We aim to make lasting, positive changes in the world, and through the years we have improved the lives for millions of people across the world. However, even with the best intentions, things don’t always go as planned. By challenging ourselves and our partners to think innovatively to find improved solutions, we might triumph with one thing and nose-dive with another. It’s a learning process. “As so often, the biggest insights seem obvious once you reach them,” says Maria Bystedt at H&M Foundation.
“Doing something for the first time means making mistakes. But learning from them is how you get things done,” says Erik Bang at H&M Foundation.
Our Innovation Accelerator Program for the Global Change Award winners is designed to accelerate the development of their innovations to reach the market quicker and therefore driving change in the fashion industry. This year, our Accelerator delivered knowhow from an impressive list of guest speakers, but it also played an important role in giving a sense of belonging and moral support to our winners because of the pandemic.
H&M Foundation has been working with WaterAid to support access to clean water and sanitation, since 2014. During the second phase of our Global Program, 190,000 people in some of the world’s poorest communities were reached. Now, WaterAid has launched a learning report based on lessons emerging from the program.
Women’s daily enterprise earnings increased by 91% and 33% more women took up leadership positions, thanks to our Global Program with CARE. Almost 270,000 women have been supported since 2014.
Through Global Change Award we support innovation to move from early stage ideas to market readiness. We are backing game changers in their early days, getting them ready to commercialize and work together with other players in the fashion industry.
For the past three years, H&M Foundation and our partners UNICEF, WaterAid and CARE have reached and exceeded our goals within our global programs. Thousands of women have received support in order to start their own enterprises and have been able to lift their families out of poverty, vulnerable children have gained access to the care and stimulation they need to grow and develop, and communities, schools and health centers now have clean water and functioning toilets.
H&M Foundation’s Annual Report 2019 covers the work we have done together with our 23 partners within the focus areas Education, Water, Equality and Planet, during 2019, investing USD 15 million on improved living conditions and game changing innovation that can protect our planet.
The world’s top 100 investors received an investment opportunity from Unfounded Ltd with the potential to unlock USD 330 billion in annual global revenue. The twist? The company might not be real, but the all the data and figures are – and so is the potential of women in business. Women make up half the world’s population, yet female-founded start-ups only get about 3% of global venture dollar volume. By not giving women entrepreneurs equal access to finance, investors keep missing out on what could become the new Apple Inc. or Amazon.com – every year.
Striving towards equal societies and breaking cycles of exclusion fuels sustainable economies and benefits societies and humanity at large. Together with humanitarian organisation CARE, the H&M Foundation is investing in women’s economic empowerment by equipping women in poor communities with the tools they need to start, develop and grow their businesses.