Tuesday, February 19, 2008

social business happenings of february

paris feb 18 Grameen Credit Agricole opens with 50 million euros for microcredit http://www.grameen-credit-agricole.org/en/index.html

earlier this month Grameen America opened its bank for the poor - out of Queens


whilst being interviewed at The Guardian newspaper in London, Yunus confirmed that The Guardian qualified as a social business!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Timeless Top Links:
please comment on what google alerts you find most timely -eg http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&um=1&tab=wn&q=capitalism+yunus&btnG=Search+News

or http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&um=1&tab=wn&q=capitalism+%2Byunus+OR+gates&btnG=Search+News

please help develop section on the book that changed the world

From alert on yunus capitalism http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&um=1&tab=wn&q=capitalism+yunus&btnG=Search+News

Bill Gates’ Softer CapitalismBusinessWeek - 7 hours agoThat’s the capitalism Gates used to laud, and it’s improving the quality of life from Belgrade to Bangalore. It’s the kind of economic revolution that ...Bill Gates' Plan to Better the World Motley FoolANOTHER VOICE Mr. Gates' capitalism Houston ChronicleCommentary: For and against Gate's 'creative capitalism' ZDNet.com.auDaytona Beach News-Journal - New York Timesall 17 news articles »

Lessons from Davos: Gates' Creative Capitalism can also Work at Home in the U.S.
Posted January 28, 2008 10:27 AM (EST)
Read More: Bill Gates, Capitalism, Creative Capitalism, Davos, Davos 2008, Globalization, Grameen Bank, Hurricane Katrina, Katrina, Microcredit, Mohammed Yunus, Poverty, Social Business, Breaking Business News

Over twenty years ago, when a little known governor in Arkansas, Bill Clinton, and his wife, heard about a Bangladeshi economics professor turned banker-to-the-poor, they wanted to know more. How did these small loans to help build local businesses work? Why were they loaning mostly to women? And could it work in parts of the impoverished South?
Comment HuffIt -->
And wasn't it amazing that a governor from Arkansas and his wife could actually imagine that someone from one of the poorest countries halfway around the world might actually have an answer that would work in the United States? The fact is that where "Creative Capitalism" or Social Business, as Clinton's friend, Muhammad Yunus, the Bangladeshi professor he nominated for the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize, calls it, is also needed here in the United States.
Flash forward to today and people like Bill Gates are talking about "Creative Capitalism," the good that companies can do by helping create sustainable businesses which do good for communities around the world. Brad Pitt, who has dedicated himself to helping the people of New Orleans devastated by Katrina, and many others want to meet with Nobel Peace prize winner, Muhammad Yunus. CEOs of corporations are slowly but surely "getting it" and invite him into their board rooms. Governments, finance ministers, billionaires, women's groups, the list goes on -- are all becoming part of this snowball effect. They are interested in creating sustainable "hybrids," giving based on a business model, which has as its aim not making money off of the poor, but building the kinds of businesses which can provide goods and services for the poor, including health care, communications, etc. while using a "creative capitalist" structure.

New york times jan 29 http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/01/29/many-are-already-at-work-on-fulfilling-gatess-vision/?ref=technology
Many Are Already at Work on Fulfilling Gates’s Vision
By John Markoff
Bill Gates’s bold Davos challenge to the world’s capitalists last week should have come with equally bold footnotes.
“There are billions of people who need the great inventions of the computer age,” he asserted. “Breakthroughs change lives only where people can afford to buy them.”
Conspicuously missing from the appeal, which asserted that human nature is not just driven by greed but also by concern for our fellow beings, was any reference to the work and thinking of the Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus.
The microfinance innovator, who is known as the “banker for the poor,” recently wrote a book, “Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism,” that foreshadows Mr. Gates’s newfound social philosophy.
Last week Mr. Gates called on the executives of the largest corporations to add social entrepreneurship to their agenda, a leopard-spot-altering exercise at best. However, in challenging his compatriots, one of the experiments he overlooked was Mr. Yunus’s stunning success at Grameen Phone in Bangladesh, an effort he has pioneered during the past decade in partnership with Telenor, a Norwegian wireless carrier.
Intended as an experiment to extend wireless communications networks to the world’s poorest people, the program has become a remarkable success on multiple levels. Not only did it create a class of “phone ladies” who brought wealth into village communities, it has grown quickly enough and been profitable enough that Mr. Yunus said this week in Davos that Telenor had decided to break its original promise to his organization and refused to turn over control to allow the program to be run on a not-for-profit basis.
The challenge now facing the firm is to replicate its success as a wireless voice provider as a wireless Internet company. This week in Davos, Mr. Yunus said that that transformation was well under way.
The deeper implication of that shift would be an advance from a communications to a computing revolution. As voice networks have paved the way into the farthest reaches of the emerging world, it is likely that they will quickly be followed by the Internet and the World Wide Web. That in turn could become a great leveler, bringing markets, electronic commerce and health care networks to the world’s poorest.
With any luck it will mean that the emerging nations will finally complete the promise of a failed computing experiment played out by a team of French and American computer scientists in Senegal a quarter of a century ago. The original idea was that computing technology would make it possible to skip a stage of economic development, with people in developing nations quickly joining the information society without having to undergo industrialization.
Which brings us back to Mr. Gates’s plea at the World Economic Forum last week. Microsoft’s research lab in India, he said, was focusing on a variety of projects, ranging from low-cost wireless to new computing interfaces that will allow semi-literate and illiterate people to use computers effectively.
These are great ideas, but at Davos this year there were already a proliferation of technology-driven projects in evidence, all targeted at the bottom of the economic pyramid. They indicated that over the next decade the so-called “digital divide” may prove less of a barrier than previously thought.
Because Moore’s Law — the doubling of chip density at regular intervals — drives down price while increasing performance, computing has reached an increasing portion of the world’s population at an accelerating rate. Today over three billion people — half the world’s population — have cell phones. This year at the World Economic Forum, wireless industry executives predicted that two billion more would be added in the next six or seven years.
This underscores the increasingly rapid spread of the Internet, for what is a cell phone but a computer and a radio attached to a wireless data network?
The real challenge may prove to be whether the emerging world will modernize without repeating the mistakes of Mr. Gates’s developed world that have produced climate and pollution crises.
Free market beats free food in fight against povertyScotsman, United Kingdom - Jan 26, 2008... Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus argues convincingly that social business is an achievable way of exploiting capitalism to help the poor. ...

