Topic: Practicing Social Business
1) Fransisco Camacho – Executive Vise President, Danone Waters
2) Parveen Mahmud – Managing Director, Grameen Telecom Trust
3) Lamiya Morshed – Executive Director, Yunus Centre
4) Hans Reitz – Managing Director, The Grameen Creative Lab
5) Mohammad Shahjahan – Acting Managing Director, Grameen Bank
6) Cheryl Yeoh – CEO, Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Center
The discussion resulted in a sharing of best practices that could be used in developing and executing Social Businesses, and also recent developments in Social Business scenes around the globe.
My key learnings from the discussion:
1) THE IMPORTANCE OF THE MULTIPLIER EFFECT
Grameen Bank for example, gave microcredit to a small number of women in a village called Jobra. When these women paid back their loans, more money could be given to other individuals. It’s the same with other Social Businesses since the profit is channelled back to the company for expansion and development!
2) SOCIAL CONTRIBUTION VALUE
Fransisco shared his idea on what Social Business does to companies that makes it a better place to work. He said, “Being able to be part of Social Business projects is a tremendous way in being able to contribute as a person”.
3) THE SOCIAL BUSINESS DESIGN LAB
Lamiya explained how the design lab works:
i) Gathering of Social Business entrepreneurs and Social Business fund investors is held monthly.
ii) These entrepreneurs pitch their business plan to the investors.
iii) Investors will not only invested monetary support to selected ones, but also to provide advice, networks, and mentorship support for the Social Businesses.
#TIPS: Key points for a successful business plan development:
#1 How much money do you need?
#2 How long does it take to get back the return of investment (ROI)?
#3 How will you get the ROI in time?
4) COMPANIES & SOCIAL BUSINESS
As personnel of a big company, do not get tired in pushing the Social Business idea to be implemented internally. Write to your CEOs, Board Members etc. Companies NEED internal resources to do this, so keep the pressure going!
5) WHAT MAKES IT WORK?
Constant hand-hold of the Social Businesses. Parveen shared that coaching and mentoring through various workshops played a huge role in ensuring success of Social Businesses under Grameen Telecom Trust.
6) WAYS TO CREATE SOCIAL BUSINESS IN YOUR COUNTRY
Cheryl shared 3 steps:
i) Social Enterprise/Business is relatively new, hence a clear definition and framework need to be put in place first before anything else.
ii) Work on enabling infrastructure.
iii) Provide organisational capabilities through workshops, coaching & mentoring.