Jeff Delkin, co-founder, bambu
I was inspired to write this post for a couple of reasons.
We first became aware of Grameen Bank while living in Asia. More recently we’re personally involved on a volunteer committee to help raise awareness for the work Grameen Foundation is doing in China.
Secondly as founders of a small business, bambu, we are interested in the concept of ‘social business’ that Dr Yunus’ introduces in his new book, Creating a World Without Poverty.
Central to our sense of purpose and value set at bambu, we concern ourselves with responsible stewardship of resources, giving back to the people and the communities in which we work in China and Vietnam, and preservation of the natural environment.
We strive to create an organization that acts with integrity. We describe ourselves as a values-driven company as opposed to a profit-driven company.
Dr. Yunus’ book presents some paradigm-breaking ideas that are a positive force for change, and made me reflect on our own business, and the role of business in general.
The notion of ‘social business’ is introduced in the first few pages. Yunus makes some important distinctions in defining what a social business is.
Importantly, he distinguishes a social business as one that directly makes products that poor people are willing to pay for, and one which directs all the profits back into the enterprise.