Virgin Management joins the Tent Partnership for Refugees
Virgin Management is among 28 companies to join the Tent Partnership for Refugees today, demonstrating its commitment to integrating refugees as the world responds to the COVID-19 pandemic. Founded by Chobani CEO Hamdi Ulukaya, Tent is a network of over 130 major businesses committed to improving the livelihoods of refugees around the world, by integrating them in their core business operations.
Many of the companies joining Tent have already taken steps to include refugees and are exploring ways to do even more. Virgin Megastore, for example, is supporting refugee entrepreneurs by selling refugee-made products in some of its stores. Woolworths Group, one of Australia and New Zealand’s leading retail groups, is the first Australian company to join the Tent Partnership, having already hired 150 refugees in its supermarkets. BNP Paribas, the largest bank in Europe, is also hiring refugees on the continent with plans to scale up these efforts. In addition, the company is adapting its financial products to make them more accessible to refugees, and partnering with social businesses to help refugees become more employable.
Hamdi Ulukaya said: “It’s encouraging to see so many companies stepping forward at a time of crisis to show that refugees are needed on the road to rebuild our businesses and strengthen our communities. When given the chance, refugees will make our companies stronger and better. But it’s up to us to open the door and provide the opportunity.”
The announcement was made during a virtual event hosted by Mr. Ulukaya and moderated by Director of Creative Diversity at the BBC June Sarpong. It featured the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan; Imagine CEO and former CEO of Unilever Paul Polman; EU Commissioner Ylva Johansson; Executive Chairman of Empath and former US Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez; UNHCR Deputy High Commissioner Kelly Clements; former French Education Minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem; and global leads for diversity and inclusion at L’Oréal, Sodexo, and Barilla.
The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “Everyone deserves the right to live in peace and safety and I am encouraged to see so many organisations committing to supporting refugees through the Tent Partnership for Refugees. The coronavirus pandemic has demonstrated the importance of uniting towards a common goal and I am confident that by working together, across nations, we can help ensure dignity and security for all refugees.”
For more information about the companies joining Tent today and their existing projects to support refugees, visit www.tent.org/members.