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We make it our mission to work with advocates in civil society, business and government to address inequalities of power, seek remedy for abuse, and ensure protection of people and planet.

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Business initiatives on education

Companies can assist in improving the accessibility and quality of education.  Below is a selection of articles and reports exemplifying some ways in which some companies have done this.  For further reports on business & education see the Resource Centre’s website section on education.

Case examples

Asia & Pacific
Europe & Central Asia
Middle East & North Africa


The MDGs – Everyone’s Business – MDG 2: Achieve Universal Primary Education
Growing Inclusive Markets, 21 Sep 2010
Describes steps that multinational corporations, large domestic companies and SMEs can take; provides examples.

Global Education Initiative
A World Economic Forum initiative.  From its website: “The Global Education Initiative has helped over 1.8 million students and teachers and mobilized over US$ 100 million in resource support in Jordan, Rajasthan (India), Egypt, the Palestinian Territories and Rwanda. Today, the GEI engages over 40 private sector partners, 14 governments, 7 international organizations and 20 non-governmental organizations.”

IKEA Social Initiative backgrounder (by UNICEF)
The IKEA Social Initiative, founded in 2005, aims to “promote the rights of every child to a healthy, secure childhood and access to quality education”.  It is a partnership between IKEA, UNICEF and Save the Children.
- IKEA Social Initiative (Ikea website)
- IKEA (Save the Children website)
- IKEA Social initiative (on business.un.org)

One laptop per child
Initiative aims to “create educational opportunities for the world's poorest children by providing each child with a rugged, low-cost, low-power, connected laptop”.  Founding members are AMD, Brightstar, Ebay, Google, Marvell, Nortel, Quanta, Red Hat, SES Astra.  Partners are Underwriters Laboratories, UNDP, Foley Hoag, Greenberg Traurig, Citigroup, Fuse Project, Pentagram, Nurun.

Bridging the Global Digital Divide, One Laptop at a Time
[email protected], Univ. of Pennsylvania (USA), 11 Jun 2008

Bulgari pledges $7.4 million commitment to support children’s education
International Business Times, 1 Nov 2010
A Bulgari ring designed and sold to benefit Save the Children.


Solar-powered internet school set to benefit children in rural Africa
David Smith, Guardian (UK), 28 Oct 2011

Mobile company eyes girl education drive [Tanzania]
Abduel Elinaza, Daily News (Tanzania), 18 Nov 2010

Intel Enhances E-Learning
Daily Nation (Kenya), 12 Oct 2010

South Africa's Fairtrade benefits need to be higher – and spread wider
Zoe Wood, Guardian (UK), 14 Feb 2010
Fairtrade wine premium invested in schools in South African wine district.

PricewaterhouseCoopers donates $4 million to educate Darfur's refugees
UNHCR, 12 Aug 2008


BBVA reinforces its commitment to education in Latin America with a project that will benefit more than eight million people through 2021
BBVA, 15 Sep 2010

Worldfund Raises more than $1.5 Million to fund Education Programs to Fight Poverty in Latin America
CEOs of three firms awarded “2010 Education Leadership Award” for their companies’ “outstanding and continuous commitment to education development in Latin America”: Jim Skinner of McDonald’s; Woods Staton of Arcos Dorados; Paolo Rocca of Techint.
Worldfund, 9 Jun 2010

Asia & Pacific

Vedanta to strengthen computer education program in Rajasthan [India]
India Infoline News, 16 Jul 2010

Partnership with a small NGO for ensuring quality education [India]
Ballarpur Industries Limited Annual Report 2008-2009 (page 27), 21 Sep 2009
Partnership to increase quality of education and school enrolment.

India CSR still on Ikea radar
Ishani Duttagupta, Economic Times (India), 21 Jun 2009
Education was a substantial part of IKEA’s first CSR initiative in India.

