Social business innovative, dynamic concept.
Paris: Social business is an innovative and dynamic concept, the growth of which is linked to new financing methods. We review the origins, current state and future perspectives of social business.
It is an alternative business model which prioritizes a positive impact on society or the environment over profit targets. Notably promoted by Muhammad Yunus, the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize laureate and pioneer of microcredit, social businesses aim to provide solutions to social and environmental issues, all while being economically sustainable, regardless of their legal status (non-profit organizations, cooperatives, companies...).
To square this circle, social businesses cover their costs and sometimes generate profits, which are then reinvested. They do not, however, seek to maximize profits for redistribution as dividends but rather to develop their actions and support their beneficiaries. For investors or lenders, the success of a social business is therefore measured by its impact on the environment or the lives of those who benefit from its actions, rather than returns on investment.
By proposing a viable alternative model, social businesses constitute a real catalyst for change. They bring economically sustainable solutions to major societal problems like hunger or malnutrition, food waste, accommodating and integrating refugees, as well as access to drinking water, electricity, medical care, financial services, housing, education for people who drop out of schooling systems, etc.