African business school to train corporates to drive profits and solve social ills
Strathmore University Business School and Shared Value Africa Initiative launch Shared Value Executive Programme
3 September 2020, Nairobi and Johannesburg – Pan-African business network Shared Value Africa Initiative (SVAI) in partnership with Nairobi-based Strathmore University Business School has launched a Shared Value Executive Programme that offers participants a business approach to solving societal issues alongside driving economic growth.
The course provides the technical and practical skills for companies to identify their corporate purpose and strategy using a business management method called “Shared Value.” The Executive Programme takes place from 28 September to 2 October 2020. Its timing assists corporates to face major reputation risk as the COVID-19 pandemic rages and societies demand that businesses contribute to social relief.
Strathmore University Business School’s Dr. Mumbi Maria Wachira says that the Shared Value Executive course is essential for businesses today, as they navigate social and environmental challenges while living up to investor expectations. “Increasingly businesses are under pressure from their stakeholders to pursue strategies that demonstrate positive social impact. A Shared Value approach to doing business recognises that societal well-being is inextricably linked to long term corporate profitability. Businesses that pursue a shared value strategy achieve competitive advantage while simultaneously improving the livelihoods of the communities they are embedded in.”
Course co-creator and CEO of SVAI Tiekie Barnard says that her experience working on the African continent has demonstrated that particularly after COVID-19, there is a drive and a call for business to change. “Shared Value is all about doing business differently,” she says. “This Executive Programme is an opportunity to learn and experience how purpose-led organisations are building resilience and social impact.”
The need for a business method to help executives navigate the combination of challenges they face is particularly crucial during the pandemic, says Immaculata Segooa, a member of the SVAI Steering Committee and presenter on the course. “There’s no time like the present to integrate business strategy and operations with the shared value business model. We are living in a reputation economy. Businesses have to look beyond profits, to not only thrive but to also weather the harshest storms. COVID -19 has been a real test in business resilience, and organisations that have embraced this business model, have performed better than their industry peers.”
The executive programme, which includes training by global industry experts and leaders, is aligned to Harvard Business School’s offering on Creating Shared Value but uses case studies that are relevant for businesses operating within Africa. Strathmore University Business School Deputy Executive Dean, Executive Education Dr Angela Ndunge comments: “The course is structured to ensure that ‘Creating Shared Value’ does not become another business buzzword for our participants and their organizations. With a good share of the world’s emerging and developing economies located on the continent, the program takes into consideration the need for economic growth, while embracing the opportunity to concurrently solve social and environmental issues.”
Segooa agrees: “This executive course has been put together by a team of subject matter experts, affording attendees a deep dive into strategy frameworks, case studies, debate and dialogue and an immersion that will enable practical and actionable insights.”
Given the economic realities of the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies have needed to pivot to new strategies to adapt to the new reality. For these organisations, particularly, the course fulfils an important need, says Dr Wachira: “As the experience with COVID-19 has demonstrated, the challenges that confront our society have a profound impact on the resilience and sustainability of business operations. CSV aligns business strategy with scalable social impact. The course will therefore enable participants to evaluate their competitive advantage and to re-think their business model based on emergent social and environmental risks.”
Dr Ndunge says the Shared Value executive course is an important addition to the Strathmore Executive Course calendar. “At Strathmore, we are focused on building leaders who are able to innovate and adapt to the changing circumstances of the world. The Shared Value Executive Programme skills leaders to create solutions to current pressing environmental and social challenges in Africa while making a profit. The element of ‘profit with a purpose’ differentiates it from other leadership and management courses. Further, executives to the program have been drawn from all sectors (private, public and non-profit) providing a great forum for a collaborative learning experience and dynamic discussion on how each contributes to the shared value ecosystem.”
The course focuses on leaving participants with practical skills that they will be able to apply once back in their organisations. While on the programme, the participants will learn how to ideate, create, and implement the shared value business model in various industries.
Speakers on the programme include
- Mumbi Maria Wachira – Academic lead of this programme and accounting lecturer at Strathmore University
- Tiekie Bernard – Executive programme co-creator; Founder and CEO of pan-African Shared Value network, Shared Value Africa Initiative
- Hugh Foley – globally respected Corporate Responsibility & Shared Value consultant
- Martin Mbaya – Director of Executive Education at Strathmore Institute
- Immaculata Segooa – Head of Advertising at Discovery Group, member of SVAI’s Steering Committee, and Shared Value expert
The programme runs from 28 September to 2 October with a fee of Kshs. 80,000 (about US$740).
Strathmore University Business School’s executive courses attract delegates from Nigeria, Uganda, Rwanda, Ethiopia, South Africa beyond. The school also has regional leadership academies based in Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.