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Impact investing can be a post-Covid economic catalyst

Brett Wallington explains why impact investing by private investors could be a serious force for change in South Africa.

How blended finance can accelerate MSME growth in Africa

According to a study by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), micro, small and medium enterprises face a finance gap of more than R331 billion in Africa. This 2020 article explains how innovative forms of financial structuring like blended finance can incentivize investment in MSMEs.

Shared Value Leadership Summit: Leaders Renew Call for Shared Value Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

"The COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt lives while demonstrating the need for the private sector to embrace shared value as called for by participants in the fourth Africa Shared Value Leadership Virtual Summit. CNBC Africa brings you highlights of the summit…."

Watch the video on CNBC Africa

How the Africa Shared Value E-Summit Can Play a Role in Post-COVID-19 Recovery

Experts predict that closer collaboration among business leaders across various industries will be key in shaping a post-COVID-19 recovery. This will be part of the conversation at upcoming Africa Shared Value E-Summit and CNBC Africa spoke to Nichole Yembra, MD, The Chrysalis Capital for more.

Watch the interview on CNBC Africa

Shared Value Africa Initiative: Balancing Profit, Social Impact and Entrepreneurship

"How can entrepreneurs balance the need to raise capital, profitability and the need to have social impact in their communities of operation? On the sidelines of the Shared Value Africa Initiative, CNBC Africa organised a distinguished panel of experts on how best this can be achieved…."

Watch the recording on CNBC Africa

Sappi Wins Top International Gold Quill Award for Innovative Video

"Sappi Southern Africa's Forests division received top international recognition for its innovative video on their Sappi Khulisa programme at the virtual Excellence Gala held on Tuesday, 16 June 2020 at #IABC20. The video won the coveted 'Best of the Best' Award in the Audio/Visual Category....

...The video is aimed at encouraging participants in Sappi’s Khulisa Enterprise and Supplier development programme, to become sustainable participants in the forestry value chain. Rather than just remaining as subsistence farmers focusing on small crops of timber, the video - which is narrated in isiZulu by SA celebrity storyteller Gcina Mhlophe - tells the story of how a grower can secure a future for her grandchildren by becoming self-sufficient through training and mentorship, provided by Sappi Khulisa."

Read more on BizCommunity

Creating Shared Value to Tackle Climate Change

"Today we are fully aware that climate change is a threat to human society. And for this reason, it is of vital importance that the energy system changes. Many companies are still tied to the old paradigm, but there is a new approach that is gathering momentum: the model of shared value. In essence, the creation of shared value means pursuing business success by benefiting society.

The creation of shared value (CSV) is different from philanthropy and corporate social responsibility in that it emphasises collective well-being as a source of innovation that can lead to greater profitability and competitive advantage. Instead of asking companies to compensate for the damage they cause or redistribute profits earned at society’s expense, the goal is to earn those profits by benefiting society."

Read more in this article by the Enel Group

Strengthening the Case for Responsible Investing – Lessons From Covid-19

"COVID-19 puts a sharp focus on management approaches to human capital management, corporate culture, and the treatment of customers. Corporate responses around these issues can potentially have lasting impacts for all company stakeholders. For investors that are ESG literate, it’s no news that workforce management, employee satisfaction and corporate culture have a long- term impact on productivity, share price performance and returns. Similarly, that companies’ treatment of customers is an important driver of brand equity and improved customer relationships over time. How management teams respond in this time of crisis will be telling for their long-term profitability. Aside from management practices, the COVID-19 crisis also exposes the underlying business model, specifically what goods and services the company provide. As we are collectively finding out, essential services means something very specific. It redefines what we can and can’t do without, and what we are prepared to pay for. Business models that solve for food security, connectivity, online education, entertainment, sustainable mobility, finance, water, energy, sewage, waste, healthcare, etc have prospects for growth."

Read the full article by Old Mutual Investment Group in Daily Maverick

Shared Values and the Role of Business in Social Change

"When businesses take ethics seriously and they are positively engaged in society, they are in a stronger position to have the ear of government and other key stakeholders. Society expects businesses to be more responsive to social challenges.

In recent times there have been growing calls for businesses to play a greater role in promoting social change. I read recently a public statement issued by the US Business Round-Table made up of 200 major US corporations offering a new definition of corporate purposes.

