Building Social Business Models: Lessons from the Grameen Experience

Long Range Planning 43 (2010) 308-325

Posted: 14 Oct 2015

See all articles by Muhammad Yunus

Muhammad Yunus

Grameen Bank

Bertrand Moingeon

HEC Paris - Strategy & Business Policy

Laurence Lehmann-Ortega

HEC Paris - Strategy & Business Policy

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Yunus, Muhammad and Moingeon, Bertrand and Lehmann-Ortega, Laurence, Building Social Business Models: Lessons from the Grameen Experience. Long Range Planning 43 (2010) 308-325. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2673495

Muhammad Yunus

Grameen Bank ( email )

Grameen Bank Bhaban
Mirpur – 2
Dhaka, 1216
Bangladesh

Bertrand Moingeon (Contact Author)

HEC Paris - Strategy & Business Policy ( email )

Jouy-en-Josas Cedex, 78351
France

Laurence Lehmann-Ortega

HEC Paris - Strategy & Business Policy ( email )

Jouy-en-Josas Cedex, 78351
France

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