Often, the value of a business is defined by its profits. But for social entrepreneurs, value comes from how they impact society and solve the world’s problems. One such social entrepreneur, an entrepreneur you will learn more about in this course, is Nobel-Prize winner, Muhammad Yunus (You-nuss), founder of the Grameen bank and the developer of the concepts of microcredit and microfinance.

In 1974, Yunus visited the village of Jobra in Bangladesh. The families there could not afford the materials for the small items they would make and sell, so they became the victims of unethical loans from local traders. These loans left the people with incomes of mere cents a day, essentially becoming slave labor. With a small loan of only $27 to 42 families, Yunus was able to relieve them of this predatory lending, and began his experiments in microfinance. He realized that it took a very small amount of money to make a massive difference to this community, and that these concepts could be applied on a larger scale.

This lead to the development of the Grameen Bank: a bank focused on providing microloans to small impoverished communities. Based on the idea that the poor have under-utilized skills, the Grameen bank enabled these people to become independent so they could escape poverty. Today, the ideas of microfinance has benefited over 600 million people in over 55 countries around the world.

While all social ventures do not have the profound impact that Muhammad Yunus’ did, they all attempt to improve the social condition. In this course on social entrepreneurship, you’ll take your first step toward improving society through social innovation.

After taking this course you’ll be able to:

Identify the forces that drive social entrepreneurship
Evaluate common fundraising strategies and dilemmas
Explain the role social entrepreneurship plays in business and society

And perhaps even more importantly, you'll have developed more of the tools essential for making a difference in your community.

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