UVA Darden School, Concordia and US Department of State Secretary’s Office of Global Partnerships Announce Project Nurture as Winner of P3 Impact Award
By Laura Hennessey Martens
The University of Virginia Darden School of Business Institute for Business in Society, Concordia and the U.S. Department of State Secretary’s Office of Global Partnerships announced Project Nurture as a model public-private partnership (P3) and winner of the third annual P3 Impact Award during the 2016 Concordia Summit in New York City last night.
Project Nurture, a partnership between the global nonprofit TechnoServe, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and The Coca-Cola Company, sought to address poverty among African smallholder farmers as well as the challenges food and beverage companies face sourcing agricultural products in Africa by connecting mango and passion fruit farmers in Kenya and Uganda to better markets, including the local Coca-Cola supply chain. This partnership met the company’s business objectives while providing a steady market and greater incomes for the farmers.
“Partnerships like Project Nurture clearly demonstrate that when organizations across sectors share the weight of complex social challenges — and then work together to address them — positive results follow,” said Darden Professor Mary Margaret Frank, an academic director of the Darden Institute for Business in Society. “We are delighted to partner with Concordia and the U.S. Department of State Secretary’s Office of Global Partnerships to present the third annual P3 Impact Award to Project Nurture, and to celebrate the finalists and other exemplary public-private partnerships that are working to improve our world.”
Project Nurture has improved the outputs and incomes of 54,000 farmers, nearly a third of them women. The public-private partnership trained the farmers to enhance the quality and quantity of their fruit, helping them strengthen or create more than 1,000 farmer business groups and connecting them with buyers such as local processors, wholesalers and regional exporters. As a result, Coca-Cola was able to produce a locally-sourced fruit juice in East Africa for the first time, reducing time and costs over the long run — while farmers’ incomes more than doubled, increasing by an average of 142 percent.
“We are proud to honor Project Nurture. Their work and its direct positive impact on communities in Africa are a testament to what effective public-private partnerships can achieve,” Regina Hubard Sheridan, Concordia’s executive director, remarked.
“Project Nurture serves as a stellar example of what public-private partnerships can do to achieve the sustainable development goals. We congratulate them and look forward to following the project’s continued impact,” added Thomas Debass, Secretary’s Office of Global Partnership’s Acting Special Representative.
Project Nurture and four award finalists were featured in a special edition P3 Impact Award article series within the Darden School’s thought-leadership publication, Darden Ideas to Action. The series features leading practices and actionable insights from the winner and finalists. It will also be used to develop teaching cases and other materials to share and advance best practices with other public-private partnerships around the world.
“Aligning business incentives with local development needs is one of the most effective ways to ensure positive, long-term change for the people around the world working to lift themselves out of poverty,” said William Warshauer, president and CEO of TechnoServe. “This idea forms the foundation of TechnoServe’s mission, and we were honored to have partners like Coca-Cola and the Gates Foundation, who shared this vision and worked so hard to help make Project Nurture a model for future sustainability efforts.”
The 2016 award finalists included: Energize the Chain, MTV Shuga Campaign, Satellite Assisted Pastoralist Resource Management (SAPARM) and Sustainable Living Beyond Borders — Transforming Lives via Health and Wellness. As the winner, Project Nurture will receive a full scholarship to attend a week-long Darden Executive Education course.
The University of Virginia Darden School of Business delivers the world’s best business education experience to prepare entrepreneurial, global and responsible leaders through its MBA, Ph.D., MSBA and Executive Education programs. Darden’s top-ranked faculty is renowned for teaching excellence and advances practical business knowledge through research. Darden was established in 1955 at the University of Virginia, a top public university founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 in Charlottesville, Virginia.
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