Poverty levels are well documented in India, and it is estimated that the country is home to at least one-third of the world’s poor. Furthermore, up to 87% of the poorest households in India do not have access to credit, and there are potentially 250 million to 380 million people in need of microfinance services in India. The urban poverty of the country is extreme, but it is actually the country’s rural poor who are the most isolated from financial services that could enable them to work their way out of poverty.
Over the past five years, UPS has contributed $945,000 to Opportunity International to support programs including its transformational microfinance work in India. Through this partnership, Opportunity India has implemented a new social investment strategy that supports the growth of Indian microfinance by partnering with, and investing in, povertyfocused microfinance institutions (MFIs) and encouraging start-ups that operate in India’s most underserved areas. As a result, more than 1,600 new clients have received loans—averaging $136 for the first loan—and accompanying counsel, positively affecting nearly 7,000 people.
In 2011 The UPS Foundation also supported the provision of 1,134 school fee loans that were disbursed to families to keep young girls in school, bringing education within reach for children in struggling...
[Editor's Note: John Mandyck, Chief Sustainability Officer, UTC Climate, Controls, and Security will keynote BCLC's Bricks and Sticks Sustainability Symposium to discuss their leadership in the environmental innovation field. Join BCLC, UTC, and other leaders on April 16-17. Registration is open.]
UTC Climate, Controls & Security has a long history of environmentally-conscious operations – its comprehensive environment, health and safety program has been around for nearly 20 years. UTC’s approach, “green products start at a green company,” means that they have sustainability goals not just in operations, but also in product design, and materials and critical suppliers. But what makes UTC a sustainability role model is not just its aggressive, absolute-basis internal goals, but the comprehensive nature of its sustainability commitment. UTC supports sustainability in both in its operations and through its community enrichment efforts, taking the lead on initiatives like the U.S. Green Building Council (progenitor of the now-ubiquitous LEED certification). Its external corporate responsibility initiatives are all oriented around sustainability: building sustainable cities, supporting diverse and vibrant communities, and promoting STEM education.
Independent organizations have recognized the value of this fully-integrated...
Teamwork, integrity, and excellence are qualities that drive teams to win championships and spark innovation. Together they are the three core values that also serve as
the cornerstone of MGM Resorts International and drive the company and its 62,000 employees to reach higher standards.
As MGM Resorts is regarded for creating major investments and reinvestments in the finest of resorts, it has also have long been recognized for investing in its 62,000 employees and their families. MGM Resorts, like other leading employers, recognizes that a healthy workforce contributes not only to the company’s overall performance, but also to the strength of the communities in which it operates.
As the largest private employer in Nevada, MGM Resorts has introduced a portfolio of worksite wellness programs to make healthy living easy, simple, and obtainable. These programs give employees direct access to resources both onsite and away from work, and encourage them to excel in their health as well as in their service to their guests. Together, the outcome is a high-performing, guest-focused team.
Onsite Wellness Coaches
The Onsite Wellness Coaches program is an initiative that started in 2011 at three MGM Resorts Las Vegas properties: New York-New York, MGM Grand, and The Mirage.
Implemented in partnership with...
Washington D.C.’s Bold Sustainable DC Plan Makes the Case for the District as a Sustainability Champion
Join Mayor Gray and other sustainability leaders at this month's Sustainability Symposium
When people think of Washington D.C. they often think of symbols of national politics: the White House, K Street, or the never-ending partisan warfare taking place under the Capitol dome. Others might think of the cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin, which are drawing visitors from all over the world right now. Many overlook the fact that the city of D.C. is experiencing a renaissance: the city’s population is booming, the economy is steadily diversifying, maintaining low unemployment rates, and the city is cementing its position as a cultural hotbed of trendy restaurants and other attractions.
Since he was elected in January, 2011, one of Mayor Vincent C. Gray’s priorities has been to ensure that D.C’s boom benefits all of its citizen, that the local environment is protected and rehabilitated, and that the economy continues to grow and diversify. This mission is reflected in the Sustainable DC plan – one of the country’s most expansive and ambitious...
Earlier this month, Kenya held historic elections. The election process featured an unprecedented use of mobile technology, including programs for vote counting and identification checks. Say what you will about the candidates or the outcome, one thing is clear: despite a few significant glitches, we can expect technology to play a greater role in future elections across the global south. This is a good thing – for the voters, for the societies as a whole, but also for companies who hope to grow in emerging markets.
Without question, the failure of numerous programs and database functions during the elections were disappointing to the country and the region. However, there were many positives. The election brought the largest turnout in Kenyan history, a whopping 86%. Whether or not this was solely the result of Kenya’s technology investments, Kenyans are clearly eager to vote and further advances in voter participation will almost certainly depend on increased use of technology, as voters will demand shorter lines and a more efficient voting process.
At the same time, it is important to consider how new technology has led to greater expectations concerning transparency and communications around elections in general, not just in Kenya...
