Investing in communities
Economically and socially strong communities provide us with skilled labour and raw materials, as well as markets for our products. To help them flourish, we invest in various community programmes, from schemes to encourage young entrepreneurs to public health projects.
During the year ended 31 March 2005, we invested over US$16.9 million in community programmes, an increase of over 30% on the previous 12 months. Several of these projects are designed to promote healthier, more productive lifestyles. In India, for instance, we are funding a health promotion initiative that will educate over 3,000 families about the importance of hygiene, immunisation against major diseases and other health-related issues. The scheme will also provide basic primary health care, including mobile clinics offering first aid and treatments for minor ailments.
We also fund various programmes to encourage young entrepreneurs. Our Miller Urban Entrepreneur Series in the USA, for instance, has provided over 3,000 aspiring entrepreneurs, mainly from minority ethnic groups, with advice on how to turn great ideas into commercial realities. Similar schemes are supported in South Africa and Botswana under our ‘KickStart’ programme. In addition, we sponsor business-related scholarships and internships in countries as diverse as Romania and the USA.
During the year ended 31 March
2005 we invested US$16.9 million
through our corporate social
representing 0.8% of pre-tax profits.
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