Merck KgAa / PT Mercj Tbk – Fight anemia, increase learning achievement!
CSR WeltWeit, Initiative occurred between 2006-8, Indonesia

Providing access to primary education for the under-privileged girl children in India
Mahindra & Mahindra, 21 Oct 2002

Europe & Central Asia

Case study: Business and school partnerships [UK]
Miranda Green, Financial Times, 4 Nov 2010

OSRAM Türkei – Osram’s Student Illumination Movement
CSR WeltWeit, 2008

Middle East & North Africa

UNICEF and Nokia partner to rebuild eight schools in Iraq
UNICEF, 20 Oct 2008


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Related stories and components

21 October 2002

Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. Case Study: Providing access to primary education for the under-privileged girl children in India

Author: Mahindra & Mahindra, case study for UN Global Compact

The "Nanhi Kali" (Small Bud) project was conceived and developed for providing access to primary education for the under-privileged girl children in India...The scheme provides for creating a facility for educating such girl children in the country...

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1 January 2006

Merck KgAa / PT Merck Tbk - Fight anemia, increase learning achievement!

Author: CSR WeltWeit [Germany]

High anaemia prevalence in Indonesia especially among children. Iron Deficiency Anaemia (IDA) is one of major nutritional problems in Indonesia and as well other developing countries in the world. Anaemia is important economically because it:...

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31 January 2006

website: Global Education Initiative

Author: Global Education Initiative - World Economic Forum

The Global Education Initiative (GEI) builds on a proven model of public-private partnership (PPP) that combines the strengths of government, the private sector and civil society stakeholders to advance education.

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1 January 2008

OSRAM Türkei (Osram Ampul Ticaret A.Ş.) - Osram Aydınlanma Hareketi (Osram’s Student Illumination Movement)

Author: CSR WeltWeit

Osram Turkey started its first social responsibility project on the 100th anniversary of Osram in 2006. Our Osram Student Illumination Movement (OSIM) is a long-term project which has every year a new theme. The annual concepts are surrounded of the...

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11 June 2008

Bridging the Global Digital Divide, One Laptop at a Time

Author: [email protected], Univ. of Pennsylvania [USA]

On May 20, the non-profit One Laptop per Child (OLPC) program unveiled the second version of its XO laptop, which is designed to bring affordable, modern technology to children in developing countries. In April, Intel announced its next-generation...

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11 August 2008

PricewaterhouseCoopers donates $4 million to educate Darfur's refugees

Author: UNHCR

PricewaterhouseCoopers has donated US$4 million towards the education of refugee children in eastern Chad's camps, in the single largest corporate donation ever received by the UN refugee agency…The funds will be used to build and operate schools for...

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20 October 2008

UNICEF and Nokia partner to rebuild eight schools in Iraq

Author: UNICEF

The Nokia mobile communications company and UNICEF have launched a unique public-private partnership for children in Iraq to rebuild eight primary schools affected by conflict, displacement and poverty. The $1 million initiative is operating in two...

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1 January 2009

[PDF] Partnership with a small NGO for ensuring quality education

Author: Ballarpur Industries

Sankalpa Bahu-Udeshiya Sanstha, is a small grass roots level NGO which BILT has been partnering with for the last five years...Before the intervention, in 2005, 30 per cent children in the age group of 6 to 14 were out of school and even amongst...

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21 June 2009

India CSR still on IKEA radar

Author: Ishani Duttagupta, Economic Times [India]

“We are committed to investing $120 million in India in UNICEF programmes over the next five years. The figure will go up to $180 million by 2015,” Marianne Barner, head of IKEA social initiative, told SundayET. The company partners with UNICEF, UNDP...

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14 February 2010

South Africa's Fairtrade benefits need to be higher – and spread wider

Author: Zoe Wood, Guardian [UK]

...[A]mong the 97 pupils [of Trawal primary school] are glimmers of hope, from shiny new schoolbags and shoes, to big smiles. The children, many the offspring of workers at the nearby Stellar Winery, are the first generation to feel the trickle-down...

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