You know how people always say, "He was an honest guy but, you know, business is business…", or " In order to succeed you need to cut costs and that means you need to make the most and pay out the least…inevitably you will be at odds with your workers…". And there are lots of other "classic sayings" which simply emphasize that a person of values has not business in being in business and a person of business will not have very strong values over time. Well, I have heard this stuff for tens of years and I am sure it is true in many cases…but not all! And the fact that it is NOT true in all is what gives us hope, a new vision, a new way of doing things.

I think the example of Grameen Bank is absolutely the best. Dr. Muhammad Yunus is a global leader in anti-poverty efforts, and has pioneered the use of "micro-loans" to provide credit to poor individuals without collateral. Dr. Yunus, an economist by training, founded the Grameen Bank in 1983 in his native Bangladesh to provide small, low-interest loans to the poor to help better their livelihood and communities. Despite its low interest rates and lending to poor individuals, Grameen Bank is sustainable and 98% percent of its loans are repaid – higher than other banking systems. It has spread its successful model throughout the world. Dr. Yunus received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 for his work. It was basically a case of a smart and caring individual coming forth with a creative idea that combined good sense with "good values": poor people (mostly women), given a chance and a fair way of developing, can create wonderful opportunities and things in this world. In other words, instead of cheating and exploiting the poor we can invest in them and in their desire to improve themselves…and then see what happens!

And there are many more great things happening in the social business entrprepreneurship arena. It fills me with inspiration and excitement…how can we do more to bring these two worlds together towards making our world a better place to live in?

Annita Rodick, The Body Shop

The Skoll Foundation

The Schwabb Foundation

Ben and Jerry's

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