Updated: Dec 10, 2021
We are proud to announce Purnaa has been awarded the US Secretary of State Award for Corporate Excellence (ACE) as the 2021 Outstanding Small to Medium Enterprise in the category of Economic Inclusion.
We are so grateful to Secretary of State Anthony Blinken for presenting the award and to Ambassador Randy Berry and all those at the US Embassy of Nepal that nominated us for the award. We are also incredibly thankful for our amazing customers who have chosen to work with us and a host of friends, family, and community members who have supported us and our mission to create life-changing jobs for marginalized people in Nepal. Finally, we are so proud of our incredible team who have all worked tirelessly to set new standards of excellence in social impact through the manufacturing sector. We extend a hearty congratulations to the other winners: Patagonia’s office in Argentina, 3M’s office in Singapore, Mastercard’s office in India, Australis Aquaculture’s office in Vietnam, and Zipline’s office in Ghana.
On December 8th, Secretary Blinken presented the award to each company in a live webcast with the various recipient offices and associated Embassies around the world. The ceremony was broadcast on state.gov at 9AM EST on December 8th.
What is the ACE?
The Secretary of State’s annual Award for Corporate Excellence (ACE) recognizes and honors U.S. companies that promote the highest standards as responsible members of their communities outside the United States. Established in 1999, the award seeks to highlight ways in which U.S. companies make a positive impact through the use of international best practices in their work overseas. The 2021 award was given in three categories: economic inclusion, health security, and climate innovation to a multinational company and a small to medium enterprise in each category.
Nominations for the ACE are put forward by Chiefs of Mission of U.S. embassies and consulates, for the work of a U.S. company in a particular country. Finalists and winners for the ACE are chosen by a selection committee comprised of senior U.S. government officials and are announced by the Secretary of State.
Why Purnaa was selected?
We believe excellent manufacturing has the power to change lives. Purnaa chooses to hire people from marginalized backgrounds in order to provide a stable foundation that breaks the cycle of poverty. Because of the commitment of our brands, partners and team, we have grown our production capacity and have grown to a team of +120 people – +50% of which are from marginalized backgrounds.
US Ambassador to Nepal, Randy Barry, said, "Our decision to nominate Purnaa for an ACE award was guided by our strong belief that the story of Purnaa needed to be told, especially in the context of Nepal. Despite constitutional and legal protections, discrimination in employment and occupation still occurs in Nepal…And that is where Purnaa comes in. By employing people from these (marginalized) backgrounds, Purnaa gives them opportunities for independent and healthy lives that might not be otherwise available in the social context of Nepal."
Doing good and doing well in business are not mutually exclusive! We are so grateful and amazed to receive this award and we look forward to continuing to create opportunities for marginalized people through job creation at Purnaa.