-financing and too small for commercial banks. This missing middle is estimated to range between $2.1 trillion and $2.5 trillion in developing countries alone. One of the key innovative financing instrument that we have committed to piloting in partnership with the Rockerfeller Foundation is the Social Success Note (SSN).

The SSN is a loan linked to a pay-for-performance payment. As with other pay-for-performance contracts such as social impact bonds, it involves three parties: a social enterprise or SME, an investor and an outcome payer/donor. The SSN is attractive because it aligns the incentives of the different actors – it’s a win, win, win for all parties involved. Read more about the SSN here.

Innovative tools like the SSN and our ability to continuously reach, build and support game-changing social business entrepreneurs in developing economies could not be realized with the on-going support of our many partner organisations, supporters and donors.

Organisations like The Boston Consulting Group, who have recently signed a partnership agreement enabling us to become their sixth Global Social Impact Partner, will help us further advance social business and we are excited to work with BCG.

For more information, contact us at


Yunus Social Business – Global Initiatives are offering discounted tickets to the 2015 Global Social Business Summit in Berlin, from 4th to 7th November 2015. For discounted tickets – use our promotional code: Xg72oaQB.

2015 Global Social Business Summit

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Celebrating 25 years of German reunification — Let’s get together!

Get 25% off all GSBS tickets purchased between 3rd and 10th October 2015.

On 3rd October 2015, Germany celebrated 25 years since East and West Germany successfully reunited.
As a social business based in Germany, and to mark the occasion, we are offering 25% off all Global Social Business Summit tickets purchased this week, 3rd to 10th October 2015.

Follow these 3 quick steps to get your discounted tickets:

  1. Click here to enter your First Name, Last Name, Email Address and simply click ‘I forgot or don’t have a password’.
    A password will then be emailed to you.
  2. Use your password to complete the registration process.
  3. Enter this promotion code, h2xNJauQ, to obtain your discount.

For technical and customer service enquiries, email Grameen Creative Lab at and a member of their team will gladly assist.

Following Prof. Yunus’ meeting with the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon at the UN General Assembly in New York last month, this year’s Global Social Business Summit will underline how social businesses can address each of the 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development and contribute to alleviating poverty. The Global Goals are a set of ambitious, but achievable milestones that can change the world for the better for everyone. The Gobal Goals if carried out will eradicate poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and combat climate chang.

At this year’s summit, you will hear from 50 international guest speakers who come from a diverse range of backgrounds: from corporate, philanthropic and social business leaders to entrenpreneurs, scientists and visionary leaders. They will discuss topics such as: how social businesses can address the Global Goals for Sustainable Development; the 3 Zero’s (Zero Poverty, Zero Unemployment, Zero Carbon Emission); social business ecosystem – fostering partnerships to create social impact and more.

Catch up on the latest trends in social business in one of 30 available workshops. Learn more about innovative financing instruments for social businesses, or how to keep impact measurement lean and effective. Click here to find out more about the program and topics at this year’s summit. We look forward to seeing you in Berlin!


Yunus Social Business – Global Initiatives committed to pilot the Social Success Note

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Social Success Note to Leverage Social Good Financing

Commitment by Yunus Social Business – Global Initiatives

In 2015, Yunus Social Business committed to pilot the Social Success Note (SSN). Developed in partnership with The Rockefeller Foundation, the SSN is an innovative, results-based financing instrument that addresses the investment gap for impact-oriented SMEs and social businesses. The note will achieve this by pricing social outcomes and transferring the value of these social outcomes in the form of an additional return from an outcome payer (philanthropic entity) to a mainstream investor, if and only if the social business investment delivers those social outcomes. Learnings from the pilot will be shared with the broader impact community in the hopes of catalyzing a SSN ecosystem that would allow mainstream capital to adequately fund social businesses relative to what traditional internal rate of return (IRR) investment hurdle rates would allow.

Yunus Social Business and The Rockefeller Foundation commit to create the first demonstrable pilot of the SSN, with the aim of ultimately catalyzing the creation of a SSN ecosystem.

Yunus Social Business accelerates and finances social businesses across seven countries, enabling entrepreneurs to solve social problems in a financially self-sustainable way. Over the period of the commitment, it will leverage its network to identify the most appropriate partners (social business, outcome payer, and investor) for the pilot. Yunus Social Business will also structure and implement the transaction. Learnings from the pilot will be shared with the broader impact community to catalyze a SSN ecosystem that would allow mainstream capital to adequately fund social businesses in comparison to what traditional internal rate of return (IRR) investment hurdle rates would allow.

