‘Transform’, a joint venture of Unilever, 'DFID' and 'Ernst & Young’ has donated BDT 22 crore (£ 2 million) to implement the innovative initiatives of 8 companies in the country. Transform aims to inspire innovative social businesses which contribute to social development. In the past two years, Transform has provided support to eight new social business organizations in Bangladesh.
Grantees showed their projects in an event named, `Transform Bangladesh Entrepreneurs Showcasing Event’ at a hotel in Capital, Wednesday.
Present at the event were Mr. Kedar Lele, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Managing Director (MD) of Unilever Bangladesh along with the chief guest Mr. Md. Mokammel Hossain, the additional Secretary for SDG Affairs of the Prime Minister's Office. The event was also graced by Richard Wright, Global Director of Unilever's 'Sustainable Behavior Change Project' and Chris Edward, Strategic Partnership and Innovation Manager at DFID (UK).
In his Speech, Mr. Kedar Lele, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Managing Director (MD) of Unilever Bangladesh, said, “As a responsible corporate organization, Unilever has been operating & working in Bangladesh for the last 55 years. Since the birth of the country, we have been conducting numerous activities to protect the health of the people especially mothers and children. We strive to implement the innovative ideas of the young & talented entrepreneurs for the overall development of this country.”
Department for International Development (DFID), United kingdom and one of the world's largest professional firms, ‘Ernst & Young (EY), have taken the initiative in order to take Unilever’s USLP (Sustainable Living Plan) further. This initiative, called 'TRANSFORM', is helping innovative social businesses to solve market-based solutions which can play vital roles in poverty reduction. TRANSFORM is committed to drive progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as the world prepares for a more inclusive, low-carbon and equitable economy by 2030.
The Unilever Sustainable Living Plan sets out to decouple its growth from environmental footprint, while increasing positive social impact. The plan has three big goals to achieve, underpinned by nine commitments and targets spanning social, environmental and economic performance across the value chain. Unilever will continue to work with others to focus on those areas which can drive the biggest change and support the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
It is a £40M initiative that has now supported more than 50 projects with businesses across South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa to develop early-stage business ideas that create social good. The projects in Bangladesh are Water Enterprises, Health & Wellbeing Enterprises, and Sanitation & Hygiene Enterprises.
TRANSFORM collaborates with entrepreneurs in Bangladesh to create new business solutions in the areas of good health and wellbeing (SDG 3) and clean water and sanitation (SDG 6). These new social enterprises are creating inclusive markets for the benefit of everyone that can help alleviate poverty (SDG 1). The award-winning TRANSFORM collaboration is an excellent example of SDG 17 – partnerships for the goals.
Eight projects, Jeeon, Maya, HappyTap, Shobar Jonno Pani, SWEEP, Drinkwell, Folia Water, Bhumijo, have been selected to receive grants from TRANSFORM to scale their innovative and sustainable approaches to meet low-income household needs.