Leading businesswoman Selima Ahmad has won the prestigious Oslo Business for Peace Award 2014 for her socially responsible and ethical business practices.
Selima, vice-chairperson of Nitol Niloy Group and founder of Bangladesh Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BWCCI), is the second Bangladeshi and first Asian businesswoman to win the award.
In 2012, Latifur Rahman, chairman and chief executive officer of Transcom Group, got the award, the highest form of recognition given to individuals for fostering peace and stability through creating shared value between business and society.
“We congratulate you with the exceptional appreciation you have thus been given by the Award Committee, and are truly proud to have you in the exclusive group of Business for Peace Honourees,” the Business for Peace Foundation said in a letter to Selima Ahmad.
Other honourees of the award this year include Ouided Bouchamaoui of Tunisia, Sir Richard Branson of the UK, Kesha Kumari Damini of Nepal, Adnan Kassar of Lebanon and Marilyn Carlson Nelson of the US. They have been selected out of 120 candidates from 50 countries.
The selected honourees are business persons who through their own actions and commitments promote socially responsible and ethical business practices in an outstanding way and stand out as examples to the world.
An independent award committee, consisting of Nobel Prize winners in peace and economics, selected the recipients of the award. They will be presented with the awards in a ceremony on May 15 in Oslo City Hall.
With this recognition, Selima Ahmad is included in the group of exceptional business personalities like Ratan Tata, chairman of Tata Group in India, who got the award in 2010, and Jeffrey R Immelt, CEO of General Electric in the US, who won it in 2009.
“I am deeply honoured by this prestigious award which was selected by Nobel laureates. This award recognises the strength, sincerity, integrity, intelligence, commitment and competence of Bangladeshi women in business,” Selima Ahmad said in her instant reaction, according to a statement issued by the BWCCI.
She said she has been working with all her dedication not only to grow her own business with value and ethics but also to see women entrepreneurship and private sector grow.
Congratulating Selima Ahmad, Nitol Niloy Group Chairman Abdul Matlub Ahmad said, “Selima deserves this great award as she relentlessly worked to develop BWCCI as a voice for women in business.”
Her passion to excel through ethical processes has helped Nitol Niloy Group to grow into one of the finest organisations in Bangladesh, he said.
“Her business integrity, commitment and contribution to society are a beacon of pride and joy for all women of Bangladesh,” said BWCCI President Sangita Ahmed, congratulating Selima Ahmad.
Selima has been working for the private sector development for the last 28 years and is actively involved in developing more than 7,000 women entrepreneurs.
Nitol Niloy Group is one of the reputed business houses and has 26 companies. Of them, six are joint ventures and three are public companies. It has presence in automobiles, cement, paper, real estate, electronics and financial services.
The Business for Peace Foundation, formed in 2007 to promote relationship between business and peace, has been awarding businesspersons from across the globe every year since 2009.
The partners of the Business for Peace Foundation are The International Chamber of Commerce, the United Nations Development Programme, and the United Nations Global Compact.