YSB launches landmark research into Social 'Intra'preneurship at The World Economic Forum

YSB launches landmark research into Social 'Intra'preneurship at The World Economic Forum

January 22, 2020


Released at the World Economic Forum in Davos, our global study interviewed 50+ executives and social intrapreneurs (SIs) from almost 50 blue-chip multinationals, including IKEA, Morgan Stanley, BASF, Allianz, Renault, and SAP .


Today, at the World Economic Forum Yunus Social Business (YSB) released a global research study on social intrapreneurship (SI). The study was conducted by a consortium, led by YSB, along with partners Porticus, the World Economic Forum’s Schwab Foundation, and INSEAD’s Hoffmann Institute for Business and Society. More than 50 globally based executives and social intrapreneurs at multinational giants such as IKEA, Morgan Stanley, BASF, Renault, Novartis, Allianz, and SAP, were interviewed during the nine-month study.

Business as Unusual: How Social Intrapreneurs Can Turn Companies into a Force for Good” found that, while addressing important societal problems, SI also internally motivates employees and improves employee skill-sets (77%), increases business innovation (50%), and acts as a catalyst for positive corporate transformation (61%).

"The private sector needs to do more if the planet is to have any chance of achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals by 2030,” said Saskia Bruysten, our CEO and Co-Founder. “Ten years ago, CEOs had not yet grasped the role businesses have to play in the existential crisis our world is facing. Fortunately, now most of them do, and our hope is that business leaders can use our report to move from announcements to concrete action. Our report’s SI playbook will give them the hands-on tools they need to tackle the world’s most challenging problems through social intrapreneurship, while leveraging their own core business.”

The forensic work conducted in identifying and finding social intrapreneurs yielded an ecosystem of nearly 200 separate practitioners.

Additional key findings and takeaways from the study:

  • SI initiatives improve employee engagement, job satisfaction, employee skills, and talent attraction (77%). SI can be utilized as an HR secret weapon. In a highly competitive employment environment, attracting and retaining top-level talent, particularly the purpose-driven millennial demographic, is a high priority for companies.
  • For respondents who had C-Level buy-in at any stage, 76% described it as a key success driver for their SI initiative. C-Level executives and key decision-makers need to be aware of the most pressing social and environmental issues affecting their value chain.
  • Strategic alignment: 90% of the initiatives that had C-level buy in aligned with the core business of the company. The initiatives that struggled the most to get C-Level attention were the ones that were launched mostly as innovative CSR initiatives.
  • Measuring and evaluating the impact generated by SI initiatives is vital to fully assess the benefits to the company and society.
  • The power of purpose: Successful social intrapreneurs start with intrinsic motivation — 59% of intrapreneurs interviewed reported that they were inspired by their company’s explicit statement of purpose and values.

“The 50th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum is focusing on stakeholder capitalism and how it can contribute to a more cohesive and sustainable world,” stated Francois Bonnici, CEO, Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship. “For businesses to fully embody this, they need to use their capabilities and resources in cooperation with governments and civil society to address the key issues of this decade. This research brings hard evidence to show how it can be done, and the benefits to society and to the companies, and supports our own efforts as the Schwab Foundation in recognising Corporate Social Intrapreneurs as a new breed of leadership, bringing them as peers to CEOs and government leaders in Davos.”

“One of our most surprising findings was that the biggest obstacle to implementing a social initiative is internal hurdles,” said Bruysten, noting that 84% of interviewees reported internal obstacles were more challenging than external ones. “A study participant summed internal obstacles up best by calling them the ‘corporate immune system that attacks anything that doesn’t look like profit maximization’. That means, for example, that social intrapreneurs might have a tougher time getting internal buy-in and necessary resources than they would delivering medication or clean drinking water to rural Africa. CEOs who don’t take advantage of SIs are leaving massive opportunities on the table.”

“Business as Unusual: How Social Intrapreneurs Can Turn Companies into a Force for Good,” “The Social Intrapreneurs’ Playbook,” and 16 case studies from business leaders (such as Novartis, SAP, Morgan Stanley, and Total) are also available today for download here www.yunussb.com/business-as-unusual.

