what3words

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

what3words' simple global address system supports people to access aid and finance, organisations to evaluate their programmes, and businesses to deliver services while building the company's reputation for social impact.

Good for society

  • what3words have given the 4bn people currently living without an address a way to be located, to receive government and aid services.
  • The company has also made it easier for organisations to monitor and evaluate the impact of social and environmental programmes.

Good for business

  • what3words are able to retain expert staff due to their commitment to social impact
  • The company has also reached new commercial clients and markets because of their humanitarian work.

Currently four billion people, including 50% of those living in urban areas don’t have a street address. By 2050, 70% of the planet's population will live in urban areas. Without an address, people struggle to receive aid, use public services, access finance, or run a business.

what3words is an addressing system based on a global grid of 3m x 3m. Each square on the grid has a pre-allocated, fixed, unique three word address. Simpler addressing can deliver business efficiencies, help people find each other, and give the unaddressed access to rights.

what3words' technology is used by over 100 NGOs, business and public sector organisations in 170 countries around the world, and is integrated with 30 tools for data collection, disaster reporting, and navigation. The software has been launched in 10 languages, including Swahili.

The global 3m x 3m square grid has made it easier for organisations to monitor and evaluate the impact of social and environmental programmes. It also helps businesses deliver services more efficiently, grow faster, and offer new products.

what3words are able to retain expert staff due to their commitment to social impact, and reach new commercial clients and markets because of their humanitarian work.

What what3words' CEO said:

“Poor addressing makes the world an inefficient, frustrating and dangerous place. Our aim is to change that by giving people and business a simple way to talk about location. We believe that doing good and doing business can and should be how all companies behave.” - Chris Sheldrick, CEO & Co-founder, what3words.