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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