‘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."

A How-To Guide for Blended Finance

"[This guide] explains the Blended Finance opportunity and offers a framework for starting or scaling up activities for a range of development funder audiences. Each organization’s mission, motivations, staff profile, and operating context are, of course, unique. As there is no “one size fits all” method to adopting a Blended Finance approach, the framework provided in this document will need to be tailored to fit your own organization’s needs. This Guide has used the experience of the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development to illustrate ‘real world’ examples of how this process can be employed, but their experience will need to be adapted for your own context. The purpose of this document is to help your organization set goals to engage in Blended Finance and realize an action plan for successful implementation. Development funders can draw on a range of tools to engage private capital providers through Blended Finance."

Read the guide here

Source details: ReDesigning Development Finance Initiative A joint initiative of the World Economic Forum and the OECD, Sept 2015, http://www3.weforum.org

A knowledge brief of South Africa’s Incubator and Accelerator Landscape

"The South African Business Development Services Provider1 (BDSP) space is active and growing. According to ANDE South Africa’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem map, there were almost 150 BDSPs2 supporting entrepreneurs in 2017, with estimates exceeding this figure. National development and transformation priorities, coupled with global trends, have seen a proliferation of these programmes in South Africa, yet little is known about their effectiveness and uniqueness in the South African context. In an effort to deepen understanding of the incubator and accelerator landscape in South Africa, ANDE hosted a series of breakfast roundtables in Johannesburg and Cape Town in 2017 and 2018. This document presents an overview of the key findings of the roundtables and provides recommendations for further research.

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.


Absa: Focus on Education, Employability and Entrepreneurship for Economic Growth

Absa Group recognises that its success is interlinked with the wellbeing of the societies in which it operates. The company is committed to finding local solutions to uniquely local challenges, with emphasis on enabling greater socioeconomic prosperity. Its developmental focus areas, which are aligned to the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, include supporting the education ecosystem and entrepreneurship, improving access to financial services, and environmental stewardship in its operations and lending practices. 

AECI Wise Wayz water care - Co-winner of the Trialogue Strategic CSI Award 2018

The AECI Wise Wayz Water Care (WWWC) programme started in 2016 and is based in the Mbokodweni catchment area, working with 122 members of the Folweni and Ezimbokodweni communities in eThekwini, KwaZulu-Natal. WWWC promotes healthy natural environments through water and food security, while also developing community skillsets and sustainable livelihoods in historically disadvantaged communities. WWWC keeps a 30 kilometre stretch of the Umbogintwini River clear of solid waste and invasive alien plants, and has rehabilitated the Ezimbokodweni wetland of approximately 0.9 hectares, providing ecosystem services such as flood attenuation to the community. The rehabilitated area is cared for and monitored by the community.


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.

AVBOB: 101 Years of Sharing Value and Values

In 2006, American strategy experts Michael Porter and Mark Kramer raised the profile of “shared value” business models in an article they authored for the Harvard Business Review. Since then, the concept of “creating shared value” has become not so much a buzzword as the increasingly loud voice of corporate conscience for the sake of all concerned.

Unpacking this paradigm-shifting model within the context of South Africa’s socio-economic landscape, it is clear that AVBOB started practising in 1918 what Porter and Kramer started preaching in 2006.

avbob BIS 2019 pg 172 2

The resurgence in interest in shared value business models was forged in the crucible of the 2008 financial crisis, where many accused big business of earning obscene profits at the expense of society. While AVBOB’s humble beginnings were also rooted in pain, its founding purpose was for the benefit – not the detriment – of its members.

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

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.


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

Clover Mama Afrika: Winner of the Trialogue Strategic CSI Award 2017

Inspired by the African term for the universal concept of ubuntu – a shared humanity – since 2004, the Clover Mama Afrika initiative has fostered a spirit of caring, protection of vulnerable groups and the development and transfer of income-generating skills in low-income communities across South Africa.

Corporate Practice: A new era for pan-African social responsibility (Old Mutual)

Old Mutual will include a new and integrated pan-African vision for the group’s social responsibility activities and policies across the continent in 2018. This new strategy will focus on:

  • Being a responsible continental corporate citizen;
  • Consolidating strategic CSI interventions across Africa and
  • Building capacity and earning buy-in.

Corporate Responses to Climate Change and Related Disasters

In the first half of 2019, 950 climate-related disasters had already been recorded in 102 countries and territories and nearly 11 million people had been displaced, seven million displacements of which were caused by natural disasters mainly in Africa and Asia. The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre says that this was the highest number of climate-related displacements ever reported and investment bank Morgan Stanley estimates that climate-related natural disasters have cost the world close to $650 billion over the last three years. Beyond the immediate devastation, natural disasters also have long-term effects on people, the environment and business, which are especially devastating in low-income countries that do not have climate adaptation and disaster management strategies in place.