about social business

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. It 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.


seven principles of social business

  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. Gender sensitive and environmentally conscious.*
  6. Workforce gets market wage with better working conditions.
  7. ...do it with joy.

*The 5th principle was updated after the GSBS 2014 when the issue of women empowerment was thoroughly discussed.

For more information, please visit the following websites: 

 YC Logo GCL Logo   Yunus Social Business Logo  SBD Logo


... Or pick up a copy of one of Professor Yunus' books on the topic!

Yunus (2003): Banker to the Poor: Micro-Lending and the Battle Against World Poverty

Yunus (2008): Creating a World without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism

Yunus (2010): Building Social Business: The New Kind of Capitalism that Serves Humanity's Most Pressing Needs


November 11th, 2015

The Global Social Business Summit 2015 - in Berlin, Germany - has come to a bittersweet end. We thank all those who supported us throughout the process; all those who participated in the event; and all those who helped to spread the YY Spirit of the Social Business Movement in the days leading up to - and during - the event.

We can't wait to see all of you in China for the Global Social Business Summit 2016.

Find a selection of photos from the three days of the #GSBS2015 here.



6 Years of GSBS


Grameen Creative Lab YouTube Channel


On our website you can find the latest version of the agenda, session topics & speakers for the Global Social Business Summit 2015, The program is preliminary and subject to change. Stay tuned for the next updates!


Getting Around

The main venue for the Global Social Business Summit 2015 is the Tempelhof Airport in Berlin, Germany.