Jason Haber's Top 10 Must Read Books for Social Entrepreneurs
Entrepreneurs looking to do some good in the world can find inspiration and tips from these titles.
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Haber: Since I really did enjoy reaching each of these books, I did not assign an order to this Top 10 List. Instead, I wrote each book title down and picked the names out of a hat. Fair. Process-Driven. Transparent. Yup, that’s how we social entrepreneurs roll.
Building Social Business by Muhammad Yunus
Dr. Muhammad Yunus has transformed the world with Grameen Bank. His writings in this book advocate for a larger change in capitalism to a more inclusive model that provides solutions to those in need. This thought-provoking read should be read with a pen or highlighter in hand.
How to Change the World by David Borstein
This is a Profiles in Courage for those on the front lines of social change. Borstein profiles a slew of remarkable people who are taking on the toughest challenges facing society. From Bill Drayton, the legendary founder of Ashoka, to other inspirational doers and dreamers around the world, this book will leave you in awe of social entrepreneurs.
Start Something that Matters by Blake Mycoskie
The story of Toms is more than a business biography by its author, Blake Mycoskie. This is an inspirational tale that is sure to inspire any aspiring social entrepreneur. Blake’s story is important but also is his methodology and approach to starting a new business. There is much here to learn for anyone looking to start a similar venture.
The Business of Good by Jason Haber
Ok, I wrote this book so easy for me to say it, but I think it’s a terrific read. In the book, I explore the Great Convergence, Capitalism 2.0, the Charity Industrial Complex and other key principles behind the growth of social entrepreneurship. I also examine Millennials and the role they are playing in shaping its future.
The Blue Sweater by Jacqueline Novogratz
More than an amazing story by a remarkable person, Jacqueline Novogratz very personal journey takes the reader into the world of global poverty, international aid and philanthropy. She reveals the shortcomings and pitfalls of our current system and advocates for a new paradigm that she calls “patient capital.”
A Year Up by Gerald Chertavian
I’ve always believed social entrepreneurs can play a role in lifting up young people. Gerald Chertavian shows how it can be done. His remarkable story and that of Year Up demonstrates how to close the Opportunity Divide in our country – and how by doing so brings forth profound change. Chertavian outlines an incredible blueprint for action.
B Corp Handbook by Ryan Honeyman
This is a must read for those interested in learning the fundamentals behind B Corps. Ryan Honeyman’s guide is a great and easy read and provides a terrific overview. This book has become essential for those looking to get active with B Corps or register their business as such. If you have questions on the topic of B Corps, this book has the answers and more.
Philanthrocapitalism by Matthew Bishop and Michael Green
This enlightening book could also be called social entrepreneurship by the 1 percent of the 1 percent. The authors reveal how the super rich are donating huge portions of their wealth to solve social problems. This generation of billionaire philanthropists does more than write checks, they use their business acumen to produce results. From HIV and Malaria treatments to global warming, women’s rights, and healthcare, the philantropcapitasts have taken up an ambitious portfolio. Armed with billions in capital, business skills, and verve, the philanthrocapitalists profiled in this book are working to transform the world.
Do the KIND Thing by Daniel Lubetzky
Lubetzky is the founder of KIND, the healthy snacks now ubiquitous on the shelves of health food stores around the country. Lubetzky is a natural entrepreneur and his story in itself is inspiring. What makes this book really powerful are the lessons for social entrepreneurs. Lubetzky details how he fused making the world kinder into the DNA of his company. It wasn’t a gimmick or talking point – it was just as important as the KIND bars the company was selling.
Getting Beyond Better by Roger Martin and Sally Osberg
Roger Martin and Sally Osberg expertly break down social entrepreneurship to its core, and how it can be harnessed as a fulcrum of social change. Central to the book is their notion of today’s societal equilibrium and how social entrepreneurs work to create a greater and more sustainable one. By shifting this equilibrium, social entrepreneurs can create solutions to bring about large-scale change.
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