By Christian Vousvouras
Water Specialist at Nestlé
The world’s population continues to expand. According to the UN, more than 9 billion people will live on the planet by 2050.
Along with improvements in life expectancy, there are many more mouths to feed. Access to good nutrition, safe water sources and economic opportunities are needed to meet the challenge of our growing population. Innovative solutions will enable us to tackle poverty, disease and malnutrition.
Harnessing the power of private enterprise to tackle social challenges with business solutions is what we call Creating Shared Value (CSV). It’s a philosophy that has long driven our decision making at Nestlé and is reflected by our company purpose, to enhance quality of life and contribute to a healthier future.
We’ve also spent time finding and supporting entrepreneurs who exemplify Creating Shared Value through their business ideas and actions. Harnessing these innovations will put new solutions on the table and, at the same time, help spread wealth and prosperity. To recognise and promote the work of pioneers in this field, we launched the Nestlé Creating Shared Value Prize in 2010.
For the 2018 Prize, Nestlé partnered with Ashoka, the world’s leading network of systems-changing social entrepreneurs. Together, we searched for individuals and businesses who were scaling up or generating new business models in the areas of nutrition, water or rural development. We were also pleased that this year for the first time, the [email protected]é open innovation platform was our network partner, amplifying the outreach to participants.
As the world’s largest food and beverage company, we’ve been involved in many different projects to help boost capacity and generate business opportunities. These range from adding micronutrient fortification to our products to engaging in farmer training programmes with our suppliers. Our Creating Shared Value Prize pool was similarly wide ranging – with entries from different sectors and geographies.
'Mumm', an online platform delivering healthy homemade food to people in Egypt, and 'Fishers and Changemakers', an organisation supporting fishing communities in the Philippines, were the joint winners of the 2018 Prize. They won CHF 150'000 each to help scale up their initiatives and make a lasting impact.
Capturing and promoting these breakthrough ideas allows them to flourish. Through the Creating Shared Value Prize, we hope to profile the power of innovation, showing how the right approach to business can deliver commercial success along with greater returns for society as a whole.