Shiseido’s Social Business Model in Bangladesh Recognized as Initiative of “Business Call to Action (BCtA)” Led by United Nations Development Programme

– For the First Time an Asian Cosmetics Company being Recognized –

TOKYO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Shiseido’s activity in Bangladesh to improve social status and lifestyle
of rural women by skincare products was recognized as “Business Call to
Action*1 (hereinafter, “BCtA”)” led by the United Nations
Development Programme (UNDP). This is the first time for an Asian
cosmetic company to be recognized.

In this activity, for rural Bangladesh women with relatively low income,
Shiseido has been introducing skincare products (“Les DIVAS”*2),
which were developed specially for the local people, as well as
educating them the usage. Meanwhile, Shiseido also provides support for
improving their social status and lifestyle with educational activities,
including workshops regarding health, hygiene, and nutrition. This
program was highly evaluated as a business model which can realize both
corporate social contribution and business operation at the same time.

Taking this recognition as BCtA as the driving force, Shiseido will
continuously contribute to the happiness of people all around the world
who wish to live their lives in the way they like, following the
corporate mission of “to inspire a life of beauty and culture”. Shiseido
will also focus on activities that can empower women, aiming to achieve
a sustainable society.

Shiseido’s Social Business Model in Bangladesh

Shiseido has been promoting various activities to support women’s way of
living through the “power of makeup”. Shiseido pays attention to the
fact that “improvement in women’s social status” has been pointed out as
one of the recent international and social issues in addition to poverty
and environmental issues, and has been considering how to contribute to
resolving the issues in the international society utilizing its core
business. As part of the effort, Shiseido signed the international
guidelines “Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs)*3” at
very early stage.

In Bangladesh, though economic growth recently began mainly in the urban
areas, there are still many issues in rural areas including hygiene,
nutrition, employment of women, etc. Furthermore, according to
Shiseido’s field study, the rural women have only few opportunities to
acquire beauty information such as correct skincare regime, as well as
makeup products, although they show interests in beauty and skincare.

Based on the field study, from the viewpoint of realizing both corporate
social contribution and business operation, Shiseido started to develop
and to sell skincare products especially for local women since FY 2011
based on their preferences and hot and humid environment, as well as to
introduce how to use the products. Shiseido is also holding educational
programs such as workshops regarding health, hygiene and nutrition at
the same time. These activities were also selected as a “Preparatory
Survey for BOP business promotion” by the Japan International
Cooperation Agency (JICA) in 2012.

Since FY2015, Shiseido expands the target and coverage – workshops are
also held for women working at the sewing plants, the main industry in
rural areas, as well as for female students. Business expansion to
retail stores near the rural areas is also under going.

The Results

  1. The sales of skincare products and the education activity were
    implemented by activation officers and door-to-door salespersons. They
    were selected from the local rural women, resulting in employment
    creation for the rural women, so they are able to earn money and to
    increase incomes on their own. At the same time, they are more
    confident about themselves by accumulating knowledge through this
    activity. As a result, they are now able to confidently speak in front
    of people and proactively express their thoughts to their families.
    Moreover, the rural women other than the education promotion staff and
    door-to-door salespersons also began to change their perception and
    behaviors significantly, including reviewing of their lifestyle and
    deepening of their confidence in skin and skincare due to the
    knowledge obtained at the workshops. This activity enhanced the women
  2. In this activity, Shiseido employees, who were selected based on
    Shiseido’s in-house job challenge system, stayed with women in the
    local area. From their staying, know-how of manufacturing in
    environment of high temperature, humidity and sweating, and findings
    of local women’s skin were acquired. Based on these findings,
    innovative sun care technology “WetForce”, which can further enhance
    the UV-ray protection effect rather than lowering the effect after the
    product comes into contact with sweat or water, was developed. The
    sunscreen product employing this technology was commercialized as
    “SHISEIDO Perfect UV Protector” released in March 2015.
  3. Through this whole activity, findings which can be applied in various
    business scenarios were acquired, including market entering approach
    to emerging markets, methods to sell products to so-called BOP (Base
    of the Pyramid), and know-how regarding Halal certification
    acquisition, etc.

With the aim to achieve a sustainable society that makes people all
around the world happy through beauty, Shiseido will continue to promote
activities which contribute to empowering women in the world.

[Reference] Introduction video for this activity

*1 Business Call to Action (BCtA):

A global initiative established in 2008 and made up of companies,
governments and development support organizations for the purpose of
achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) through the core
businesses of private companies. It is led by six development
organizations and governments, including the United Nations Development
Programme, and provides support for building the business model which
can contribute both to commercial outcome and development outcome. 130
companies from various fields, including agriculture, health, financial
service, energy, education, etc., have participated in this initiative.

*2 “Les DIVAS”:

A lineup of 3 items/4 types (Cleansing foam: 1 type; Gel: 2 types;
Sunscreen: 1 type) with the three functions of cleansing, moisturizing
and UV-ray protection which are necessary to achieve the ideal skin.
Since 90% of the population is Islamist, Les DIVAS obtained the Halal

*3 Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs):

Seven principles jointly developed in March 2010 by United Nations
Global Compact, the voluntary alliance framework between the United
Nations and companies, and United Nations Development Fund for Women
(UNIFEM; currently called UN Women). It is expected that these
principles will be utilized as the international principles for
promoting the women’s economic empowerment, aiming that companies will
voluntarily make efforts by positioning the gender equality and women’s
empowerment as the core elements of their business and strive to promote
activation and growth of corporate activities.


Tatsuyoshi Endo (Mr.), +81-3-6218-5200
Relations Department