McKinsey & Company

McKinsey on Society


Voices Social entrepreneurs

Tipping the world: The power of collaborative entrepreneurship

Bill Drayton
Ashoka: Innovators for the Public
April 2010

To question whether social entrepreneurs can achieve large-scale change is to doubt the existence of Florence Nightingale, Maria Montessori, William Wilberforce, Fazle Abed, Jimmy Wales, or the 2,700 Ashoka Fellows!

A new paradigm for change

John Elkington
April 2010

In an MBA world, I remain an unreconstructed, unrepentant MPhil. And that degree was in city planning in the last century, not business management in this one.

Making health care healthy

Gary Cohen
Health Care Without Harm
April 2010

One of the greatest challenges facing humanity in the coming decades is to heal the relationship between industrial civilization and the environment that sustains us. In the context of this larger healing, the role of healthcare needs to be transformed and enlarged.

Business as the engine for social change

Mindy S. Lubber
April 2010

The world can no longer afford business as usual. Our global economy faces unprecedented challenges, whether from climate change, ever-increasing food and water shortages, surging populations, or myopic financial markets obsessed with short-term gains and growth at all costs.

Innovating at scale in the social sector

Jonathan Bays
McKinsey & Company
Marla Capozzi
McKinsey & Company
April 2010

Thirty-four years ago, Muhammad Yunus had a very good idea: he made a collateral-free loan of $27 to a group of 42 families in rural Bangladesh, to be used as working capital for home-based basket-weaving businesses. When that loan generated a profit for the families and was repaid in full, he demonstrated not only that the working poor could be credit-worthy, but that even a small loan could make a major difference to their economic situation.

Driving change: It’s not just about size

Sally Osberg
The Skoll Foundation
April 2010

When asked by journalists and donors just how many lives Partners in Health has saved in Haiti, to say nothing of the additional 12 countries where the organization also works, PIHfounder Paul Farmer defaults to medical shorthand: TNTC, too numerous to count. To the question, then, of whether social entrepreneurs can create “large-scale change,” my answer is an unqualified yes.

Building a market for sustainable fisheries

Rupert Howes
Marine Stewardship Council
April 2010

The world’s oceans are in trouble. According to the United Nation’s Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), half of the world’s fisheries are now fully exploited.

Collaboration: An opportunity for lasting change

Paul C. Light
New York University
April 2010

This year’s Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship at Oxford University’s Said School of Business comes at a moment of both great celebration and great disquiet.
On the one hand, the United States has finally taken a significant step forward on health care reform, the war in Iraq seems to be ending, and there seems to be a hint of progress on global climate change.

Lessons from Haiti: An interview with Free The Children’s cofounder

Craig Kielburger
Free The Children
August 2012

In March 2010, Craig Kielburger of Free The Children spoke with McKinsey’s Mary Kuntz about his organization’s work in Haiti after the earthquake in January.

Teaching the world to change

Dan Viederman
April 2010

An estimated 200 million children work in developing countries. Another 25 million people are enslaved in factories, farms, mines, and homes.

Creating large-scale change: Not ‘can’ but ‘how’

Professor J. Gregory Dees
World Economic Forum
April 2010

Skeptics of social entrepreneurship often comment, “Sure, social entrepreneurs are doing good things, but can they ever scale their impact sufficiently to put a dent in the enormous and persistent problems we face?” Scaling impact is a very serious and challenging issue, but we need a better way of framing the conversation.

The economics of social progress

Iqbal Z Quadir
The Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship
April 2010

Working in the private sector early in my career, I gained an appreciation for commerce as a powerful force for meeting economic and social challenges and, for that reason, naturally thought in commercial terms when attempting to bring affordable mobile telephony to Bangladesh. In fact, when I conceived what is now Grameenphone, I made a conscious decision to organize it as a for-profit company.

Social enterprise: It takes a network

Raj Kumar
April 2010

The popularity of social enterprise—business with a social mission—is surging. MBA courses on the subject are oversubscribed and the number of social enterprises is growing around the world.

Voices on Society topics

  • Entrepreneurship Without Boundaries

    Entrepreneurs are solving complex societal challenges across the globe. It’s happening “at the table” within established organizations, “off the grid” on difficult terrain, and “on the web” in the digital world. Across this spectrum, we often find Millennial entrepreneurs leading the charge.

  • How We Give

    Distinguished experts and donors share new insights on global giving trends and propose solutions to barriers that inhibit individual philanthropy aimed at improving social outcomes.

  • The Art and Science of Delivery

    Delivery is both an art and a science. We think the art is in the innovation and adaptability of the actors and different delivery models, while the science lies in replicating and scaling those models.

  • The Socially Conscious Consumer

    How the global rise of socially conscious consumers can help drive environmental and economic sustainability.

  • Financing Social Change

    Across the globe, innovative new tools are helping fund social change.

  • Beyond advocacy – business needs to get its head in the gameJobs for the young & restless

    Youth around the world have been particularly hard hit, registering disturbingly high unemployment numbers.

  • Social innovation

    Can fresh thinking solve the world’s most intractable problems?

  • Social entrepreneurs

    Can social entrepreneurs create large scale change?

  • Cities

    As the global population becomes increasingly urbanized, what will the cities of the future look like?

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