They amended their two-decade-old statement that unequivocally stated that 'corporations exist principally to serve their shareholders'. Their new statement expresses a pledge to shift away from narrow shareholder capitalism that is driven by a single metric of profitability to adopt broader stakeholder capitalism that emphasises greater social purpose and responsibility.

Such a commitment is critical for re-aligning the core purpose of the business with the interests of stakeholders and is a glue that binds the government, business and society."

Read more in Daily Maverick


Africa Shared Value Leadership e-Summit Looks at COVID-19 Relief Efforts

"According to the Africa Shared Value Leadership e-Summit, pandemic responses, challenges and the next steps are its focuses. The e-summit says that companies across Africa have taken 'rapid and significant steps' to initiate community emergency relief efforts in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The private sector has focused on business continuity — securing the supply of essential products, protecting workforces and engaging customers. While relief efforts were largely socially driven, the e-summit says that there is also a business motive; only through healthy, economically active communities can business ensure its own sustainability."

Read more on mediaupdate.co.za

Financial Services Urged to Create Shared Value

"Postgraduate researchers from the African Institute for Financial Markets and Risk Management (AIFMRM) at the University of Cape Town (UCT) are challenging South Africa’s financial services to be more innovative in how they approach the creation of shared value to solve much-needed social and environmental challenges.

At a glance, South Africa may appear to be a financially inclusive country with 70% of adults having a transactional bank account, according to a report on sustainable financial inclusion from the Boston Consulting Group. However, dig a little deeper, and the numbers tell a different story. The South African financial services sector is often distrusted, has high transaction costs and is strictly regulated, creating barriers to financial inclusion. Moreover, while many South African firms, including financial services companies, score well on environmental, social and governance reporting, there is scant evidence that this is delivering the impact we need.

Now, a group of postgraduates from AIFMRM is challenging companies to shake up the way they are doing things and look afresh at how they might be able to create shared value and help solve some of South Africa’s more intractable social challenges."

Read more in UCT News

Pandemic Underpins Importance of Purpose-Driven Leadership, Shared Value Creation

"The Covid-19 pandemic presents an opportunity for business to restructure and to pursue purpose-driven leadership and strategies, which includes creating shared value for all stakeholders. This will not only help in weathering the current difficulties, but will also position companies well for a sustainable future.     

This was indicated by speakers during a session on the first day of the Africa Shared Value Leadership eSummit, on June 2."

Read more in Engineering News

Old Mutual Calls for Greater Adoption of the Shared Value business Model Across Africa at the 2020 Shared Value Africa Leadership e-Summit

"Old Mutual Limited has underscored its commitment to creating shared value during the first ever Africa Shared Value Leadership e-Summit, taking place online, from 2-5 June 2020.

Old Mutual is calling for greater inclusivity and a more equitable Africa through the strategic adoption of a Shared Value business model. This approach advocates for a more interconnected relationship between driving business growth and creating opportunities to address some of society’s most pressing challenges.

The onset of the global Covid-19 pandemic has served as a catalyst for businesses everywhere to align their strategies to a more shared values approach. Old Mutual continues to drive business continuity during this challenging time, whilst working to create shared value amongst its key stakeholders. This through impactful, measured and targeted responses designed to not only solve immediate challenges, but create lasting connections and impressions that will serve the business well into the future."

Read more on allafrica.com

Uber Launches its Largest Region-Wide Initiative in Partnership With Mastercard

"As cases of COVID-19 continue to escalate, those assisting communities continue to forge ahead.  As they work tirelessly to continue to support, feed and protect communities, Mastercard has committed 120,000 free trips and meals to those supporting communities across the Middle East and Africa, which will be facilitated through Uber.

Uber is utilizing their technology and making available their wide network of drivers to ensure those who are supporting communities and the many frontline workers who need to be mobile, have a reliable and efficient way of getting around. Once qualifying workers have successfully signed up through Uber’s website, they can arrange transportation to and from their homes and to where they are needed, such as healthcare facilities or to feed the vulnerable. Uber has shared relevant health information with drivers to ensure they are well-informed in COVID-19 related safety protocols and have been provided with masks and sanitizer reimbursements."