Apart from funding this effort, The Rockefeller Foundation will leverage its expertise (both technical and legal) and influence to help realize the proof-of-concept and scaling of this innovative financing solution. The Rockefeller Foundation will also actively explore the possibility of being an outcome payer in the first pilot, as well as pathways for scaling the SSN more broadly through institutional structures.

– See more at:

YSB partners with BCG to advance social business

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Professor Muhammad Yunus and His Social Business Network Will Become BCG’s Sixth Global Social Impact Partner

NEW YORK, NY, Oct 01, 2015 (Marketwired via COMTEX) — The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) today announced its newest global social impact partner: Professor Muhammad Yunus and his social business network, including Yunus Social Business – Global Initiatives (YSB), which accelerates and finances social businesses in emerging economies. As with its five other global social impact partners — the World Food Programme, Save the Children International, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, WWF, and Teach For All — BCG will dedicate staff and undertake a series of projects to tackle the highest-priority issues in Professor Yunus’s network of organizations each year.

A social business is a financially sustainable organization created to solve a social problem through sound business practices. Although original investments may be recouped, all potential profits are reinvested to increase the organization’s social impact.

“A charity dollar has only one life. A social business dollar can be invested over and over again,” explains Professor Yunus. “I am thrilled by this partnership with BCG, as the firm is uniquely positioned to help advance our social business initiatives.”
“We are honored to support Professor Yunus and his network of organizations,” says Wendy Woods, a BCG senior partner and the global leader of the firm’s Social Impact practice. “On top of their nearly limitless potential for direct and measurable social impact, social businesses are powerful vehicles for corporate social engagement, allowing companies to use their skills, expertise, and business networks to build self-sustaining solutions that often become sources of innovation and competitive advantage.”

Because social businesses do not aim to increase shareholder value or pay dividends, they are free to focus on the neediest, most underserved segments of the world’s populations — those that traditionally fall outside the focus of profit-driven businesses. And because they price their products and services in a way that generates enough revenue to be self-sustaining in the long term, these organizations do not depend on donations or other forms of external financial support to fulfill their mission.

As corporations aspire to use their business expertise to address the challenges faced by society, social businesses present a way to harness the private sector’s best practices, skills, and knowledge, all of which are needed to deliver greater value and increase operational efficiency. Within this context, BCG is currently engaged in facilitating discussions between Professor Yunus and multinational companies around the world, helping those organizations explore opportunities to work with YSB and develop social businesses tailored to their value chains.

Professor Yunus was awarded the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize for founding the Grameen Bank and pioneering the concepts of microfinance and microcredit. Since then, Professor Yunus has focused on spreading and implementing the concept of social business. He initiated multiple social businesses in Bangladesh and across the globe, many of them in cooperation with multinational corporate partners.

More information about social business and its private-sector relevance can be found in The Power of Social Business, a report BCG coauthored with Professor Yunus.

BCG and YSB welcome the opportunity to further discuss their efforts. To arrange an interview, please contact David Fondiller at +1 212 446 3257 or

About The Boston Consulting Group The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is a global management consulting firm and the world’s leading advisor on business strategy. We partner with clients from the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors in all regions to identify their highest-value opportunities, address their most critical challenges, and transform their enterprises. Our customized approach combines deep insight into the dynamics of companies and markets with close collaboration at all levels of the client organization. This ensures that our clients achieve sustainable competitive advantage, build more capable organizations, and secure lasting results. Founded in 1963, BCG is a private company with 82 offices in 46 countries. For more information, please visit

About features the latest thinking from BCG experts as well as from CEOs, academics, and other leaders. It covers issues at the top of senior management’s agenda. It also provides unprecedented access to BCG’s extensive archive of thought leadership stretching back 50 years to the days of Bruce Henderson, the firm’s founder and one of the architects of modern management consulting. All of our content — including videos, podcasts, commentaries, and reports — can be accessed by PC, mobile, iPad, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

About Yunus Social Business Cofounded by Professor Muhammad Yunus, Yunus Social Business (YSB) grows entrepreneurs in emerging economies to solve problems of poverty with business principles. YSB aims to promote livelihoods and development with a focus on vulnerable and underserved communities by scaling up market-oriented and self-sustaining businesses designed to address pressing social or environmental problems. Since its inception in 2011, YSB has supported over 500 entrepreneurs and financed more than 30 social businesses that have impacted over 400,000 lives. It is active in the Balkans, Brazil, Colombia, Haiti, India, Tunisia and Uganda where local teams source, coach and mentor entrepreneurs through tailored accelerator programs. YSB subsequently finances the most promising social businesses and also provides long term support to maximize impact. For more information, please visit

The Boston Consulting Group
David Fondiller
Director of Public Relations and Communications

Tel +1 212 446 3257
Fax +1 212 446 2801

SOURCE: The Boston Consulting Group

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