Unilever partnership pledges £40 million to support social enterprises

In partnership with the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), Unilever is expanding its commitment to support social enterprises through the joint initiative TRANSFORM. To invite ideas and collaboration to further catalyse impact, they have chosen Exago’s open innovation software.

DFID and Unilever founded TRANSFORM in 2015 with an ambition to bring private sector creativity and commercial approaches to solve persistent global development challenges. To date, it has supported 19 projects across nine countries, which have already benefited over a quarter of a million people.

This next phase will quadruple the size of the programme, from £10 million to £40 million, to support market-based solutions that meet low-income household needs in developing countries. Through financial and business support for social enterprises and behaviour-change interventions, TRANSFORM’s aim is to enable 100 million people in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia to gain access to products and services that have been shown to improve health, livelihoods, the environment or wellbeing by 2025.

Partnerships key to unlocking resources

TRANSFORM will continue 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 SDGs offer the world the business opportunity of a lifetime. If we seize this, we can help harness the power of markets to deliver not only exceptional growth but also help our economies to transition to the low-carbon, inclusive and healthier world we all want,” says Clive Allison, director of New Business Models at Unilever.

To promote impact at scale, TRANSFORM will use the Exago software. “We know that some of the best ideas and boldest actions are coming from entrepreneurs and start-ups,” adds Allison. “These disruptors are driving new innovations and business models to create the momentum the economy needs to transform itself, and the TRANSFORM initiative is a key vehicle to unlock these opportunities and scale solutions that work, to build a brighter future for all.”

Join the TRANSFORM community here.

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