Social Business “Build a strong sector by i ...

CERISE and its various partners (AFD, AIDR, CIDR, Entrepreneurs du Monde, Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation, GRET, I&P, IRAM, PROPARCO) have developed a “Social Business” analysis grid. What purpose does it serve? An interview with Jon Sallé, Program Manager at CERISE.


Social Business is subject to a great deal of enthusiasm on the part of a number of actors (public and private donors, NGOs, companies…). Why is there so much enthusiasm ?

Firstly, it must be said that the underlying idea of this new sector, which is to combine entrepreneurship and social impact, is particularly attractive ! Social business covers a complex range of organizations, which differ in terms of their legal status, their relations towards capital and profit, innovations, etc. All these structures do, however, have one thing in common : the social or environmental issue they tackle must be set out in their social mission.

Social business fits in with the emerging global trend for responsible initiatives.

More informations on “Idées Pour Le Développement” blog, animated by AFD.

When the CAC 40 embarks into social business

There is growing consensus over the principle by which private sector companies have a responsibility and interest in promoting more sustainable and inclusive economic models. But how is the situation in the field? CAC 40 companies are effectively investing the resources to deliver on their commitments to sustainable development and the fight against poverty and exclusion via social business initiatives.

Going beyond Corporate Social Responsibility

The COP21 “Lima-Paris Action Agenda”, which lists, among other initiatives, the climate projects led by companies, and the importance given to the private sector when the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted by the UN last September, are both signs that Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is now well established. One of the approaches to this responsibility has taken the form of the implementation of social business initiatives, i.e. economic activities whose objective is not to maximize profits, but to provide a response to a societal need. Beyond CSR policies, it involves developing innovative economic models which contribute to changing companies from the inside, their modus operandi, and the very way of doing business.

The survey “CAC 40 Companies and Social Business”, published by Convergences in 2015, focuses on 14 companies which are developing this type of initiative. The results of this first assessment highlight the wide diversity of social business projects led by CAC 40 companies. The study points out the development potential that can be exploited in both the companies which have already taken this path and those which have not yet ventured into the ecosystem of social business.

More informations on “Idées Pour Le Développement” blog, animated by AFD.

The diversity of social business: the case of ...

Despite a troubled macroeconomic and political environment, Madagascar possesses a fairly diversified, dynamic economic fabric in comparison to other countries with a similar level of development. This national particularity undoubtedly explains the country’s thriving social business sector. A study undertaken by AFD lists close to 90 projects2 that meet the broad definition of a social business, i.e., organisations (of all types) whose priority is to address a social problem and who aim to be financially self-sustainable.

What is the key driver of social business in Madagascar?

In a country with over two thirds of the population living in poverty and with little in the way of essential government services (due to serial political crises), non-state actors attempt to come up with alternatives in the hope of offering the population better living conditions.

We are referring here to organisations that are part of civil society – not only NGOs, but social business projects as well, which have a long history in Madagascar. Many of these existed before Muhammad Yunus coined the term “social business”.

The projects covered are on average 10 years old and over a third have existed for more than 15 years.

Nearly half of all such projects (46%) were initiated by NGOs that wished to generate their own revenue to finance their development rather than being entirely dependent on public funding.
What are the key feactures of social business projects in Madagascar?

Read the full article on the blog Privat Sector & Development, animated by Proparco.