Davos 2008: Bill Gates' Creative Capitalism and Muhammad Yunus ...Huffington Post, NY - Jan 24, 2008... and they are put forth in his latest book, Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism. Professor Yunus, also known ...

Gates' one-liners and reading listSeattle Times, United States - Jan 28, 2008... pioneer and Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus, who spoke here recently. A Wall Street Journal story on Gates' "creative capitalism" idea noted as much, ...

Doing Good BusinessTIME - Jan 24, 2008Muhammad Yunus, the microfinancier who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 for helping prove that making tiny loans to poor people can be profitable, ...

Wealth of Ideas: Bill Gates Issues Call for a Benevolent CapitalismWall Street Journal - Jan 24, 2008Muhammad Yunus, the Bangladeshi economist who won the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize for his work providing small loans to the poor, is traversing the US this month ...

Bill Gates and Wal-Mart want to save the worldSalon (subscription) - Jan 24, 2008... capitalism, crushing all who dared oppose it, seemed daring. So I would not have predicted that a decade later, Gates, channeling Mohammad Yunus, ...

The Daily Star
New book by Prof Yunus launched in USAThe Daily Star, Bangladesh - Jan 12, 2008Prof Yunus is currently on a tour of the US to publicise his book titled 'Creating a world without poverty: Social business and the future of capitalism'. ...

Corporate Social Responsibility
'Our Pick' http://www.csrwire.com/News/10807.html
1.29.2008 ET
Source: CSR@Intel
Davos: Par Deux
By Bruce Sewell

January 29, 2008 - Well, it's been 4 days and 1 "Davos" since my last blog. Got about 3 hours sleep last night (brings my total for the week to ~18), and now I'm headed down the mountain towards Zurich. Just time to share a couple of observations and 1 particular highlight before both my computer and my brain say "leave me alone you fool" and take a much needed rest.Each year 1 or 2 themes emerge as dominant. In 2007 the prize went to global climate change, in 2008 the WEFie (like an Oscar only not) goes to… the state of the US economy. From TV crews taking surveys on every street corner, to a panel of all 8 of the G8 Finance Ministers, the question on everyone's lips was, "a slowdown or a recession"? I know I'm just a lawyer, but I'll try to summarize the consensus answer: we have not yet seen the bottom in terms of the sub-prime crisis; if the US Congress acts quickly and decisively with a stimulus package we may be able keep this from developing into a full blown (or long lived) recession; this isn't just a US problem so other economies around the world are going to have to pitch in; and, non-US markets are strong enough to survive a US cold without catching the flu, but only if the US ailment does not turn into influenza or something worse (all economists wanted to be doctors but couldn’t afford the tuition).The other key theme for 2008 was 'enlightened capitalism'. Both Forbes and the Economist kicked off the week with articles about the need to align corporate social responsibility programs with business interests and core competencies. Bill Gates made a public plea for more "compassionate capitalism" and Dr. Muhammad Yunus (Nobel Peace Prize winner) gave us the phrase "social business". No matter what its called, it boils down to a pretty simple idea: corporations can and should make profits for their shareholders; but corporations can also chose to run some "not-for-loss" programs where the shareholders break even but the program recipients and society at large are immeasurably enriched. Don't think corporate charity, instead this is a corporation putting its money, human resources, program management, and logistical skills, etc., to work in a financially neutral but socially positive way. Let's face it, governments have money and people but government efficiency is an oxymoron. NGOs and "not for-profits" can be nimble but they usually lack resources. Of course enlightened capitalism should involve public/private partnerships but it’s the financial model that really sets it apart from what we currently think of as CSR or corporate philanthropy. An interesting idea…stay tuned. For the full article Click Here...