Marks & Spencer PLC - M&S Global Community Programme – Partnership with NGO Emerging Leaders

The Unilever Global Development Award, supported by Business Fights Poverty, Shortlisted, 2016

By delivering leadership training to their supply chain workforce Marks and Spencers are supporting local communities and building a more resilient business.

Good for society

  • Almost two thirds of the trainees on Marks and Spencer's leadership course have initiated a project aimed at creating employment opportunities.
  • For every 100 people trained by the company there are at least 20 income generating programmes still running after a year.

Good for business

  • The leadership course is helping M&S to build a more resilient business, with less risk, and reduced worker turnover.
  • The company's supplier productivity has also increased, up to 10% for some suppliers.

Marks & Spencer - Spark Something Good in SwanseaIn Kenya and South Africa many workers live in poverty and unstable communities, with women experiencing high levels of discrimination. Marks & Spencer (M&S) aim to support the workers and communities in their Kenyan and South African supply chain, building resilience to ensure the long term sustainability of the business.

The company has partnered with NGO Emerging Leaders to establish and roll out their leadership training course ‘Leadership for Hope’ to all workers. The course aims to develop leadership skills and empower individuals to positively adapt to change at work, at home, and in their community. So far over 19,000 people have been trained, with positive results:

  • Following the training 98% of participants stated that they felt that they were a leader.

  • Almost two thirds of the trainees have initiated a project aimed at creating employment opportunities, improving incomes and providing leadership and direction for people in their community.

  • 65% of the projects started have been initiated by women.

  • For every 100 people trained there are at least 20 income generating programmes still running after a year.

The leadership course is helping M&S to build a more resilient business, with more productive suppliers, less risk, and reduced worker turnover.

What M&S said:

“Trevor Waldock and Emerging Leaders pioneering idea to bring leadership development training to the world’s most vulnerable communities is making a real difference to those involved, from creating new enterprises through to improving relationships, the impacts are far reaching”

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