Building Social Business Models: Lessons from the Grameen Experience
Long Range Planning 43 (2010) 308-325
Posted: 14 Oct 2015
Grameen bank, founded in 1976, has both pioneered the development of micro-finance, and created nearly 30 businesses designed to alleviate poverty. The article traces the gradual development of Grameen’s expertise in formulating social business models, which require new value propositions, value constellations and profit equations, and as such, resembles business model innovation. The article presents five lessons learned from this experience: three are similar to those of conventional business model innovation -- challenging conventional thinking, finding complementary partners and undertaking continuous experimentation; two are specific to social business models: recruiting social-profit-oriented shareholders, and specifying social profit objectives clearly and early. We suggest these new business models -- where stakeholders replace shareholders as the focus of value maximization -- could empower capitalism to address overwhelming global concerns.
Keywords: Social business, Strategic innovation, Corporate social responsibility, business model, social business model
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