Although many believe that multinational companies hurt the countries in which they operate, some of these powerful entities have instituted beneficial programs that help those in underdeveloped and developing countries. Below are examples of four multinationals, making positive global impacts…
Microsoft has recently instituted a new charitable program (and invested $500 million in it), called YouthSpark. According to a Seattle Times article, the program hopes to provide educational and entrepreneurship opportunities, as well as a number of jobs to 300 million young people worldwide, within the next three years. The company hopes to reach 50 million people in the US and 250 million in other countries through their program. In conjunction with YouthSpark, Microsoft also plans to donate products, such as Office 365 (among other tools for educational purposes) to classrooms for students and teachers to utilize.
Starbucks Hong Kong recently agreed to raise funds for UNICEF (the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund). According to UNICEF, in December 2011, Starbucks initiated the “Starbucks Annual Christmas Red Cup Charity Campaign”, which helped UNICEF raise money to send water purification tablets to children in underdeveloped countries (including many in which they operate). With each donation to the campaign, the Starbucks coffee drinker received a complimentary Starbucks coupon, allowing for different discounts to be used at the coffee house.
Due to the suicide scandal at Apple’s Foxconn plant in Shenzhen, China (2007-2011), the many beneficial actions taken by Apple in underdeveloped countries have gone unrecognized. However, in Apple’s Supplier Responsibility Report, the company noted that through their Supplier Employee Education and Development (SEED) program, they offer workers (at their numerous plants) classes on topics such as finance, computer skills and English. The program also allows for workers to earn associate degrees at Chinese universities in the areas where they operate. Apple disclosed that over 60,000 workers have enrolled in the program, which actually originated in the Foxconn factory in Shenzhen and was expanded to all of their factory locations by 2011.
Mattel, one of the world’s largest toy-makers, created The Mattel’s Children’s Foundation in 1978, which still remains active to this day. Over the years, Mattel has implemented various programs and performed acts of charity. For example, through its foundation, Mattel has built computer learning labs in the US, Hong Kong, Mexico and Canada for children in poor areas, who previously did not have access to such learning tools. The company has also provided scholarships to the children of Mattel employees in thirteen different countries, for university education. Mattel’s partnership with the National Association of Children’s Hospitals and Related Institutions, has led to the donation of over 65,000 Fisher-Price and Mattel toys to hospitals.