||Conferences usually are not the venue for admitting failure. But on the first day of the Harvard University’s 2012 Social Enterprise Conference, Vikram Akula, the founder of SKS Microfinance who left the organization in November 2011, made just such an admission.
In a speech delivered at the day’s closing reception, Akula described his experience first establishing the organization as a non-profit, converting to a for-profit model, and taking the company public in 2010. He recalled how Muhammad Yunus of the Grameen Bank criticized him and the SKS model, and observed: “Today, I can look back at what we did and say, ‘Professor Yunus was right.’”|
“We really are at a crossroads,” The Economist’s Matt Bishop observed at the opening of the second day of Harvard’s Social Enterprise Conference. We’ve reached a point in time to rethink how markets work, and how more people can share in the benefits of the global economy, he noted.