William Lever was the son of a grocer who focused his family's business (Lever Bros.) on a single product - household soap - in 1884. The soap, which previously had to be cut to order from a single block, came in individually wrapped bars.
Within four years, operations were moved to a larger factory and Lever built a village to house employees, named Port Sunlight after the company's most successful brand of soap. It also advocated healthy working conditions, shorter days and education opportunities.
By 1925, Lever employed more than 85,000 employees around the world. It is now regarded as a pioneer in social responsibility.