작년 무하마드 유누스 교수와의 '아침식사'를 하고서 제가 다니는 홀트국제경영대학원 뉴스매체에 기고를 했던 영문article입니다. 당일 'Breakfast with Yunus'(Social Business Breakfast)라는 스토리출판 프로젝트를 제안했고, 이제 1월달에 곧 론칭을 앞두고 있습니다. 전 세계 흥미있는 소셜비즈니스의 사례와 이야기를 발굴해보겠습니다.

# 소셜비즈니스(social business)란? 무하마드 유누스 교수(노벨평화상 수상자)가 주창한 '소셜비즈니스'는 "비즈니스 접근을 통해 사회문제를 해결하는 행위"를 뜻합니다. 또한, 투자자는 투자원금 이외에는 투자회수를 할 수 없고, 이윤 전액은 종업원 복지 및 미래투자를 위해 재투자되게 됩니다. 어떤 형태의 배당금도 없는 것이 유누스 교수가 주창하는 '소셜비즈니스'의 특징입니다. Grameen Danon을 비롯해 Grameen UNIQLO 등이 기존 대기업과 협력해 만든 소셜비즈니스이며, 오스트리아, 아이티, 인도 등에 소셜비즈니스가 새롭게 런칭되고 있습니다.   



BREAKFAST WITH PROFESSOR YUNUS
Emergence of Social Entrepreneurship and an Opportunity that You Can Participate in
by Jeong Tae Kim

Recently, I had breakfast with Professor Yunus (yes, the Professor Yunus) at the G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Summit in Nice. Around 150 young people from around the world participated in the event. As one of twelve delegates for South Korea, I was fortunate enough to be invited and have the opportunity to represent my country.


As a student at Hult International Business School studying a Masters in Social Entrepreneurship, I felt thrilled to have the opportunity to ask the Professor his definition of social business and social entrepreneurship. He responded that social entrepreneurship addresses a social problem through the use of business models. It was indeed a simple yet clear definition. He also mentioned one more seemingly unforgettable piece of advice: if one can see beyond a “what-you-can-get” perspective, there will be lots of opportunities for business or to make a difference. This last point is something that should be deeply examined by all those who hope to enhance their entrepreneurial spirit.


In Kenya, I met David Auerbach, an MIT business student who co-founded Sanergy that works to solve sanitation and energy issues simultaneously in Kibera, the biggest slum not only in Kenya but the whole of Africa and home to over one million inhabitants. Through close collaboration with other colleagues, he has been applying his state-of-the-art business skills by converting human waste into energy. This initiative has not only helped address the area’s drastic waste management issues, but it has also generated an income for the local community. This confident and cheerful entrepreneur and his team are just one of many examples of a growing trend of young people in business who are more conscious of the world they live in.


Some time ago, I read the book “Marketing 3.0” by Philip Kotler, the leading marketing guru. On one of the last pages, he concluded that, “Business should be connected with issues like the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).” Having worked in the UN system, I can say that his tone and argument looked just like that of UN staff or UN-commissioned experts! Seeing a global marketing expert urge corporate leaders to support the MDGs is something that would have been unheard of a decade ago. Like David, you too can be a part of this global change.


 Sustainability or sustainable development is now at the heart of change in a business sector that is beginning to think more about the social and environmental impact of its activities. Overused as they may be these days, these terms have certainly become inescapable. Business sectors are beginning to recognize the importance of adapting to new global challenges. Our world is marked with continuous crises. Through various forms of media critical issues such as food shortage, energy and financial crises as well as climate change are all issues of great global as well as local concern.


 Against this backdrop, new forms of sustainable approaches are being explored and questioned in both profit and non-profit sectors. One such example is social entrepreneurship as a defining way to ‘make the poverty only seen at museums’ as mentioned by Prof. Yunus. This supposed oxymoron of ‘social entrepreneurship’ is now possible with the concept of sustainability tying together economic profits with social impact. These attempts deserve further attention. 


 So, at the end of breakfast with Professor Yunus on that day, I proposed to him an initiative called ‘Social Business Breakfast’. It is basically the identifying and collecting of best practices that make such an oxymoron a possible combination. For this initiative we need people like you to help collect and share your experiences. If selected, yours are most likely to be presented to the upcoming social business conference in 2012. If interested, contact me at story.wins@gmail.com. Together we can.



About the author:
Jeongtae Kim is studying social entrepreneurship at the London-based Hult International Business School. Before coming to London, he worked for the United Nations in the area of economic and social development. He is also a fundraising development consultant at the World Federation of United Nations Associations. As a non-fiction writer, he wrote 12 books including the national bestseller “Your Story Wins” and “What is Appropriate Technology?”(co-authored). He also published the Korean version of “Design for the Other 90%” and “Drivers of Change” by the Smithsonian Institute and the Arup, respectively.  

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