Date Published: 11 November 2008
Barclays and UNICEF announce £5million partnership
Barclays and UNICEF have lauched a new global community investment partnership, worth £5million over the next three years. The partnership, "Building Young Futures", aims to empower thousands of young people across the world by providing them with the support and skills they need to achieve a brighter economic future for themselves and their communities.
Building Young Futures will focus on providing young people with access to
education, vocational training and employment and supporting opportunities for
entrepreneurship. Individual projects will seek to raise the educational attainment
of disadvantaged children, and to increase the number of young people gaining
employment or starting their own business by providing them with the necessary
skills and opportunities, via mentoring, microfinance and financial training.
The partnership involves an unprecedented degree of collaboration between UNICEF UK and a corporate partner on the design and delivery of a global initiative. As well as investing £5million, Barclays will provide business and financial expertise throughout the three-year project, and up to 15,000 hours of its employees' time.
David Bull, Executive Director of UNICEF UK, said:
"This represents the largest single donation that we've received from a corporate partner in the UK. However, it's the extent of Barclays involvement and collaboration with us that makes Building Young Futures a remarkable and exciting partnership for UNICEF UK. By working together, combining Barclays' business and financial expertise with UNICEF's global experience in helping young people in excluded communities, this partnership can deliver real, sustainable change for the young people and their families, empowering them to break free of the poverty cycle."
The partnership forms part of Barclays' wider five-year, $150m flagship community investment programme, Banking on Brighter Futures. This programme supports 1,500 projects around the world, using Barclays' financial skills and expertise to help people work towards financial independence and security. Banking on Brighter Futures was launched in 2007 as part of Barclays' sustainability strategy.
Marcus Agius, Chairman of Barclays, said:
"Despite the difficult current economic conditions, it is vital that business continues to invest in sustainability. Helping to develop and empower individuals and communities is vitally important, and it is fundamental to stimulating global economic growth at the same time. Aligning our community investment programmes to our core business maximises their impact, delivers social benefits on the ground, and develop future markets for our business.
We at Barclays have a long-term global responsibility to help develop the 50 or so markets in which we operate, and to nurture those who live and work in them. Crucially, Building Young Futures is designed so that we can measure the results of our efforts, and ensure the benefits are maintained long after the partnership is ended."
Throughout the Building Young Futures partnership, a strong focus will be placed on measurement and sustainability. Targets are being set to assess the impact and benefits of the initiative, both for the communities involved, as well as for Barclays as a business.
Marcus Cox, a director at Agulhas Applied Knowledge, the sustainable development consultancy, comments:
"The Barclays-UNICEF partnership is an example of how companies are moving beyond traditional corporate philanthropy, and beginning to develop new models that help to generate social and economic development, while at the same time building long-term business opportunities."
The partnership will work in a number of countries, including India, Egypt, Kenya, Philippines, Mexico, Botswana, Pakistan and Russia, with the majority of programmes being implemented over three years. The project in India aims to improve the lives of girls and young women by developing entrepreneurial skills and self-esteem through the provision of education and training on subjects including leadership skills, small business management and book keeping. In Egypt, the project will equip young people with the skills they need to make strategic career choices and to access employment, complemented by a pilot work placement programme and a trial micro-credit programme for those wishing to start their own business.