Happy Labor Day from the team at Business Connect! We are taking the day off from our explanation of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals to, once again, show you an incredible story that came out last Thursday. It means a lot to us here and we want to be sure this is shared as much as possible.
The founder of Chobani Greek-style Yogurt, Hamdi Ulukaya, will donate most of his wealth, at least 700 million dollars, to help the Kurdish refugees as well as refugees from all around the world. Ulukaya announced that he is going to join the Giving Pledge, the funding system created for the likes of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffet where the “rich” donate half of their wealth, by building Tent, a foundation he will fund over time to raise awareness about refugee situations. Last year, Ulukaya pledged $2 million to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to help those fleeing violence in his native Turkey.
“In 1994, I came to New York to study English and later became drawn to the idea that anyone can start something in America—all you needed was a dream and the willingness to take a risk,” Ulukaya said. “Building Chobani, I found that the real power of entrepreneurship was the impact you can have on communities. Ultimately, Chobani’s journey proved that if you have the right mindset, the sky is the limit.”
‘The real power of entrepreneurship is the impact you can have on communities.’ This statement is profound because it shows the heart of the person who created the organization. Overcoming global poverty, getting a sustainable business model and clean resources to people who need them the most, is at the core of our mission. Creating hope through business; can this be said any better than through the actions of Mr. Ulukaya?
Remembering his real story is what encourages him to get involved with his new foundation, Ulukaya says. Knowing his own people who are being attacked by ISIS, in the city of Kobani located in northern Syria, and Iraq, in need of everything after they had to flee from their home, Shepherd’s Gift Foundation of Chobani donated 2 million dollars for them through United Nation, UNHCR, in 2014.
“My story, like so many others, is only possible in America. The magic and power of the American dream is something I believe should be available to everyone—and is part of my hope for a modern Turkey and for entrepreneurs around the word,” Ulukaya said. “In the decade since I started Chobani, dramatic changes have occurred around the world. One result has been a shocking increase in the number of people made homeless by the conflict. Today, more than 50 million people—most of them women and children—are living as refugees or displaced people, robbed of life’s opportunities by war, persecution, and natural disasters.”
What a message to those who suffer from the hardships of repression, hopelessness, and racial and economic discrimination. Mr. Ulukaya, thank you for showing the true spirit of what we believe and thank you for honoring America.