Liam Black, one of the social success of England talks to Muhammad Yunus on difficulties and prospect of social business, the conversation published in Social Enterprise :

Professor Muhammed Yunus has made his name as one of the most successful and innovative social entrepreneurs in the world. In 2006, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for setting up the Grameen Bank, which has given small loans to thousands of people in Bangladesh, helping them to start up their own businesses and lift themselves out of poverty. Now, he is transforming the world of big business by joining forces with multi-national dairy firm, Danone, and water services company, Veolia, to bring nutritional yoghurt and drinking water to the masses. Here, he talks to one of England’s own social success, Liam Black, about the future of social business, the battle with fat cats and what he would do with a magic wand.

Liam Black

I’m a social entrepreneur and have been running a busy restaurant chain called Fifteen, which was set up by one of our top chefs, Jamie Oliver. We take on young homeless people and those coming out of prison and turn them into chefs. We invest in their business ideas when they leave us. Before that, I ran a charity called the Furniture Resource Centre in Liverpool, which we turned into a social business, so I knew all about you. We grew from a small, very traditional charity, but moved into selling products and services to enable poor people to furnish their homes. I have just given up the Fifteen role and set up a business which banks on the same idea as you. People say they love the social business idea, but really it’s crap, isn’t it? Capitalism’s not going to change. Danone could afford to do it. There are people out there who believe in it though. The challenge you have is how to turn people onto it. I believe in it. Read the rest of this entry »

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Reasononline that is for free minds and free markets describes a ‘Reason debate’ featuring Milton Friedman, Whole Foods’ John Mackey, and Cypress Semiconductor’s T.J. Rodgers:

Thirty-five years ago, Milton Friedman wrote a famous article for The New York Times Magazine whose title aptly summed up its main point: “The Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits.” The future Nobel laureate in economics had no patience for capitalists who claimed that “business is not concerned ‘merely’ with profit but also with promoting desirable ‘social’ ends; that business has a ‘social conscience’ and takes seriously its responsibilities for providing em�ployment, eliminating discrimination, avoid�ing pollution and whatever else may be the catchwords of the contemporary crop of re�formers.” Read the rest of this entry »

Christy Hardin Smith compiled a live conversation with the author on ‘Creating a world without poverty’ in FDL Book Saloon:

[Please join me in welcoming Muhammad Yunus, founder of the Grameen Bank and winner of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize. Please stay on topic on the comments and be polite. Off-topic conversations should be taken to the prior thread. Thank you! — CHS]

A child does not select the family into which he or she is born. Some are born into families of comfort, some to great wealth, but some to families who struggle every single day with poverty. The child doesn’t ask for this as a start in life — to be so far behind where so many others have begun. And each time we turn away from this, thinking that it isn’t our problem or that it is just the way things are, we potentially sentence that child to an endless cycle of poverty for all the generations that follow. Read the rest of this entry »