Read more on CNBCA Africa

Applying the Shared Value Approach to the South African Rental Economy

"Can an online platform counter gentrification, deliver a double-sided business proposition that leverages shared value for the improvement of an entire segment of the economy, while simultaneously solving for one of humankind's essential needs?

When we set about building Flow, we were hoping to find a smart way to match tenants and landlords – but as we built it, we saw the potential it had to have a major impact in the South African social space, and beyond.

Essentially, the platform matches highly-profiled renters with the right properties and gives landlords the tools to retain good tenants. It rewards tenants for good rental behaviour – looking after their properties, paying rent on time – with benefits and special offers from an array of partners. On the other side of the equation, it helps landlords market their unlet inventory to the right people, in the right place, at the right time – and then develop relationships with those tenants to retain them."

Read more on BizCommunity


Supporting the growth of SA’s social economy

The social economy, which refers to economic activities in which social and environmental benefit, rather than individual benefit, is intentionally prioritised, is recognised by the South African Government as an important economic sector. Kerryn Krige, chief technical adviser for the Social Economy Policy Project, provides an update on the draft policy document which aims to support the growth and sustainability of the social economy in the country

Read more: Supporting the growth of SA’s social economy

Celebrating Strategic CSI

Business in Society Conference Co-winners of the Trialogue Strategic CSI Award 2018 Kirsten Mahood and Nicole Solomon | AECI Wise Wayz Water Care Sydwell Shikweni | Merchants SA’s Social Action-based Leadership Development

Nicole Solomon on the AECI Wise Wayz Water Care project

Nicole Solomon on the AECI Wise Wayz Water Care project

Innovative finance for development impact, sponsored by Absa

There are a variety models that can be used to fund multistakeholder approaches to address a range of socioeconomic challenges. The Innovative finance for development impact theme, sponsored by Absa at The Trialogue Business in Society Conference 2019, focused on the impact opportunities from blended finance, understanding alternative credit models and managing risk, the range of innovative finance tools available, how innovative finance can improve organisational sustainability, and how corporates can contribute to strengthening social infrastructure.



Business as a Catalyst for Change: Charlotte Mokoena

Business and Society Conference 2019
Charlotte Mokoena is the executive vice president for Human Resources and Corporate Affairs at Sasol. She was appointed to Sasol’s Group Executive Committee in 2017. Charlotte’s career spans various industries, including the global beverages business, information and communication technology, health, management consulting, education and agroprocessing – as well as the non-profit sector. Prior to joining Sasol, Charlotte was a human resources executive at Tongaat Hulett Limited. She also worked in several senior executive positions, primarily in human resources, at Telkom and at Coca-Cola Africa Group, as organisational capability manager. Charlotte holds a BA degree in Social Sciences, an Honours degree in Human Resources Development and a Postgraduate Diploma from Leicester University in the UK.



Innovative Finance for Development Impact: Presented with Absa TRI Talk: Melissa Moore, Futuregrowth Asset Management

Innovative Finance for Development Impact: Presented with Absa TRI Talk: Melissa Moore, Futuregrowth Asset Management There are a variety models that can be used to fund multistakeholder approaches to address a range of socioeconomic challenges. Innovative finance sessions will focus on the impact opportunities from blended finance, understanding alternative credit models and managing risk, the range of innovative finance tools available, how innovative finance can improve organisational sustainability, and how corporates can contribute to strengthening social infrastructure.


Read more: Innovative Finance for Development Impact: Presented with Absa TRI Talk: Melissa Moore,...

Removing the Mystery around Impact Investing

Innovative Finance for Development Impact: Presented with Absa TRI Talk: Monique Mathys-Graaff, Public Investment Corporation There are a variety models that can be used to fund multistakeholder approaches to address a range of socioeconomic challenges. Innovative finance sessions will focus on the impact opportunities from blended finance, understanding alternative credit models and managing risk, the range of innovative finance tools available, how innovative finance can improve organisational sustainability, and how corporates can contribute to strengthening social infrastructure.


Read more: Removing the Mystery around Impact Investing

Enabling Growth through Innovative Finance with Sazini Mojapelo


Presented with Absa There are a variety models that can be used to fund multistakeholder approaches to address a range of socioeconomic challenges. Innovative finance sessions will focus on the impact opportunities from blended finance, understanding alternative credit models and managing risk, the range of innovative finance tools available, how innovative finance can improve organisational sustainability, and how corporates can contribute to strengthening social infrastructure.


