| HBS Case Collection
(Revised April 2012)
Better World Books
Better World Books, a young start-up, provides a socially conscious alternative to Amazon, collecting and selling used books to keep them out of the waste stream, while donating a portion of their profits to support global literacy efforts. The case presents an emerging new business model: the for-profit "B corporation" designed to combine profits and mission. Founder Xavier Helgesen struggles with how to price his products to capture the value of their social good; how to manage multiple channels of distribution, including selling direct to consumers; and managing the social impact of negative public perceptions on the business once the company turns profitable.
Keywords: Business Model;
Corporate Social Responsibility and Impact;
Norton, Michael I., Fiona Wilson, Jill Avery, and Thomas J. Steenburgh. "Better World Books." Harvard Business School Case 511-057, September 2010. (Revised April 2012.)