In  October  2005,  Danone  CEO  and Muhammad Yunus (founder of the Grameen
micro-credit institution and now Nobel Prize for peace) decided to create a
«  social  business  model » in Bangladesh. This company aims at maximizing
social  value – nutrition to the poor and poverty alleviation – while being
profitable  enough to be sustainable. For Muhammad Yunus, this is “the next
big idea”. For Danone it is a new way to fulfil its mission to bring health
through  food to the largest number of people. This project started in 2007
with  the  opening of a first plant in Bogra producing a highly nutritional
yogurt  at  a  very  low price (€6 cents). The social impact of projects on
local  communities  are  assessed  on  the basis of indicators that include
their contributions to public health, to the reduction of malnutrition, and
the  alleviation  of  poverty, with due regard for environmental and social
impacts.  The  fund  is  particularly attentive to the social efficiency of
capital investments.

To   go   further,   Danone   decided   to  sponsor  a  mutual  fund  named
danone.communities  which  focuses  investments on business projects with a
significant  social  impact  and consistent with Groupe Danone's mission of
bringing  health  through  food  to  a  the  largest  number of people. The
projects  are and will be in areas where Danone can concretely add value by
mobilizing  both  its  resources  and  the  competencies  of  its staff and
partners.The  fund's  first  investment  was to support the development and
deployment  of the Grameen Danone project in Bangladesh. Looking ahead, the
fund  aims to be in a position to make a limited number of investments each
year  in  highly  innovative  ventures  in  different  parts  of the world.
Danone.communities  is  the  first  social  business  fund  initiated by an
industrial   group.  It  is  open  to  Groupe  Danone’s  shareholders,  its
employees,  individual  investors  and  institutions sharing an interest in
this approach to development.

Co-creation  is  part  of  the  DNA  of these initiatives. The web appeared
clearly as a great land to build debates and engagement around these social

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