The 2019 Business for Peace Honourees who are delivering opportunities for women, minorities and diverse and disadvantaged groups.
The Oslo Business for Peace Award is given to inspiring business leaders around the globe who have accomplished extraordinary things. The award honours ambassadors of businessworthy values, who are shaping society for the better.
The 2019 recipients are: Dr Agbor Ashumanyi Ako, co-founder of GiftedMom, Alice Laugher, the CEO of CTG (Committed to Good) and Hamdi Ulukaya, the founder and CEO of Chobani.
These three leaders are at the helm of companies which have a broader view than just the bottom line and see business as a tool for change. As individuals, they look at the world around them and work to improve it.
“The 2019 Honourees have managed to create enterprises with a significant social impact, exemplifying outstanding business contributions to society. In a world of imbalance, they have taken the initiative to establish and grow businesses that offer opportunities to women, minorities, diverse and disadvantaged groups”, comments Business for Peace Founder, Per L. Saxegaard. “These three celebrated individuals have worked tirelessly to counteract inequalities, encouraging inclusion and democratising access to health, aid, and work. Through their businesses, they promote human rights, contribute to sustaining peace and help build environments in which human potential can flourish.”
Dr Agbor Ashumanyi Ako
Agbor Ashumanyi Ako is one of the co-founders of GiftedMom, a digital health platform based in Cameroon that gives pregnant women and mothers across Africa access to vital health information and care. As a digital-first platform, GiftedMom is able to expand faster than traditional health care systems and the start-up aims to reach 10 million women in the next 10 years. Started by Alain Nteff and Doctor Tankou Conrad in 2012, the platform now has over 170,000 users. The award-winning app has significantly improved both pregnancy check-up attendance and vaccination turnouts, with an ultimate goal to see a world free of preventable maternal and infant deaths.
Dr Agbor enthuses, “This recognition is a symbol to show that there is progress in the right direction for the company GiftedMom. It comes as a reminder of the mission ahead. Being nominated by experts from the United Nations Development Programme Business Call to Action community and selected by former Nobel Peace Prize laureates is an indication of how the work GiftedMom is doing provides a global solution to help solve today’s challenges.”
Alice Laugher is the CEO of CTG, Committed to Good, which provides employment and logistics services to development and relief programmes in fragile and conflict-affected countries. From running Ebola treatment clinics in Liberia, to food distribution in Afghanistan and South Sudan, monitoring and assisting refugees in Libya, and rebuilding government constitution in Somalia, the work of CTG is as diverse as our world’s issues.
British-born Laugher is a vocal advocate for the Sustainable Development Agenda, with a particular focus on gender equality. She is passionate about CTG being a force for good and creating economic opportunities for women in war-torn regions through CTG’s initiative Female First, which pledges that 30% of project-related roles are represented by women by 2030. She explains: “At CTG, we’ve made empowering women through humanitarian employment in conflict-affected regions our focus. This award, this incredible recognition for our commitment, strengthens our determinations that we are moving in the right direction. I hope it will inspire business leaders, both women and men, to believe that their commitments to change and peace – no matter how small or large in scale – are the only way forward.”
Hamdi Ulukaya is the founder and CEO of Chobani, the company behind the number one Greek yoghurt in America. Today, Chobani has over 2,000 employees in the United States, 30 percent of which are legally resettled immigrants and refugees. Ulukaya has created a corporate culture in which everyone is welcome and has an opportunity to thrive with innovative profit-sharing and parental leave programmes. Ulukaya has also taken a leadership role in the global business community to encourage action from the private sector to tackle the global refugee crisis.
Turkish-born Ulukaya comments: “I’m very humbled by this honor, and I’m proud to accept it on behalf of the women and men of team Chobani. This new way of business–where companies focus on people and not just profits, try to make the world a little bit better–should be at the heart of every modern company. As CEOs we don’t need to have more, we need to do more. When we see an injustice, we need to speak out. When we have tools and resources to solve problems, we have to use them.”
About the Award
The Oslo Business for Peace Award is given out annually to exemplary business leaders who apply their business energy ethically and responsibly, creating economic and societal value. Winners are selected by an independent committee of Nobel Prize winners in Peace and in Economics after a global nomination process through the International Chamber of Commerce, United Nations Global Compact, United Nations Development Programme, and Principles for Responsible Investment. The Award Committee consists of Ouided Bouchamaoui (Tunisia), Leymah Gbowee (Liberia), Finn Kydland (Norway), and Eric Maskin (USA). The committee evaluated the nominees on the criteria of being a role model to society and their peers, having earned trust by stakeholders, and standing out as an advocate.
The three winners will receive the Award in a ceremony at Oslo City Hall on 15 May 2019 as part of the annual Business for Peace Summit.