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Book Launch: The Business of Doing Good, released at an event in London

January 2015

January 2015

BNP Paribas and the Microfinance Club of the UK hosted an event to mark the official release of ‘The Business of Doing Good’ on 20th January 2015 at BNP Paribas, London.

The book authored by Anton Simanowitz and Katherine Knotts, looks at the creation and history of AMK Cambodia and distills the key factors of the success of an institution that effectively balances its social and financial goals.  It also derives important lessons from how AMK learns from its mistakes and corrects them on an ongoing basis.

The book can be purchased directly from the publishers at

http://developmentbookshop.com/the-business-of-doing-good 

Speaking on the occasion, Anton Simanowitz highlighted the relevance of AMK’s story to all social purpose organisations, and spoke about the six main insights that have been discussed in the book.  He spoke of his own observations of AMK over the years and how the institution has embedded social performance into its culture and work ethic.  He also spoke more widely from his extensive association with microfinance and about the need for incentive and reward systems of such institutions to take the social goals into account, as reflected in AMK’s work.

Katherine Knotts spoke about the enriching process of writing the book which involved many hours of sifting through the rich information provided by AMK.  She highlighted the approach of AMK that most struck her – of questioning conventional wisdom when approaching its work and of putting client feedback ahead of often misplaced ‘best practices’.

Tanmay Chetan, Chairman of AMK congratulated the authors for bringing out the AMK story in a well distilled form and spoke about his personal experience of working with AMK over the past decade.  He touched upon the fact that AMK’s social values were embedded from the beginning largely due to its shareholder, Concern Worldwide.  He also emphasised that often, social and financial goals are not really at odds with each other and can be complementary if the institution is open to questioning its approach and listening to its clients, which AMK does through its research function.

Tom Adams, Director at Acumen Fund, while also congratulating the authors, mentioned that the book can be a very useful tool in the hands of wider social purpose organisations.  In his own work at Acumen Fund, the question of impact is always paramount and he was glad that this book addresses this question and shows how social purpose organisations can approach the question of impact.  He remarked that he really enjoyed reading the book and encouraged the audience to purchase and read it.

After a question and answer session with the members of the audience, the evening concluded with drinks where the authors signed a number of copies of the book that were purchased from the publisher’s stall.