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Social Entrepreneurs

Empowering women empowers us all

At IKEA we are committed to working for an inclusive and gender equal society. It’s an ambition that we share with many, and one that requires action to transform into results.

Social entrepreneurs is a collaboration between IKEA and business-minded women in rural areas, local artisans with previously little or no access to paid, sustainable income. Forming long-term partnerships with social entrepreneurs gives women and discriminated minority groups a chance at independence and a better future.

By offering the chance to earn an income, new opportunities opens up and brings an economy that will help generate new energy for the initiative as a whole.

PÅTÅR special edition

Introducing a single-origin high-quality 100% Arabica coffee from Uganda

Uganda is the biggest coffee exporting country in Africa, yet the average size of a coffee farm is less than 0,25 hectares – just a quarter the size of a football field. It’s not easy to run a profitable farm with such small resources. To help support economic independence of farmers, as well as more sustainable farming practices, IKEA has teamed up with a regional coffee project. As a result, we’re now introducing our first ever single-origin coffee to the IKEA Swedish Food Market: 100% Arabica beans from the White Nile region. A special coffee with a unique taste, created in cooperation with thousands of small scale farmers.

At IKEA, we’re always looking for social entrepreneurs or business models that share our vision. The White Nile project is one such initiative, and one where we see an opportunity for a long term partnership contributing to a positive development. The project started out almost 20 years ago, in an attempt to promote the cultivation of high quality Arabica coffee in a region traditionally known as the producer of less favored beans. By supporting the initiative, IKEA contributes to the economic empowerment of farmers and their families. We’re happy to be the first global retailer to make single-origin coffee from the White Nile region broadly available.

We believe in the importance of inclusion of women and youth to support sustainable livelihoods. The White Nile project encourages a more equal share of responsibilities in both farmers’ businesses and family households as well as shared access to resources to increase women’s independence. But it’s also about seeing the everyday life challenges, for example that access to water directly at the coffee processing site minimizes the need for long and sometimes risky walks to fetch it elsewhere. Through addressing these and many more issues, coffee farming in the White Nile region will hopefully be an attractive business for generations to come.

The start of a long-lasting partnership

By making a long-term commitment to the White Nile farmers growing Arabica beans, we’re entering a partnership where everyone’s a winner. The special PÅTÅR coffee isn’t a charity project – it’s a business opportunity. Together with our supplier and through our IKEA stores, the farmers get to sell their product and we gain a high-quality, tasty coffee.
However, since there isn’t yet enough Arabica coming from the White Nile region to allow sales in all IKEA stores worldwide, this special edition is sold in a number of selected countries only. As the coffee crop grows, we hope to increase that number.

PÅTÅR special edition is a high-quality fresh and fruity medium roast with subtle hints of vanilla and caramel.

Your coffee break makes a difference

Just like all other members of the PÅTÅR family, the Ugandan special edition is UTZ certified and organic according to EU standards. In short that means higher yields, better incomes and better living conditions for farmers, as well as protection of the environment and natural resources such as water, soil and air.

As a customer, you can check the origin of your coffee, and learn more about the plantations where the beans were grown, via the online tracer, utz.org/IKEA

Learn more about our sustainably sourced coffee
See the whole PÅTÅR range

Building partnerships with social entrepreneurs

We want to build lasting relationships with our partners and support their development, that’s why we work together to share knowledge about design, production, environmental management, export and more. Through us, the social entrepreneurs can access a global marketplace, giving them a strong foundation for self-sufficiency and independence.
Since all the products are handcrafted – or originate from small-scale farming – and the entreprises have access to limited resources, the production is also limited. That’s why we can offer the collections to selected countries only. Through our collaboration with social entrepreneurs, we want to support positive economic and social development across the world – long-term sustainable change in a way that charity by itself can’t.

We are currently working with social entrepreneurs in India, Thailand, Uganda, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, Netherlands, Croatia, USA and Canada. We are actively looking for new partners around the world.

 “They learn the skills and acquire the resources
to bring about a lasting change in their lives.
And they’re not dependent on charity.

Sumita Ghose, Founder and Managing Director, Rangsutra

Hear the inspiring stories of two Indian women
– a social entrepreneur and an artisan – working in partnership with IKEA.

Behind the scenes: Social Entreprenerus (PDF)
IKEA FACTS: Social Entrepreneurs Entreprises (PDF)