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Social business and CSR – same, same but different?

Are social business and CSR two sides of the same coin? And do you have to be driven by ethics and morality in the pursuit of bridging solutions to social problems with business?

A while ago the originator of micro-loans and founder of the social business company Grameen Bank, Muhammad Yunus, was guest of honour at a conference in Copenhagen, where I was invited to contribute to a panel discussion about the possibilities for social entrepreneurship in Denmark.

The panel discussion was opened with a presentation by the chairman of The Danish Council on CSR and CEO of Novo Nordisk, Lise Kingo, who, among other things, spoke about the necessity of focusing on how we, across sector boundaries, can collaborate on developing solutions to our social problems.

Letting a representative of a multinational company open the panel discussion about social entrepreneurship was to me very symbolic. Because even though it is tempting to glorify social entrepreneurship and social innovators like Yunus, commercial companies still play an important role in the development of socially responsible business.

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