danone.communities - The latest news
Following its initial success with Grameen Danone in Bangladesh, danone.communities has invested in two new social businesses: 1001 Fontaines pour Demain in Cambodia, and La Laiterie du Berger in Senegal.
The danone.communities FCPR venture-capital fund, which is wholly owned by the danone.communities mutual fund (SICAV), has acquired a 34% interest in a business set up by 1001 Fontaines pour Demain to provide safe drinking water to villagers in isolated parts of Cambodia at less than one eurocent a liter.
In Senegal, the venture-capital fund teamed up with I&P, a private investment company focusing on microfinance institutions and small to medium-size business in West Africa, to back a capital increase for Senegal’s La Laiterie du Berger and become a minority shareholder with 25%. La Laiterie du Berger's mission is to promote the production of fresh, locally collected milk, improving conditions for northern Senegal's Peul cattle herders and at the same time offering local consumers high-quality fresh dairy products that are more affordable than those made with imported milk.
Today, danone.communities is launching nearly a dozen immersion tripsto study the potential of new investment projects.
Throughout 2012, the danone.communities blog has eagerly shared the latest developments in our own projects, news from the world of social business, and the ideas that make social business so compelling.
Here are just a few of the year’s highlights as mentioned on our blog:
At the beginning of the year, Fortune Magazine named Muhammad Yunus as one of the greatest entrepreneurs of our time, alongside Apple’s Steve Jobs and Google’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Perhaps not by coincidence, it was Bangladeshi Nazia Zebin who won the project grant in our Social Business Youngsters competition on Facebook. A 24-years-old student, Nazia is committed to promoting access to culture for everyone in Bangladesh, including rural residents. In May, she traveled to Paris for the Global Communities Meeting, where she met experts from the social business community who had come to work together and imagine the solutions and initiatives of the future.
Our midyear highlight is always June 28: Social Business Day, celebrating the people who practice social business around the world. Here in Paris, danone.communities held a conference to give them a voice and to continue our mission of raising awareness of social business.
During the 2012 edition of Global Communities Meeting in Paris, danone.communities has initiated a new meeting, before the conference with Pr. Yunus. This special meeting was called Experts Workshops Meeting.
Since its creation in 2007, danone.communities has been evolving in a partnership’s galaxy and has never walked alone. Indeed, Grameen Danone Foods Ltd, the 1rst project, originally started thanks to its partners: Grameen Bank. Without the Grameen Bank’s knowledge and expertise, Danone would have met much more difficulties to enter this new territory. Moreover, without the support of Care Bangladesh, it would have been much harder to settle up again the door-to-door sales network in 2008, after the milk crisis.
With years and with projects, the partners’ network got wider and today it gathers about 50 partners, for 10 projects. At danone.communities, we know that all these partners are experts of specific topics: micro-distribution, finance, social impact…
While designing the Global Communities Meeting 2012, the danone.communities team has decided to gather more experts in the same place to make emerge learnings and knowledge to share and spread good practices or things to avoid for a social business project.
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