Research

Business as Unusual exploding the ‘business as usual’ mindset to transform corporations with purpose.

What our
partners say

“Social business is an incredible breath of innovation. We find new ways to produce our product. We look at the company from a society standpoint – inside out and include the idea of social value creation in strategic planning.”

Emmanuel Faber, Former CEO, Danone

“Social business is an incredible breath of innovation. We find new ways to produce our product. We look at the company from a society standpoint – inside out and include the idea of social value creation in strategic planning.”

Emmanuel Faber, Former CEO, Danone

“Social business is an incredible breath of innovation. We find new ways to produce our product. We look at the company from a society standpoint – inside out and include the idea of social value creation in strategic planning.”

Steve Cruz, Former CEO, Slicksites

There is a momentous shift happening right now.

Businesses are under increasing scrutiny from their employees, their customers and governments to help solve the global challenges we face in the world.

Limiting the harm a business causes to our planet and society is no longer enough -  real transformation means creating positive social and environmental value for society.

How does a company transform for purpose?

At Yunus Social Business, we focus on the ‘S’ of the ESG triangle, social businesses that solve pressing human challenges. Our research looks at how companies can transform to purpose-led organisations through practical experiences, case studies and tools.

Through social intrapreneurship, growing social businesses and initiatives from within the company, social procurement, partnering with and integrating social enterprises into their supply chains, or whether change comes from the top-down from C-level and shareholder action, our research lays out actionable pathways for transformation. And for those that are not already convinced of the purpose-mission, we run quantitive experiments within companies to make the case for social intrapreneurship.

We call it business as unusual.

Social intrapreneurship: corporate employees who drive innovation within their organisation for social or climate impact.

How social intrapreneurs can turn companies into a force for good.

/ˈsəʊ.ʃəl ɪntrəprəˈnɜːʃɪp/
A Social Intrapreneur is an entrepreneurial employee who develops a profitable new product, service, or business model that creates value for society and her company.

Social intrapreneurs help their employers meet sustainability commitments and create value for customers and communities in ways that are built to last.

The Benefits of Social Intrapreneurship

These top five benefits demonstrate the value of social intrapreneurship beyond authentically displaying corporate purpose. More than 90% of the initiatives that were aligned with the company's core strategy benefited from C-Level buy-in and placed the initiative as a strategic project. Those initiatives that were launched mostly as a CSR initiative struggled the most to get C-Level attention.

Social Intrapreneurship even has the power to positively change the DNA of the company: 24% of all interviewees already see their initiative as a catalyst toward company transformation into a force for good. And it pays to stay pure: Initiatives that were set up as a Social Business – a financially sustainable business model that focuses on impact first while eliminating any profit motive – enjoyed more than 2x higher likelihood of leading to transformation.

Curiously, it was noted that often the largest hurdles faced by social intrapreneurs came from internal obstacles at their companies, rather than from external challenges: 84% listed internal structure as a challenging factor.

Impoves employee engagement, job satisfaction, employee skills or talent attraction.

Leads to mindset shifts, culture change of even kicks off corporate transformation.

Spurs business innovation.

Reaches new markets or new customers.

Improves corporate brand equity.

Case studies
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The Intrapreneurship-Catalysers Report: A Playbook for Programme Managers

Built on the hard-earned wisdom of global programme managers, this playbook is a quick reference guide for organizations looking to build support structures for social intrapreneurs.

Case studies

Just getting started?

The Quick Check touches on the seven most important areas for social innovation and assesses how ready you and your company are to support social entrepreneurship.

The  Readiness Assessment is a quick way of benchmarking your organisation's capacity for social innovation.

Social procurement: sourcing goods from social businesses as part of the value chain.

The Social Procurement Manual:
a practical guide to integrating social businesses into corporate value chains.

Social Procurement can be both profitable and valuable but companies and social enterprises need support to make the partnerships work. In this report we map the social procurement journey, providing case studies and practical tools for companies that want to start ‘buying social’.

The Benefits of Social Intrapreneurship

These top five benefits demonstrate the value of social intrapreneurship beyond authentically displaying corporate purpose. More than 90% of the initiatives that were aligned with the company's core strategy benefited from C-Level buy-in and placed the initiative as a strategic project. Those initiatives that were launched mostly as a CSR initiative struggled the most to get C-Level attention.

