ZOË Alliance is launching our ZOË Challenge later today at an inspiring event in Toronto. Our goal simply put is to create a movement. Pretty audacious, we know. It’s worth a try, because it would help enable 1/3 of the people that we share this planet to live healthier lives.
TAKE THE CHALLENGE TO HELP END POVERTY AND HUNGER
Inspiring Gifts that Transform Communities and Change Lives
TORONTO, ONTARIO – October 20th, 2010, ZOË Alliance (a social enterprise focused on providing unique, hand crafted gifts and promotional items created in rural villages and marginalized communities) today announced the ZOË Challenge. The challenge is an opportunity for corporations and individuals alike to make a monumental difference towards ending poverty through their regular buying decisions by asking them to spend 10% of their planned gift purchases on items that are produced in accordance with fair trade principles.
Angela Draskovic, Founder and President of ZOË Alliance, believes that corporations and consumers can make a significant impact in communities in need around the globe. “A third of the planet can’t provide for itself – that’s 2.7 billion or 33% of us! 10% of our routine spending on gifts and donations is 2.5 times the additional $35 billion each year the UN says it needs in order to reach the Millennium Development Goals in 2015.” Collective purchases would funnel millions of dollars to job creation and economic stimulus to help break the cycle of poverty in developing nations. In North America alone, $895 billion is spent on gifts, promotional items and donations each year. The ZOË Challenge to spend 10% of that on fair trade options represents an easy way to generate an $89 billion dollar investment that creates trade opportunities and dignity for indigenous business leaders.
ZOË Alliance’s message to achieve this change is simple. Think 1.1.1:
One Event – Choose 1 event each year where gift spending reflects approximately 10% of what is spent overall;
One Approval – Get executive approval to buy items produced in accordance with fair trade principles for this event’s gifts from a reputable vendor;
One Time a Year – Repeat every year – make this a part of annual CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) plan.
Angela Draskovic founded ZOË Alliance because of a lifelong passion for people in developing nations. In speaking about her international business partners, Angie recently stated: “People in developing nations are no different than we are in that they desire dignity, the opportunity to work, provide for their families, and invest in their communities. They are different in that they face significant challenges socially, economically, geographically, and politically that make it impossible for them to break the cycle of poverty without strategic and respectful support and intervention.”
ZOË Alliance is hosting an event at First Canadian Place in the offices Gowlings Lafleur Henderson LLP, who generously donated the venue, in an exploration of an innovative approach to increasing the impact of corporation’s promotional spending. The audience will be senior executives, marketing and sales leaders, and senior administrators in corporations from a broad spectrum of sectors. ZOË Alliance hopes to inspire and enlighten the corporate community about the social impact that they can achieve through their gift and promotional purchases.
The evening’s keynote speaker, Simon McMahon, Director Sustainable Intelligence Services, Jantzi-Sustainalytics, will convey that corporate social responsibility is here to stay; highlighting the merits of finding ways within everyday business that can be impactful on a large-scale.
ZOË Alliance Inc. (www.zoealliance.com) is a social enterprise that harnesses market spending to help developing nations break the cycle of poverty. ZOË Alliance helps people and companies transform impoverished villages with their regular purchases. Each dollar spent on personal or corporate gifts is stretched three ways: to purchase a gift that tells the story of hope; to create jobs with dignity in villages; and to donate funds toward a school or village project. ZOË Alliance has a unique focus of corporate gifts and promotional items with a story that everyone will remember.
ZOË Alliance has grown to 4 projects, Guatemala, Haiti, India, and an Ottawa-based social enterprise employing persons with disabilities. These 4 projects help to employ over 80 people that in turn help them provide for over 300 family members. India has already replicated its first village in Dharmapuri and has added Krishnagiri.
ZOË Alliance is seeking to create a movement among corporations to harness existing spending by asking businesses to take the ZOË Challenge http://www.zoealliance.com/en/challenge.php. Current clients include multi-national and national firms in the Telecommunications, Utilities, and Financial Services sectors as well as several large national industry associations.
Founder & President