A recent American Red Cross poll of small businesses sponsored by FedEx shows that fewer than half of small businesses (41%) have a disaster preparedness plan in place. Why so few?
The many misconceptions about being better prepared for disasters and other emergencies. Here are five:
1) We will never be prepared for all the possibilities.
The truth- You have to begin somewhere. Start with one or two of the most likely emergencies and start preparing for them. For instance, creating basic evacuation procedures so everyone knows how to safely leave the building is an essential element of being prepared.
2) It requires experts. This is a job best left to the pros.
The truth- no one knows your business better than you do. While, bringing in professional emergency managers and planners can be very helpful, you know your internal resources, your essential business functions, and the most likely risks you might encounter. Use what you know and use...
Across the country, American businesses, communities, and individuals are looking for effective solutions to our nation’s jobs crisis. Nearly 12 million of our fellow Americans are unemployed. Our hardest hit communities are struggling to hold on. What can we do?
Starbucks and Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) recognized that corporations and individuals need to be part of the solution to unemployment. In November 2011, we teamed up to help get Americans back to work and launched Create Jobs for USA. This job creation initiative pools donations from corporations and concerned citizens and provides financing to job-creating community businesses, which include small businesses, microenterprises, nonprofit organizations, commercial real estate, and affordable housing. The Starbucks Foundation seeded the Fund with a $5 million donation and Starbucks helped distribute red, white, and blue Indivisible wristbands to donors who contributed $5 or more.
Here’s how Create Jobs for USA works: Corporations and individuals donate to OFN’s Create Jobs for USA Fund. We award the money raised to select community lenders called Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). These CDFIs make loans to community businesses that create and retain local jobs. The businesses repay the loans and the CDFIs lend the money to new businesses to create new jobs. It’s a...
If you had a chronic or possibly life-threatening disease, wouldn’t you be dedicated to taking the medicines that were prescribed to make you better?
It sounds perfectly logical, but in reality, only about one half of the people in developed countries who have a chronic or life threatening disease take the doses of prescribed medicine. Some stop taking their medicines before they are supposed to and others never make it to the pharmacy at all.
In health care circles, this is called medicines non-adherence and there can be serious consequences for it, including the need for outpatient medical care or a hospital stay. While no one is sure how much it costs, it is estimated that $100 billion is spent on excess hospitalizations in the United States alone. In addition to the high financial cost, non-adherence is also reported to be the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S.
Why don’t people take their meds?
Non-adherence is a complex issue. Regardless of whether a person has diabetes or asthma or cancer, they sometimes forget to take their medicines, find the schedule of taking them difficult, or can’t afford what is prescribed. Attempts have been made to address these issues and some have worked, but not on a widespread basis.
In general, people create their own logic about whether they do or don’t need medicine; with recent research consistently showing that around 70% of non-adherence in chronic disease is intentional....
On December 6, 2012, as part of its annual Citizens Awards event, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Business Civic Leadership Center (BCLC) and the Association of American Chambers of Commerce in Latin America (AACCLA) awarded the “Western Hemisphere Corporate Award” to the Coca-Cola Foundation of Ecuador (CCFE). We spoke with with Luz María Valdiviezo, Corporate and Communications Manager for Coca-Cola Ecuador, to learn more about their project’s impact on the Galapagos Islands’ ecosystem.
What was unique about this project that resulted in you receiving this award?
The Coastal Clean-up program on the Galapagos Islands stands out for the depth of its ongoing commitment to the conservation of this World Natural Heritage site, not only by the Coca-Cola Foundation of Ecuador but also by our partner the Galapagos Ecuador Foundation.
How did this project come about and what does it involve?
The Coastal Clean-up program at the Galapagos Islands has been functioning since 2004 as part of our commitment to the conservation of the Islands, which are blighted by solid waste that washes up on the coast and beaches via sea currents from all over the American continent. This waste negatively affects the ecosystem, particularly...
What is the “rule of law” and why does it matter for entrepreneurs? In this video, Democracy that Delivers for Entrepreneurs keynote speaker Hernando de Soto explains how the legal and institutional structures that entrepreneurs and business people in the developed world take for granted are sorely lacking in many developing countries. As a result, those who want to start a business are often forced to operate in the shadows — lacking formal registrations, licenses, and any protection for their property.
De Soto’s organization, the Institute for Liberty and Democracy (ILD), estimated that up to five billion people may be completely shut out of the legal system. The results can be catastrophic and even world-changing.
When Tunisian fruit peddler Mohamed Bouazazi had his cart, scale, and inventory confiscated by a police inspector in 2011, he was so despondent that he set himself on fire — igniting the Arab Spring that brought down several governments around the region.
Bouazizi’s name has now gone down in history, but he was not alone. ILD has found dozens of informal entrepreneurs around the Middle East and North Africa who...