Former World Bank economist Dr. Zaidi Sattar, Chairman of the Policy Research Institute of Bangladesh asked, “Can social business rescue capitalism from its internal destructive forces?” The question and his proposal was repeated on this site in January.
The suggested cornerstone is social business, with a commercially viable business model that pays its way while solving a social problem, generating a surplus to reinvest and sustain or expand the business. Since maximising profits is not the objective, the social good could be provided at a price that is affordable to the poor, but below what the market could bear. Social goods include:
- housing financial services
- nutrition for malnourished children
- providing safe drinking water
- introducing renewable energy
In Belfast the Trademark co-operative is helping to set up worker co-operatives bridging the divided community. Read more on a sister site.
Similar opportunities could be created in Birmingham—another area of high unemployment and different communities.