Message from Prof. Okada

Social Entrepreneurship  

Prof. Masaharu OKADA
Are we working only for money?  Will business and humanity are existing together?  Prof. Muhammad Yunus, who is a founder of Grameen Bank for the poor women and is a Novel Peace Prize winner 2006, says that its failure of the current capitalism is a misunderstanding of human nature and that human nature has not only selfish side but also selfless side.
Because of the existing ecosystem or economic theory which is based on one side of selfishness, many social problems such as extreme concentration of wealth, destruction of environment and mental diseases have been coming out in the world.
One of solutions for such social problems is “Social Business based on seven principles”, so called Yunus Social Business (YSB). The Seven Principles is as follows;
  1. Business objective will be to overcome any social problems (poverty, environment, health, energy, education etc.) in any country, not profit maximization.
  2. Financial and Economic Sustainability
  3. Investors can get back the investment amount only. No dividend is given beyond investment money.
  4. When investment amount is paid back, company profit stays with the company for expansion and improvement.
  5. Gender sensitive and environmentally conscious.
  6. Workforce gets market wage with better working conditions.
  7. Do it with joy!
In his speech on German Unity Day (2018 10.3) at Brandenburg Gate, Prof. Yunus has pointed out;
“I created that business concept which is based not on profit motive, but on empathy and global citizenship to address the flaws that are generated by the extreme concentration of wealth and that Yunus Social Business will reduce the social and environmental injustices including the injustice of wealth concentration. We need to create a new economic framework to build a new civilization based on social justice and human values and Social Business provides that framework.”
Looking back to Adam Smith, Smith is best remembered for the terms ‘invisible hand’ and ‘self-interest’. Capitalists like to recite these lines from his book The Wealth of Nations to justify their disregard for social costs of businesses, a system that has made the world unstable, unequal and unclean: “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own self-interest. We address ourselves not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities, but of their advantages.”
However, we have to remember that Adam Smith has written another book too: The Theory of Moral Sentiments. In it, Smith explored the opposite of self-interest. “When our passive feelings are almost always so sordid and so selfish, how comes it that our active principles should often be so generous and so noble? When we are always so much more deeply affected by whatever concerns ourselves, than by whatever concerns other men; what is it which prompts the generous, upon all occasions, and the mean upon many, to sacrifice their own interests to the greater interests of others? It is not the soft power of humanity, it is not that feeble spark of benevolence which Nature has lighted up in the human heart, that is thus capable of counteracting the strongest impulses of self-love. It is a stronger power, a more forcible motive, which exerts itself upon such occasions. It is reason, principle, conscience, the inhabitant of the breast, the man within, the great judge and arbiter of our conduct,” he wrote.

Smith never actually reconciled the two different views on human nature he expressed in these two books into a theoretical framework. “If he had used his two books to propose theoretical foundations for two different types of businesses, perhaps the world could have avoided the serious crisis we are facing today,” Yunus writes. He offers the idea of social businesses as that bridge.

In this class, focusing on Yunus Social Business, the following subjects will be provided;
  1. Concept of Yunus Social Business
  2. Grameen program
  3. General ideas of Entrepreneurship 1
  4. General ideas of Entrepreneurship 2
  5. Case Study 1
  6. Case Study 2
  7. Lecture of key members of Team Yunus
  8. Free Discussion