Previous post

There is no previous post

Next Post

There is no next post

YSB presents the Social Success Note in partnership with The Rockefeller Foundation

Prof. Yunus visits Haiti Oct. 12-15

YSB 10 Years Celebration: Here's What Happened!

10 Years Of Social Business: Anniversary Report

Yunus Social Business Turns 10 Years Old!

6 Female Founders Changing the World with Social Business.

We are delighted to share the Yunus Social Business 2018 Impact Report.

We've been featured in the Hauck & Aufhäuser Magazine (German)

The Need of the Hour Amid COVID-19

Join Yunus Social Business on the Global Climate Strike this Friday!

Why Now? Is the Social Business Movement Reaching A Tipping Point?

Ist „#Social“ das neue „#Digital“? Unsere Gründerin Saskia Bruysten schreibt in Capital Magazin

We are delighted to share the Yunus Social Business 2018 Impact Report.

What are the Yunus Social Business team listening to? We list our favourite podcasts.

Remote Work is Here to Stay

It goes without saying, we are living through unprecedented times.

Corona Pandemic: Time Is Running Out Fast, A Letter From Prof. Muhammad Yunus

Thinking Ahead: Securitization Structure Helps to Democratise Technical and Medical Education in Bra

Yunus Social Business Co-Initiates New Alliance With World Economic Forum to Help Social Entrepreneu

“Going Back to That World Is Equal to Committing Suicide.” - Professor Muhammad Yunus on the Opportu

Amidst the COVID-19 Crisis, MBA Students Go Online to Support Our Social Businesses in India

“I Was Truly Blown Away When I Heard the News” - Yunus Social Business Has Distributed 650k USD to H

The Quick Social Business Christmas Gift Guide

Read Our Latest Impact Report

The Life-Savers Now Need Saving

COVID Response Alliance for Social Entrepreneurs, Initiated by YSB and WEF’s Schwab Foundation

Building The COVID-19 Response Alliance for Social Entrepreneurs

Fuelling social-business entrepreneurship in Kenya and beyond

YSB Launches Coursera Courses: Education For A World of Three Zeroes

Yunus Social Business and the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship partnership

Your mission is bigger than your job.

Living Up To Our Mission: Our 2020 Annual Report

Yunus Social Business Kenya Launches Investment Readiness Programme 20/21

This is for growth-stage businesses that seek to solve a social problem. We are looking for businesses that want to level up and become ready for investment. Social Businesses that seek to apply to the programme should be generating revenues of around US$250,000.

It's Giving Tuesday! Give What You Can Today.

Have you heard of Giving Tuesday before? It is a movement to create an international day of charitable giving at the beginning of the Christmas and holiday season. Today we are encouraging you to spare what you can to create a better world - for the future of all of us.

Our first investment for the Kenyan Fund: BURN Manufacturing!

Neben der Digitalisierung müssen sich Unternehmen der „social disruption“ stellen. Unsere Gründerin Saskia Bruysten ist überzeugt: Wer einen positiven Beitrag zur Gesellschaft nicht bald als Teil seines Kerngeschäfts versteht, ist bald weg vom Fenster.

Take Part In Our Social Intrapreneurship Survey

Are you a social intrapreneur? Do you transform the way companies think about business? At Yunus Social Business we want to better understand the key challenges and success factors social intrapreneurs are facing. Our work maps out the emerging sector of intrapreneurship in collaboration with leading academic institutions and practitioners.

Accelerating Female Entrepreneurship in Brazil: Launching AMEI in São Paulo.

According to a survey by the Brazilian Federal Government, 3 out of 4 households are headed financially by a woman and 41% of them own their own business. Female entrepreneurship has become an important tool for social transformation and has directly contributed to the growth of Brazil’s economy.

Social innovation (in a crisis)

What is it like to work as a venture builder at Yunus Social Business? We spoke to Lorelei Logel-Demoulin about her work on a project in collaboration with IKEA Social Entrepreneurship and the Ingka Group. She discussed her experiences and challenges building an ambitious social innovation project during a global pandemic.

Cookie Consent

We use cookies to provide necessary website functionality, improve your experience and analyze our traffic. By using our website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and our cookies usage.