Social Intrapreneurship even has the power to positively change the DNA of the company: 24% of all interviewees already see their initiative as a catalyst toward company transformation into a force for good. And it pays to stay pure: Initiatives that were set up as a Social Business – a financially sustainable business model that focuses on impact first while eliminating any profit motive – enjoyed more than 2x higher likelihood of leading to transformation.

Curiously, it was noted that often the largest hurdles faced by social intrapreneurs came from internal obstacles at their companies, rather than from external challenges: 84% listed internal structure as a challenging factor.

Impoves employee engagement, job satisfaction, employee skills or talent attraction.

Leads to mindset shifts, culture change of even kicks off corporate transformation.

Spurs business innovation.

Reaches new markets or new customers.

Improves corporate brand equity.

Case studies

IKEA - Social Procurement

Paris is a city facing huge inequalities, only exacerbated by the pandemic and the increasing difficulties for youth and marginalised groups to access the job market. IKEA Social Entrepreneurship wanted to provide opportunities for marginalised groups in Paris as part of their last-mile services to customers. Working with Ingka Group (the largest IKEA franchisee), we developed the concept of a Micro Hub, “a social hub” anchored in the community providing last mile delivery and installation.

Follow the journey of social procurement

The Social Procurement Manual shares insights and frameworks to help them better understand the concept of social procurement. We uncover the value of social procurement for corporations and tools to create partnerships with social businesses more efficiently.

Our offering

Introduce social procurement into your value chain

Discover how you can create inclusive value chains by buying from social businesses.

Yunus Social Business & Boston Consulting Group on Social Procurement

A $500 Billion Market Opportunity for Real Impact at Scale

Under the patronage of SAP and the World Economic Forum's Global Alliance for Social Entrepreneurs, Yunus Social Business and Boston Consulting Group conducted research into the market size and opportunity for social procurement. We find that a staggering $500 billion could become available to social businesses if companies worked with them at scale. Download the report to find out more about the opportunities, challenges and growing ecosystem on social procurement.

Toolkit

Just getting started?

The Quick Check touches on the seven most important areas for social innovation and assesses how ready you and your company are to support social entrepreneurship.

The  Readiness Assessment is a quick way of benchmarking your organisation's capacity for social innovation.

Measuring the benefits: How social intrapreneurship transforms and benefits businesses.  

Quantitative Research on the Effects of Social Intrapreneurship.

More and more corporate leaders are seeking ways to amplify their corporate purpose and transform their companies into a force for good. But how does this purpose agenda play out from the top down? We are speaking to CEOs and shareholders in a series of qualitative interviews to lift the lid on their experiences.

Making the case

Building on the qualitative interviews with over 50 multinationals, ‘Making the Case’ undertook practical experiments or studies as empirical research with three multinational companies: a major Global Retailer, MAN Truck & Bus and Covestro. This work resulted in over 1,300 data points. By linking the companies' social intrapreneurship activities to key performance metrics, ‘Making The Case’ starts to build the business case for Social Intrapreneurship.

The results of our quantitative research sought to evidence the benefits identified by the Social Intrapreneurs in the first report. In order to drive change, Intrapreneurs need solid, convincing facts on how their initiatives could benefit the overall performance of the company — to ‘Make The Case’.

This is just the beginning

With this research, we invite companies and Social Intrapreneurs to look inside their own companies and ‘Make The Case’ for SI themselves. We have started with three companies who wanted to go into more depth to prove the case for social intrapreneurship. But we will go further to develop a larger dataset supporting the business case for social intrapreneurship.

Ready To Prove It In More Depth For Your Own Company?
We’ve built a practical toolkit to help you run your own assessments and experiments. Our research methodology is open source - the tools are in your hands.

Study designs
Toolkit

Just getting started?

The Quick Check touches on the seven most important areas for social innovation and assesses how ready you and your company are to support social entrepreneurship.

The  Readiness Assessment is a quick way of benchmarking your organisation's capacity for social innovation.

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