March 8, 2016 – Oslo, Norway: On International Women’s Day, UNDP Administrator Helen Clark highlighted the role of female business leaders in driving positive societal change as she announced this year’s Business for Peace Honourees. Helen Clark, Administrator of the United Nations Development Program, announced the three winners of the 2016 Oslo Business for Peace Award; Sarah Beydoun from Lebanon, Dr Jennifer Nkuene Riria from Kenya and Tore Lærdal from Norway.
“This year’s winners are exceptional role models who exemplify how ethical and responsible business action can drive positive societal change”, said Clark in the press conference taking place at the Oslo City Hall. “I am visiting Oslo, Norway in connection with International Women’s Day, and I am therefore particularly pleased to present these very distinct and highly successful women leaders”, she added.
Business for Peace Founder and Chairman, Per L. Saxegaard, highlighted the increasingly important role of the business actions of individuals.“Business has historically been seen as part of the problem, not a part of the solution. However, in the wake of the consensus for the UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development and the Paris Climate Agreement, business’ role as a problem solver in society has never been as important as it is today.”The Award Ceremony will take place in Oslo City Hall on May 3 as part of the annual Business for Peace Summit. The Summit is gaining increasing support and interest, and the Foundation was proud to announce today that His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon will attend this year’s event.
An independent committee of Nobel Laureates in peace and economics selects the Honourees from a pool of nominees put forward by the UN Development Program, UN Global Compact and the International Chamber of Commerce.
“In their own very special ways, each of the honorees has made significant contributions to their societies. In a field of extraordinary leaders, their vision and passion stand out. They deserve recognition, admiration and respect, and more than that, our gratitude”, said Professor Michael Spence of Stanford University who is one of five members of the Award Committee.
These three Honourees will join the thirty-six previous winners of the Award, a group that includes individuals such as Paul Polman, Arif Naqvi, Marilyn Carlson Nelson, Sir Richard Branson, Ratan Tata and Mo Ibrahim.
The 2016 Award Ceremony will be held in Oslo City Hall, 3 May 2016. The Ceremony will also be streamed live on the Business for Peace website.
About Dr. Jennifer Riria
Dr Riria is the Group CEO of Kenya Women Holding (KWH). Operating on a national basis, KWH works to enhance capacity for women and their families in Kenya through education, empowerment- and peace building projects, a work that was intensified after the resurgence of violence following the Kenyan elections. On a more political level, KWH has an aim to influence the formal financial sector to appreciate the power of poor women in growing the Kenyan economy. Dr Riria has also led Kenya Women Microfinance Bank (KWFT) for over two decades. KWFT grants loans to marginalized women and their families, serving over 1.5 million women and disbursing over US$ 2.3 billion over a period of 20 years. She has served in a number of leadership roles and received local and international recognition for her work, advocating sustainable peace and development in Kenya and Africa. Read Dr Riria's 100 Lionesses profile here.
About Business for Peace
Business for Peace is an Oslo-based foundation that works to redefine the notion of success in business and to promote an evolved form of capitalism. This endeavour is manifested by recognising exceptional individuals who exemplify the concept of being businessworthy. That is, applying one’s business energy ethically and responsibly to create value for all. An independent committee of Nobel laureates in peace and economics selects the Honourees from a pool of nominees put forward by our global partners in the United Nations and the International Chamber of Commerce. By facilitating this process and promoting these individuals, the vision is to unlock the positive power that lays in business to the benefit of peace and prosperity.