Better World Books' Socially Responsible Business Model

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Case Details:

Case Code : BECG105
Case Length : 19 Pages
Period : 2002-2009
Pub Date : 2009
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : Better World Books
Industry : Retailing
Countries : US

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"Right now, one out of seven people have the economic means to buy books from us. If we can bring people up to levels of equivalent literacy, we're helping our long-term business model."1

- Xavier Helgesen, Chief Information and Business Development Officer, Better World Books, in May 2009.

"We want to ensure that children and their families have access to books, so they can continue improving their literacy skills, which is the building block to all other learning."2

- David Murphy, President and CEO, Better World Books, in January 2009.

Most Promising Social Entrepreneur

On May 06, 2009, Better World Books (BWB), the US-based 'for-profit' social venture, won BusinessWeek's3 "America's Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs" award. BusinessWeek considered 'for profit' companies which had been in operation for at least one year for the award. It asked its readers to vote for those businesses that were making money as well as bringing about societal change. About 12,000 BusinessWeek readers cast their votes for 25 finalist companies and BWB got the first place with 36 percent of the votes. According to BusinessWeek , "With 36% of the vote, online bookseller Better World Books led the pack. The 200-person company makes money selling books it gets for free from a network of individuals and institutions across the country."4

Better World Books' Socially Responsible Business Model - Next Page>>

1] Nick Leiber, "The Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs,", May 01, 2009.
2] "Family Literacy Sites in Detroit to Receive Free Books,", January 07, 2009.
3] BusinessWeek is a US-based business magazine published by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. It was first published in 1929.
4] "Better World Books Wins BusinessWeek's Most Promising Social Entrepreneurship Award,", June 26, 2009.


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