BCG & Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus Announce Partnership to Advance Social Business
The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) today announced its newest global social impact partner: Professor Muhammad Yunus and his social business network, including Yunus Social Business – Global Initiatives (YSB), which accelerates and finances social businesses in emerging economies. As with its five other global social impact partners—the World Food Programme, Save the Children International, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, WWF, and Teach For All—BCG will dedicate staff and undertake a series of projects to tackle the highest-priority issues in Professor Yunus’s network of organizations each year.
A social business is a financially sustainable organization created to solve a social problem through sound business practices. Although original investments may be recouped, all potential profits are reinvested to increase the organization’s social impact.
“A charity dollar has only one life. A social business dollar can be invested over and over again,” explains Professor Yunus. “I am thrilled by this partnership with BCG, as the firm is uniquely positioned to help advance our social business initiatives.”
“We are honored to support Professor Yunus and his network of organizations,” says Wendy Woods, a BCG senior partner and the global leader of the firm’s Social Impact practice. “On top of their nearly limitless potential for direct and measurable social impact, social businesses are powerful vehicles for corporate social engagement, allowing companies to use their skills, expertise, and business networks to build self-sustaining solutions that often become sources of innovation and competitive advantage.”
Because social businesses do not aim to increase shareholder value or pay dividends, they are free to focus on the neediest, most underserved segments of the world’s populations—those that traditionally fall outside the focus of profit-driven businesses. And because they price their products and services in a way that generates enough revenue to be self-sustaining in the long term, these organizations do not depend on donations or other forms of external financial support to fulfill their mission.
As corporations aspire to use their business expertise to address the challenges faced by society, social businesses present a way to harness the private sector’s best practices, skills, and knowledge, all of which are needed to deliver greater value and increase operational efficiency. Within this context, BCG is currently engaged in facilitating discussions between Professor Yunus and multinational companies around the world, helping those organizations explore opportunities to work with YSB and develop social businesses tailored to their value chains.
Professor Yunus was awarded the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize for founding the Grameen Bank and pioneering the concepts of microfinance and microcredit. Since then, Professor Yunus has focused on spreading and implementing the concept of social business. He initiated multiple social businesses in Bangladesh and across the globe, many of them in cooperation with multinational corporate partners.