Unilever, the FCDO and EY launch support platform to protect a generation of impact enterprises from COVID-19 disruption

TRANSFORM, a joint initiative between Unilever, the FCDO, and EY has launched TRANSFORM Survive & Thrive, an open-source platform to support early- and growth-stage impact enterprises in developing economies that are at risk of failure due to COVID-19 disruption.

The platform will offer impact enterprises support and access to finance to help them survive, by ensuring business continuity and to thrive by pivoting to global COVID-19 recovery efforts while developing more resilient business models.

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The support available through the platform will continue to grow as additional public, private and non-profit organizations join and contribute their own tools and support.

A generation of impactful businesses are at risk

Local enterprises are one of the most effective and agile vehicles for delivering impact in developing markets. Yet, the economic and social disruption of COVID-19 has put an entire generation of early- and growth-stage impact enterprises at risk.

Innovation, local know-how and presence, and a focus on addressing low-income household issues mean impact enterprises are key to successfully recovering from the COVID-19 crisis, which continues to threaten the development of the world’s most vulnerable communities, one year after the first COVID-19 case was recorded.

For the last five years, TRANSFORM has been working with impact enterprises to help them develop and refine commercially-sustainable business models that combine positive impact with business growth. TRANSFORM is now broadening its efforts to support impact enterprises during the pandemic.

An open call for contributing partners

“We’re calling on other organizations to join us and broaden the reach and impact of the TRANSFORM Survive & Thrive initiative so we can accelerate inclusive business models and build back better,” says Clive Allison, Global Director, Innovation & New Business at Unilever.

TRANSFORM is seeking contributing partners who can provide a range of business and financial support including:

Convening power and domain expertise: Organisations with access to a network of impact enterprises that could benefit from the TRANSFORM Survive & Thrive platform and organizations that can convene enterprises for impactful and scalable projects aimed at global recovery from COVID-19.

Business support: Organisations with tools and resources can contribute to the TRANSFORM Survive & Thrive platform.

Products or services: Organisations that supply essential products and are looking to partner with others to protect these critical supply chains and distribute these products to those who need them most, in a sustainable way.

Funding access: Organisations with access to a funding mechanism that they can share to help businesses respond to COVID-19, ensuring enterprises can access the necessary finance to react and respond to the crisis.

“We know that many of the organizations best placed to respond to the COVID-19 crisis are being significantly disrupted by the pandemic. By supporting impact enterprises to mount an agile and impactful response to the crisis, we can ensure that some of the world’s most vulnerable communities are protected,” states Clive Allison.

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