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Is there an Economics of Social Business?

Author:WAHIDUDDIN MAHMUD

The idea of social business, as advocated by Nobel Peace laureate Muhammad Yunus, has drawn considerable attention from the global business community and many business schools around the world, but so far there has been little response from the mainstream economic profession. This paper explores the reasons for this apathy and the ways in which the concept of social business could be reconciled with economic theorising. It also argues that a rigid definition of social business may leave a grey area in between such businesses and the purely profit-motivated ones, particularly since the “social” element may exist in various shades in the running of a business. Although the paper primarily looks at the analytical aspects of the concept of social business, it does examine some of the risks and pitfalls involved in the actual implementation of such a business idea.

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