Abstract

The aim of this paper is to study the phenomenon of Social Business Enterprises (SBEs) and gain an understanding of their nature, operations, objectives and implications by using Grameen Danone Foods Limited (GDFL) as an illustration. Within this context, some questions that this paper seeks to explore are: is the concept of Social Businesses just another ‘fashionable business marketing fad’ that will fade and wither with time, or does it offer a real workable solution to cure the ills of global poverty? The paper seeks to investigate, with Grameen Danone’s case, if, how and to what extent such social businesses help towards social and economic uplift of the poor by simultaneously being both suppliers and consumers of their services. The case of GDFL is evaluated critically and compared analytically with similar social businesses in the dairy business sector, in order to gauge its impact on local communities, especially on the target market – malnourished children. Finally, project sustainability is discussed along with consequences of a possible commercial scale-up in operations.

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