ITOCHU Corporation and kurkku: Supporting Transition to Organic Cotton Production in India
In August 2012, one of Japan’s leading general trading companies, ITOCHU Corporation, and the sustainable lifestyle company kurkku joined the Business Call to Action with a commitment to improve the incomes and health of Indian cotton farmers through the Pre-Organic Cotton (POC) Program.
Ajinomoto Co.: Better Nutrition, Brighter Future in Ghana
In September 2013, the Japanese food giant Ajinomoto Co. joined the Business Call to Action with a commitment to employ its expertise in food technology and amino acid nutrition for improving nutrition in Ghana. The company aims to expand its pilot nutritional supplement programme in order to reach an estimated 200,000 weaning infants by 2017.
¡Échale! a Tu Casa: Providing Low-Income Families Opportunities for Home Ownership
In January 2012, the housing social enterprise ¡Échale! a tu Casa joined the Business Call to Action with a commitment to provide US$3 million in microfinance lending in order to help 25,000 families with minimum wage of under US$5 per day to finance the construction of their houses by 2017.
Dimagi: Boosting Access to Health Care through Technology
In August 2011, the U.S.-based, award-winning socially-conscious technology company Dimagi joined the Business Call to Action with a commitment to promote access to health care for millions of people in India. Through its innovative mobile phone-based application CommCare, Dimagi is helping health workers to collect data and monitor patient care more efficiently and effectively.
IKEA: Promoting Sustainable Cotton Farming in India and Pakistan
In January 2013, the Swedish home-furnishing retailer, IKEA joined the Business Call to Action with its commitment to procure and use by the end of 2015 only cotton coming from more sustainable sources. As part of this effort, the company also plans to grow worldwide demand for sustainable cotton at affordable prices. IKEA’s goal is to ensure that consumers do not have to pay a premium for cotton products that are more sustainably farmed than conventional cotton—using less water and fewer chemicals and pesticides. IKEA believes it is possible to produce cotton at a lower cost and through practices which not only improve incomes for farmers but also have a lower impact on the environment.
Zoona: Building a Mobile Money Ecosystem in Zambia
Zoona, a low-cost mobile payments system provider in Zambia, joined the Business Call to Action in 2012 with the goal of enabling financial inclusion for the poor and unbanked. Zambia is a country with low population density and high poverty
rates. Due to low bank penetration outside of metropolitan areas and the cost of banking services, over 80 per cent of adults in Zambia do not have bank accounts. On the other hand, 76 per cent of adults in Zambia own a mobile phone, a dramatic increase
from 28 per cent in 2005. Access to mobile phones is also relatively high in the poorer segments with over half of rural farmers as well as 46 per cent of the very poor owning a mobile phone. Recognizing a business opportunity, Zoona launched in 2009 to serve the unbanked in Zambia. Zoona started with a money transfer service using a network of micro and small enterprise agents to offer instant, over-the-counter money transfers within Zambia to primarily unbanked consumers.
Hapinoy: Building Local Business Networks
In April 2013, Hapinoy joined the Business Call to Action with a commitment to create an innovative and inclusive distribution network of independently operated convenience stores for over-thecounter medicines and healthcare related products in marginalized communities in the Philippines. Hapinoy’s commitment to seeks to reach this underserved population by partnering with existing sari-sari stores, convenience shops that are common even in the remotest areas, to provide over-the-counter medicines and healthcare-related products to those who need them most.
PUPA: Bolstering Early Childhood Development
Service-based company PUPA, of Brazil, committed in 2013 to the Business Call to Action to provide early childhood educational programmes to hundreds of thousands of children between 0 and 6 years of age in low-income communities while creating employment opportunities for low-income women micro-entrepreneurs in Brazil. The PUPA programme aims to fill an important gap in educational services in Brazil and many other countries. With USD 3 million in financing from the Opportunities for the Majority Financing Facility of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), PUPA spun off from this programme as a separate company in 2010.
Novartis: Commercial Innovation for Improved Health
In November 2012, Novartis joined the Business Call to Action with a commitment to improve health outcomes for populations living at the base of the pyramid (BoP) in rural India. Arogya Parivar’s inclusive business model utilizes a market-based approach for healthcare provision. By offering education on diseases, treatment options and prevention as well as enhancing access to affordable medicines, Novartis has built upon an existing network of qualified professionals that bolsters weak or, in some cases, non-existent healthcare infrastructure.
Por ti, Familia: Enabling Access to Quality Healthcare in Peru
Por ti, Familia has committed to address this gap by providing up to 270,000 of Peru’s urban poor with access to affordable, high-quality health care by 2015. Por ti, Familia will open 100 new health centers around Lima that will provide low-income customers with primary health services, pediatric care, gynecological care and preventive oncology as well as on-site laboratory testing, medical imaging diagnostics and a pharmacy for fees that are up to 67 percent less than private hospitals and equivalent to the fees charged at public hospitals.