Read more: Enabling Growth through Innovative Finance with Sazini Mojapelo

Charles Reed, ABSA, discusses the role of business in society

Charles Reed, ABSA, discusses the role of business in society

Why is Shared Value and Innovative Finance important to ABSA's corporate investment strategy?

Why is Shared Value and Innovative Finance important to ABSA's corporate investment strategy?


ABSA: Being a force for good in society

Absa’s new strategy reflects our African identity. We are firmly committed to playing a shaping role in society.

 Bringing possibilities to life: Absa’s new strategy

The Absa group embarked on a journey to become a fundamentally different, disruptive and digitally led bank; making some critical choices that shape the business and brand strategies. One of the key decisions is for the business to become an active force for good in society. With that, our new purpose and strategy, at the heart of which is growth, will be driven through three strategic priorities and three enablers, one of which is playing a shaping role in society.


Read more: ABSA: Being a force for good in society

How mining companies can create shared value beyond compliance

Deloitte explains how mining companies can bring the sector, government and society closer together and create shared value beyond the compliance agenda. 

Can shared value get the youth back into farming? | Thato Moagi (TEDxJohannesburgSalon)

As a young, black, female farmer, Thato Moagi has faced her fair share of barriers in her chosen career – the most significant being the difficulty of accessing finance, and the complete absence of generational history, and knowledge, in her networks. These barriers are typical for many young people interested in farming, but are particularly acute for black South African youth. In her view, the lack of progressive agricultural policies from government has not helped. The concept of shared value, however, presents promising possibilities. Spreading risk among players in a value chain, while leveraging mutually beneficial relationships, can help young people create sustainable farming enterprises, while building communities, and creating jobs.

Michael Porter: Why business can be good at solving social problems

Why do we turn to nonprofits, NGOs and governments to solve society's biggest problems? Michael Porter admits he's biased, as a business school professor, but he wants you to hear his case for letting business try to solve massive problems like climate change and access to water.

Khanyi Dhlomo: Creating shared value - the link between competitive advantage and CSR

The Oxford Business Forum Africa, held at Saïd Business School, will featured keynote addresses, focused panel discussions, masterclass sessions and networking opportunities. Convening around 300 delegates and 30 speakers, the Forum offered unrivalled insight into business on the continent from the boldest innovators and decision makers in Africa. For more information, visit: http://oxfordbfa.com/

When private sector investment creates a social impact

Government and businesses should develop shared value to address socio-economic challenges. Building shared value is an important quality for accelerating social and economic change, especially in times of economic difficulty - by Mzukisi Qobo.

Building the Shared Value ecosystem in Africa - Insights from 2018 Africa Shared Value Summit

"The idea of creating Shared Value has become a global movement," he noted. "If Africa is going to leapfrog to the 'good capitalism' [Shared Value], it's going to depend on the culture that is created in the business community here. It’s going to depend on the vision and the leadership … to spread this culture, so that when business thinks about how to succeed, they think about the kind of profit that enables everyone to succeed." - Mark Kramer, co-founder and MD of FSG

Doing good is good for business: Tiekie Barnard explains the benefits of Shared Value

Business is driven by profit, but Shift Social Development CEO Tiekie Barnard believes in the importance of profit with purpose. In this Q&A, she explains the meaning of Shared Value and how companies can use this business strategy to find where the biggest growth opportunities lie.

It is now critical for any business to demonstrate that it has a purpose before and beyond profit, and that it seeks to improve the lives of its customers. Failure to have such a purpose, to be clear about it and to ensure it directs everything you do, will lose customers, employees and ultimately business value. This requires transparency and authentically communicating purpose to the consumer in a tangible, trustworthy way.


We rise together: Collaboration and Africa's economic future

The key to business sustainability is changing how we think about competition and partnership. The business landscape is beginning to shift away from the traditional competition model, especially in Africa, to a form of capitalism that is more open to collaboration. When it comes to making a positive impact on the world, of course, there is immense power in joining forces to create collective impact at a scale far beyond what any one company could achieve alone.

