8 social businesses get £2m to implement innovative projects
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 Bangladesh.
Transform aims to inspire innovative social businesses which contribute to social development and in the past two years, it has provided support to eight new social business organizations in the country.
The recipients of the donation Grantees displayed their projects at an event named, 'Transform Bangladesh Entrepreneurs Showcasing Event' at a hotel in Capital, Wednesday.
DFID (The Department for International Development) is a department of the British responsible for administering overseas aid. Ernst & Young is a multinational professional services firm headquartered in London.
Unilever Bangladesh Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Kedar Lele along with the chief guest Prime Minister's Office SDG Affairs Additional Secretary Md. Mokammel Hossain and Unilever's 'Sustainable Behavior Change Project' Global Director Richard Wright and DFID Strategic Partnership and Innovation Manager Chris Edward were present at the event.
The eight projects selected to receive grants from TRANSFORM to scale their innovative and sustainable approaches to meet low-income household needs are Jeeon, Maya, HappyTap, Shobar Jonno Pani, SWEEP, Drinkwell, Folia Water and Bhumijo.
Jeeon upgrades pharmacies with a simple app that builds their capacity and connects them to improve rural healthcare. The TRANSFORM project tests behavioral change messaging and demand creation to enable rural community access to health and well-being products. Maya's mission is to be everyone's wellbeing assistant across Asia, especially for women, making access instant, convenient, informed, and private for users. This is achieved through a proprietary artificial intelligence (AI) based anonymous messaging solution that Maya has developed. Maya uses artificial intelligence to provide affordable remote health advice to women. Bhumijo build and operate high-quality public toilets in Bangladesh. HappyTap is a mass-manufactured portable sink purpose-built for low-income communities of Bangladesh that has been designed to encourage behavioral change for children.
Shobar Jonno Pani (SJP) is a social enterprise working in the Bhashantek slum in Dhaka. TRANSFORM will support the roll out of the sanitation pilot and will focus on marketing and behavioral change.
SWEEP is a fecal sludge management service developed by Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor Bangladesh in 2015. The TRANSFORM project will focus on marketing and sales to increase the demand for SWEEP's services, targeting low-income communities of Chittagong.
Drinkwell is transforming South Asia's water crisis into an entrepreneurial opportunity by using a micro-franchise model to provide clean drinking water. The TRANSFORM project will test a new content platform and technology to assess uptake and measure eventual adoption of safe drinking water services.
Folia Water's patent-pending silver-infused filter papers are the world's first water filter that costs coins and not Taka. The TRANSFORM project will focus on distribution and marketing.
During the exhibition, organized by TRANSFORM's partnership initiative and the pyramid structure, Unilever and the 8 sponsored startups highlighted the positive impact that the initiatives has on the common people as a result of its organizational activities in Bangladesh.