Oct 29, 2011

Book Review: Creating a World Without Poverty

Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism by Muhammad Yunus is one of the first books I ever read about poverty and what needs to be done to fix it.  I first found out about Muhammad Yunus through Kiva, which is a microfinance organisation inspired by Yunus' work.

Muhammad Yunus started the Grameen Bank after realising that something needed to be done about the extreme level of poverty in Bangladesh.  It allows poor people (mainly women) who are refused by banks, to take out loans in order to get themselves and their families out of poverty.

In this book, he talks about the current divide between the people with money and those without and how this divide is growing.  I was utterly devastated to find out the statistics.  He offers hope, however, in the form of investment in social enterprise.

Social enterprises are businesses that are not run for profit, but are run to encourage better lives for the people in the community.  They are still businesses in that they are self-sustaining (this makes them quite different from charities), however the long-term goals are not profit.  The goal can be either making money for poor owners, or providing a service that is sorely needed.  He states that each of us has the potential to become part of a social enterprise, either through ideas or investment.

This really was a fantastic book.  It is well-written, very informative and backed up by research.  There are good examples of why certain things work and others don't.  I really enjoyed reading this and I hope you do too!

Looking for a book?  Check out Better World Books.

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