One of the three pillars of the Shared Value business model is Enabling Local Cluster Development, which the Shared Value Initiative defines as “Improving the available skills, supplier base, and supporting institutions in the communities where a company operates to boost productivity, innovation, and growth”. In a nutshell, this is the development of and investment in the Shared Value ecosystem. In order to implement Shared Value successfully throughout the value chain, a business must work with the communities in which it operates, the non-government organisations that have the knowledge and experience to guide purpose-driven policy implementation, and the government entities responsible for regulation and maintaining the infrastructure essential to normal business operations.


‘Doing good by doing well’? Reflections of a critical friend at the Shared Value Summit

"...the concept of Shared Value sets itself apart from frameworks like philanthropy and corporate social responsibility (CSR). The key distinguishing feature of Shared Value is that it aims to address social and environmental problems through company’s core business, rather than as a separate side project. Sustainability and human rights are not add-ons or compliance tasks but part of a corporate strategy. It’s the old business case argument on steroids.

From Oxfam’s perspective, the motivation behind Shared Value, to better align core business and social impact, is an ambition we agree with. For too long, we have struggled to move attention to social issues out of niche sustainability departments and onto the agenda of corporate executives. Nevertheless, the discussion at the Shared Value Summit left me with more questions than answers."

Does shared value hold the key?

In this 2017 article, Cara Bouwer argues that shared value should focus on human-centred innovation, creating value for all stakeholders.


Creating shared value meets the SDGs

Mark Kramer has called the SDGs “a new revenue model for business”. This 2017 article explains how shared value initiatives can help to realise the SDGs.

Moving from Passion Projects to Sustainable Investments – The Evolution of Corporate Philanthropy

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has become one of the standard practices of business. It has seen many incarnations over the years, and continues to keep evolving even today.

But for every corporate leader that believes it is an important part of any company’s business strategy, there is an equal number of dissenting voices that say it is nothing more than a corporate obligation forced on them by, either, legislation or public pressure.

Optimism about Africa's future

Africa is rising and fast becoming a lucrative commercial market with enormous investment potential. Despite recent slumps in commodity price exports, the growing relative political stability, improved economic governance and a more predictable business environment for investors means there is a growing optimism about the continent’s future, as the performance of economies of countries such as Ivory Coast, Tanzania, Rwanda and Mozambique keeps hopes of a growth explosion alive.

The Triple Bottom Line, Inclusive Business and Shared Value

Today’s highly competitive, globalized, world requires organizations and businesses to think differently about how they are going to stay in business. They can no longer afford to focus on profits alone as other factors, such as social and environmental sustainability, are becoming more present – both in real terms as well as from a regulatory perspective. The hyper-connectedness of our modern world also means that customers now have more information about businesses than ever, as well as a greater number of choices, meaning that businesses that fail to understand all of what their customers are looking for will be substituted quickly.

Organizations must therefore think about ways to build sustainable business that incorporates more than just short term thinking on profits. 

Are SA companies ready for shared value?

When Michael Porter and Mark Kramer published ‘Creating shared value‘ in Harvard Business Review in February 2011, the impact was huge. Although much of it was positive (a stellar citation rate; articles in The New York Times, The Economist, The Guardian; Davos roundtables; McKinsey’s award for the best HBR article in 2011), many within the sustainability community were less impressed.

John Elkington, executive chair of Volans and the nearest sustainability has to a founding father, took Porter deftly to task for his lack of subtlety. Paul Polman, Unilever CEO and sustainability’s leading light ever since he told short-term speculators to sell their shares in his company, was also unconvinced.

Others decided that the difference between sustainability and shared value was simply semantics. We don’t agree.

Creating Shared Value: How South Africa Led The World In Corporate Governance & Economic Empowerment

Part of the Searching for Sustainable Business series.

The concept of shared value became increasingly important for business in South Africa during the 1990s, long before it was coined by the Harvard academic duo of Michael Porter and Mark Kramer. Fortunately for me, I had a front-row seat. 

Sustainability should not be consigned to history by Shared Value

I was delighted to participate in the recent Shared Value Leadership Summit hosted by FSG, a non-profit consultancy founded by Mark Kramer. Together Professor Michael Porter and Kramer wrote Creating Shared Value, published in the Harvard Business Review in 2011.

However, I left Cambridge, Massachusetts somewhat unsettled about some aspects of the way Porter seems to see the sustainability agenda.