Leadership, Microfinance and CSR

French food company Danone and microfinance lender Grameen Bank are well-known names. Their leadership interests intersect with a joint venture in Bangladesh, which recently made news onForbes.com.

Helen Coster, a staff writer at Forbes, wrote about the partnership on May 21, 2010: “Danone and Grameen Bank: Partners In CSR And Marketing.” Mohammed Yunus founded Grameen Bank to make small loans to poor people to help them break the cycle of poverty. Danone has been a strong advocate of corporate social responsibility. Together, they have established a unique business model with a small yogurt factory in Bangladesh.

Both concepts — corporate social responsibility and microfinance — have gained much traction in recent years, raising the question: What does leadership look like in these new business models?

To better understand the leadership and human capital needs in the microfinance sector, the Center for Creative Leadership partnered with the Grameen Foundation and Continuum. The findings from a brief immersion conducted in 2009 are the subject of a new report: No Footprints to Follow — The talent gap in the development finance sector in India.

CCL’s Globally Responsible Leadership paper highlights the leadership required to build an organization that is globally responsible, and ultimately sustainable. It is based on in-depth interviews with several companies, including Danone-Poland.

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