Thursday, January 29, 2009

Social business


Grameen Bank founder, Muhammad Yunus believes that companies engaged in capitalist enterprise can have a dramatic affect on poverty.

He is not alone. We're reading more and more these days about "social enterprise" as a tool for impacting impoverished communities.

Last week I sat in on the final sessions of the annual meeting of a Fortune 500 company held here in Dallas, Texas. I was encouraged and, frankly, overwhelmed to hear and see this major worldwide corporation's plans for and growing commitment to social enterprise here in the U. S. and around the world.

The notion of making a profit after factoring in the cost of social benefit is intriguing to say the least.

Doing well while doing good is an idea to which Yunus subscribes, as you will see here in his address on The Social Business Model.

Reactions?
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18 comments:

Eric Livingston said...

I just wish companies would realize that these layoffs aren't good for their business in the long run. If everyone is unemployed, their revenues won't pick up anytime soon.

Anonymous said...

Eric - I just wish the Government would realize that increasing already oppresive taxes on companies and owners of companies aren't good for business in the short run or the long run or ever. If Government stopped the ridiculous spending, actually governed on a budget, and quit taxing the owners of the companies you are being critical of, then companies would not have to lay employees off and instead would reinvest the money into the company and their employees. Please for once see the other side of the situation. James.

Anonymous said...

James- I just wish you'd realize that no one has said a word about increasing corporate taxes and that my own personal taxes are going to bailout stupid, greedy corporate CEO's and boards who'd rather pad their offices than run a fiscally sound company, because they know that they can screw up and we'll bail them out, because it's the only choice we have to protect the lives of everyday Americans whose jobs rely on corporations to do the right thing.

If government didn't tax, there would be no infrastructure and anarchy would be rampant because there would be no legal system and policing power. But oversimplified rhetoric sure sounds good -- it got Joe the Plumber his 15 minutes of fame. Bert

Anonymous said...

anon 1:13 - you are patially right and partially wrong. your taxes are going to go to paying for the new STD prevention and contraception program, handouts to the ACLU and other special interest groups, the national art endowement fund that is being establised and a slew of other special pork projects that have been loaded into the so called stimulas program. You are also wrong for believing that every company owner falls into the category that you are rightfully angry about. for every one of the preedy corporate CEOS you identify, there are 100 honest, hard working owners who try their hardest to provide a good service or product and take care of their employees ( and their families). I know this to be tru becayse i am one of those owners. I believe i can do a better job of protecting the lives of my employees than the government because i honestly care about them and love them as family. So, I say again, I have no issue with paying taxes; however, I don't want the Government to continue to raise taxes to fund their pet projects. Tame my tax money and do what is right for the Americans you discuss, and don't run out of control with spending on projects that do nothing but pay off friends who help them get elected and then keep them iun office. James

Anonymous said...

For better or worse, everyone thinks govt should spend money on what THEY think is worthwhile and they push for those things in Washington. That's the greatness, and the smallness, of democracy.

But what has all this to do with Larry's post? As usual, the conversation gets off-track fast!

Larry James said...

Anon 4:09, your frustration is my frustration! No matter what I post, some drive us here as if this is the only way to frame every discussion. What Yunus suggests and what we are discovering is that there is a new way to work and to come to the challenges of our world. I also notice that whenever something is posted here that is challenging, but off the subject of partisan warfare, no one comments. Take the post last week about Sherron Watkins' sermon on "self-interested" fasts. No one responds unless it is to fight it out about partisan politics. The world and the problems are bigger than this.

Chris said...

The world would have a bigger problem if we spent 800 BILLION dollars, money we don't have, on a so called stimulus package full of pork.

Anonymous said...

Funny, after the comments about being off-topic, Chris chimes in with her usual poorly scripted anti-government rhetoric.

Larry, how do you stay motivated with boo-birds like Chris and others who are always tearing your work apart?

Larry James said...

Frankly, Anon 9 p.m., it is what I know and continue to learn about the people of the inner city that keep me motivated and protected against the rhetoric of false realities based in someone's warped worldview. It's the people, certainly nothing in me.

Anonymous said...

anon 409 - so if you are complaining about being "off topic", why is the first thing you comment on the topic you believe is "off topic"? I beleive Chris' comment at 837 is in response to your comment. Is there a double standard here when the comments are not what is in line with your thoughts. In fact, i believe the whole "off topic" thread started with the first comment at 810, but of course no one has an issue with that first comment since it is a comment aimed at companies. I keep asking myself why i keep reading this blog every day when I know no one wants to hear any comments that don't fall in line with the super majority of attitudes that visit here every day. Many times when i read Larry's comments, I am challenged to rethink my positions and attitudes; but most times I realize how little most of the left leaning folks want to hear anything contrary to their views... even when they get on here and go on a diatribe against successful, hard working people ( in your term, the wealthy)and companies.

Chris said...

Obama is following the rules of Saul Alinsky in "Rules for Radicals". We must make sure he only has one term and hopefully fails in his radical policies. Obama said yesterday conpanies should not make a profit. I thought I was in the old Soviet Union for a minute. It's like "You make profits when I say you make profits."

Anonymous said...

chris, be so kind as to provide the source for your statement about the President and corporate profits. What I heard was an objection to using taxpayers funds to reward executives as they were on the way out the door. Please clarify.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:20-

I think you are mistaken. What people on this blog object to is not those who disagree, but those who constantly sling the same tired rhetoric and make extremist statements without sources or attribution(See Chris above about Obama not wanting anyone to make a profit).

As for myself, I consider myself quite centrist and do not reflexively support left-leaning ideology. But nor do I have any interest in reading right-wing ranting (See Chris again).

Chris said...

"There will be a time for them to make profits, and there will be a time for them to get bonuses, now is not the time."

Government should not be telling private companies how to run their business.

Anonymous said...

come on, chris! how do you type over the noise of Limbaugh? if you listened to Pres. Obama, he was saying all of that, not about businesses, but about the top guys and gals who have been taking enormous advantage of both their positions and all of us! Obama didn't mean the companies couldn't make a profit. so silly, almost doesn't deserve a response, but with Limbaugh in control of the elephants, somebody needs to say something. geez. quit with the absurd, already!

Chris said...

The same sentence that said there would be a time to get bonuses said there would be a time to make profit.

BTW, I didn't hear Rush say anything about it.

Charles said...

I keep hearing about oppressive taxes. Is there a country that provides first-class security and prosperity with lower tax rates than us? For most if not all, not just a few millionaires who rotate imported servant labor?

Jeff said...

The US is the most lightly taxed nation in the first world. Anti-tax sounds great, but I love my country and taxes fund it. As an absurdly wealthy American, I haven't owed taxes in years. The maid pays more than I do. I don't tell the accountants to avoid paying, there just aren't many taxes that apply to the rich here in America. I don't pay payroll taxes, FICA, or federal taxes. My total federal "tax burden" is 15% on capital gains, but I can take losses forever, and pay nothing. I know a lot of other rich white guys who find it hilarious that hard working blue collar Americans can get upset about a "death tax" where the first $6 million is exempt and elect Republicans over it. They're laughing at you Chris as you do their bidding.