March 7, 2018 Opportunity

Starbucks Partners with Malala Fund in a Global Commitment to Invest in 250,000 Women by 2025

The Starbucks Foundation’s multi-year strategy will promote leadership and economic empowerment opportunities for women and families in coffee, tea and cocoa growing communities

Partnership with Malala Fund will expand the organization’s Gulmakai Network of education champions in India and Latin America

Malala Yousafzai curates an exclusive playlist for International Women’s Day to be played in 10,000 Starbucks® stores across the U.S. and Canada on March 8

SEATTLE (March 7, 2018) – More than 130 million young women and girls around the world do not have the opportunity to go to primary or secondary school, representing a generation of young people with limited ability to access economic opportunities, create their own livelihoods, and become leaders in their communities[1]. In many rural, remote communities around the world, that challenge is made exponentially worse by poverty, conflict, and gender inequality. Recognizing this global crisis – and the opportunity to drive long-term impact and social change – The Starbucks Foundation announced today a multi-year investment and partnership strategy aimed at empowering at least 250,000 women and families in coffee, tea and cocoa growing communities globally by 2025.

To launch this effort, The Starbucks Foundation unveiled a new global partnership with Nobel Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai's organization, Malala Fund, towards a shared vision that an investment in young women and families can have a transformative impact on communities. Through this partnership, Malala Fund will work with Starbucks to promote girls’ education and expand leadership opportunities for young women in coffee and tea growing communities in India and Latin America.

"I want to thank Starbucks for believing in my dream of a world where girls can choose their own future. With their support, Malala Fund will help educators and activists in developing countries get more girls in school," Malala Yousafzai, Nobel Laureate and co-founder of Malala Fund.

The Starbucks Foundation’s partnership with Malala Fund will build on its ongoing investments in coffee, tea and cocoa growing communities worldwide with organizations like Mercy Corps, Eastern Congo Initiative, and Heifer International which since 2005 have collectively impacted more than 450,000 people. With a deeper focus on women and families, Starbucks will also be able to accelerate its broader goal to improve the lives of at least one million coffee farmers and workers by 2025.

Inspiring the Next Generation of Leaders

The Starbucks Foundation aims to promote leadership opportunities for women and families in coffee, tea and cocoa growing communities to break down barriers to education, clean water and sanitation, and economic opportunities. Through its multi-year strategic partnership with Starbucks, Malala Fund will expand its work in advocacy, investment, and amplifying young women and girls’ voices, including growing its Gulmakai Network of education champions to coffee and tea growing communities in India and Latin America. The partnership will help expand non-traditional educational opportunities in those communities and scale leadership opportunities for young women with a goal to inspire the next generation of civically engaged leaders. Starbucks also plans to connect partners (employees) with Malala Fund’s Gulmakai Network champions to create additional leadership and engagement opportunities.

“We believe women and families hold the key to long-term empowerment and social change,” said Virginia Tenpenny, executive director for The Starbucks Foundation and vice president, Global Social Impact at Starbucks. “Looking ahead, we want to ensure our partnerships connect women with education and leadership opportunities needed to create healthy homes and sustainable livelihoods – for themselves, their families, and future generations. We are proud to join with Malala Fund to invest in young women so they may become leaders in their communities and achieve their dreams and aspirations.”

Malala Yousafzai Creates Starbucks Playlist for International Women’s Day 

In honor of International Women’s Day on March 8, Starbucks today announced Yousafzai will share a specially curated playlist of songs by female artists from 16 countries to be played in more than 10,000 participating stores across the U.S. and Canada. The playlist is also available on the Starbucks page on Spotify.

Towards a Shared Future in Sustainable Coffee  

Starbucks has a long history of working with coffee, tea and cocoa origin communities to address their most critical needs such as access to water, sanitation, health and education. With The Starbucks Foundation’s focus on advancing leadership and economic opportunities for 250,000 women and families by 2025, the organization will build upon this work and help ensure even more families benefit. Through its global partnerships, Starbucks and The Starbucks Foundation are helping to improve the lives of at least one million people in coffee communities with the following initiatives:

  • A commitment to 100% ethically sourced coffee – through partnerships with Conservational International and the Sustainable Coffee Challenge, Starbucks is championing a global effort to make coffee the world’s first sustainable agricultural commodity.
  • More than $20 million in Origin Grants from The Starbucks Foundation since 2005 to organizations like Mercy Corps, Eastern Congo Initiative, Heifer International and others to support smallholder farming families with vocational training, increased access to water and health services, and greater economic opportunity in coffee and tea-growing communities.
  • A commitment to invest $50 million in the Starbucks Global Farmer Fund to provide financing to coffee farmers. By providing access to capital, farmers have the ability to make strategic investments in their infrastructure, offering the stability they need to manage ongoing complexities so that there is a future for them and the industry. To date, the Fund has invested more than $22 million in loans impacting more than 40,000 farmers.
  • Farmer Support Centers in key coffee producing countries around the world, including Costa Rica, Colombia, Mexico, China, Guatemala, Rwanda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, and Indonesia. There, farmers get free access to the latest findings of Starbucks top agronomists, including new varietals of disease-resistant trees, and advanced soil management techniques. Starbucks goal is to build upon traditional growing methods to help farmers continue to improve both the quality of their crops, and their profitability, ensuring the future of high quality coffees for everyone.

About The Starbucks Foundation

Established in 1997, The Starbucks Foundation has strengthened communities around the world by advancing opportunities for youth, veterans, refugees and coffee, tea and cocoa farmers and their families, supporting communities affected by disaster, and promoting civic engagement. The Starbucks Foundation is a U.S. 501 (c)(3) charitable organization under U.S. law, and receives funding primarily from Starbucks Corporation and private donations. Learn more at

About Malala Fund

Malala Fund is working for a world where all girls can learn and lead without fear. Learn more at

[1] UNESCO (2016)

Photo credit: Tess Thomas and Malin Fezehai/Malala Fund

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