Safaricom Beats Microsoft, Mastercard On Fortune’s Change The World List

Safaricom's M-PESA and M-Tiba gain international recognition for solving not just Kenyan, but African societal problems as well.

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Safaricom beats Microsoft making it to Fortune's top 10.

Safaricom has made it to Fortune’s Top 10 Change The World list. The list, “built on the premise that the profit motive can inspire companies to tackle society’s unmet needs,” is Fortune’s sixth. It makes one thing clear – that “No business succeeds alone.”

Safaricom enters the list in seventh place thanks to their revolutionary and inimitable M-PESA service. Fortune proceeds to observe that M-PESA accommodates its users, more than half of whom do not have a bank account, to send and receive money digitally through their feature phones. And in case you were not aware, Safaricom is also disrupting the healthcare industry with M-Tiba, a collaboration between Safaricom with the health-technology business, CarePay. This is a service that currently reaches 4.7 million people in Africa.

The list, a collaboration between Fortune and Shared Value Initiative, is heavily populated by tech companies that have been at the forefront of digital transformation inspired by finding solutions inside a global pandemic, climate change and income inequality. COVID-19 draws in three companies, in particular, working to ease our anxieties around Coronavirus, racing in the search of a vaccine. Topping the list is The Vaccine Makers Project (VMP). Their role is to educate the public through science with facts and “historically accurate and emotionally compelling content.”

Regeneron (NASDAQ: REGN), a leading American biotechnology company creates life-changing medicine for those with serious ailments. They found effective therapies to reduce the death toll of Ebola and are now bringing that collective genius to tackle the pandemic. Rounding off the top 10 is India’s leading biotechnology firm and manufacturers of vaccines, the Serum Institue of India, SII, who have a stellar reputation for providing high-quality vaccines to underserved populations.

With the world relying more and more on e-commerce, contactless payments and dynamic technology, it comes as no surprise that the list includes names such as Alibaba, Paypal, Safaricom and Walmart. The latter earned accolades caring for the elderly, hiring 500,000 people at peak lockdown to deal with the shopping surge, and prepping pick-up deliveries that reduce carbon emissions. This is quite a feat for the world’s largest company. Of course, their e-commerce also near-doubled, and Walmart naturally makes its sixth appearance on the list.

That being said, Safaricom beat companies like Microsoft, Mastercard, Alphabet, Salesforce and Udemy.

The companies were selected based on a four-pronged criteria. The Fortune team focused on:

  • measurable social impact when it comes to solving a societal problem or three,
  • business results such as profitability and how it brings value to the shareholders,
  • degree of innovation relative to others in the industry and attempts to replicate or partner,
  • how it all intergrates into the company’s overall strategy.

Their most incisive finding was that companies, sometimes rivals, partnered and collaborated with each other for a common good.

The top 10 in a list of 53 are listed below.

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