Conceptualised by Professor Yunus, social business, also called social company, is an economic activity where the social mission takes precedence over the economic objective. It is an innovative business model that integrates social utility into its business model, governance and operations. For social utility to be sustainable, it is crucial that the company creates value. Thus, the financial performance and the viability of the economic model underlines its sustainability.
For over eight years, the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation has promoted social business by investing in social impact companies in the agricultural, financial, water, energy, culture and education sectors. With an experience as an investor in social business companies for eight years, the Foundation published in 2017 a White Paper entitled "Social business, the path to entrepreneurship for the common good". This work has drawn lessons from the Foundation's experience and established seven proposals to improve the chances of success of social impact companies.