More than one billion people have escaped from extreme poverty since 1990. While this is a remarkable achievement, four billion people – the majority of the world’s population – still live on low incomes. They aim to obtain better employment and to afford better food, housing, and hygiene – for themselves as well as for future generations.
With the corporate program Starting Ventures, BASF focuses on creating opportunities together with partners. The aim is to develop business solutions empowering people with low incomes to achieve a better quality of life. The pilot phase for Starting Ventures was successfully launched in 2016. One example is the project Espacio Inclusivo, which targets unemployed young people in Chile, Argentina and Uruguay. In these countries, people with low-income family backgrounds often have limited opportunities to learn technical and other skills relevant for formal employment.
At the same time, BASF’s customers in the automotive repainting and repair industry face shortages in skilled labour. Through Espacio Inclusivo, BASF has started to facilitate vocational trainings for unemployed young people empowering them to find jobs with our customers. In Chile, graduates of the program earn at least 55% more than the minimum wage.
Another example is the BASF Food Fortification Initiative, enabling us to successfully reduce micronutrient deficiency – one of the most frequently occurring forms of malnutrition. In the public-private cooperation Affordable Nutritious Food for Women (ANF4W), BASF cooperates with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) to tackle malnutrition by creating local market structures necessary to make fortified foods accessible. Local government authorities, civil society and food millers are supported in the technical implementation.
For BASF, Starting Ventures is one way to include people in the economy for mutual benefit, thereby not only contributing to our long-term success, but also uplifting those working with us along the way.