Aligning people, planet and profit through Shared Value
July has been a month of trials and tribulations for so many in South Africa and indeed a sad month in our country’s history. But for us, July will also be remembered as a time of recognition for both the Shared Value Africa Initiative (SVAI) and two of our newest Africa Council of 8 members.
The two young business leaders in question are Elizabeth Okullow from Kenya and Talifhani Banks from South Africa, both of whom have been invited earlier this year to join SVAI’s Africa Council of 8 because of their forward-thinking mindset, drive and commitment to creating the Africa we want.
Elizabeth, who is co-founder of Aafri Fudi, was accepted into the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders. This flagship program of the US Government’s Young African Leaders Initiative considers individuals, between the ages of 25 and 35, who are accomplished leaders and have established records of promoting innovation and positive impact in their communities and countries.
She has already started her virtual studies at Purdue University, an institution well known for agricultural innovations, following which she will join Heliponix (https://gropod.io/) for an additional 6 weeks of professional development. We wish her all the best on her new journey of learning, discovery and growing.
Talifhani, who is founder of Analytics Advertising, was nominated for the Accenture Rising Star Awards for Entrepreneur of the year 2021 and has been shortlisted as one of the Top 10.
He believes the reason for this recognition is because Analytics Advertising is one of a handful of data technology companies that has brought science into marketing. In fact, Talifhani is confident that his company’s business model sets it apart from the competition and will afford him the opportunity to perform and compete on a higher level. “In addition, we have experienced exponential growth and that makes us stand out compared to other emerging businesses.”
All of us at the SVAI are rooting for Talifhani in the next round and we applaud his company’s success and achievements to date.
As for the SVAI, we have been shortlisted as a Top 10 finalist for the South African Conscious Companies Awards 2021, which celebrates and recognises those South African organisations who endeavour to align people, planet and profit in service of all stakeholders. It is truly humbling that our work to bring about social change across Africa is being recognised and we thank our Shared Value community for their unwavering support. We can only bring about lasting change when we work together.
In other news, we are looking forward to extending our Shared Value footprint into Tanzania and Botswana during the coming months, as we seek to broaden the discussion on gender equality and Shared Value.
Along the same lines, the SVAI wants to encourage companies to show their commitment to promoting gender equality by signing and adopting the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs), which are a set of principles offering guidance to business on how to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in the workplace, marketplace and community.
Established by UN Global Compact and UN Women, the WEPs are a primary vehicle for corporate delivery on gender equality dimensions of the 2030 agenda and the SDGs. By joining the WEPs community, a company CEO signals his or her commitment to this agenda at the highest levels of the organisation and to work collaboratively in multi-stakeholder networks to foster business practices that empower women.
Companies that sign up before 31 August will also receive a free toolkit! http://unwo.men/8fOh50FwcIr
Still on the subject of gender equality, but more specifically gender-based violence (GBV), we want to invite companies to support the #ITSNOTOK movement against GBV (https://itsnotok.africa). Launched in 2020, the #ITSNOTOK campaign aims to influence everyday citizens to speak out and act against South Africa’s biggest societal shame, and the second pandemic that we are currently facing as a country.
To raise public awareness, we have designed impactful buffs that can be used as masks to raise awareness and speak up in support of this cause. (These specially designed buffs are R25 per unit, at a minimum order of 100.) Please join the SVAI in amplifying the message that GBV #ITSNOTOK, by supporting this awareness drive during Women’s Month. For more information, please contact Vuyo Lutseke via email at .
In fact, the new #ITSNOTOK awareness campaign was also launched earlier this month, in partnership with the Gautrain Management Agency, JCDecaux Africa and ADreach.
News on the Shared Value Africa Academy front is that we have successfully engaged our second entrepreneurial cohort for the Purpose Playbook training, which kicked-off on 2 July and focused on women-led agri businesses. Yet another training milestone will be reached in August, when we deliver the 2021 Africa Shared Value Executive online course in collaboration with Strathmore University Business School.
Last but not least, during July planning for the 2021 Africa Shared Value Leadership Summit shifted into gear with confirmation of the headline sponsors (Abbott, Absa and Old Mutual) and some of the main speakers.
The Summit will take place in Johannesburg, South Africa, from 8-9 November 2021 under the umbrella theme of One Africa, One Voice.
This year, the Shared Value Business Management concept also celebrates 10 years since the now-famous Creating Shared Value article, written by renowned academics and economists Professors Michael Porter and Mark Kramer, was first published in the Harvard Business Review.
The 2021 Africa Shared Value Leadership Summit will be opened by none other than former Head of Sustainable Business and Social Impact at Safaricom Plc in Kenya, Sanda Ojiambo – a child of Africa, a former Shared Value Steering Committee member and the first African to lead the United Nations Global Compact.
She will be joined by Head of Global Sustainability, Infrastructure and Networks at the Enel Group, Maria Cristina Papetti. Enel is the second-biggest energy provider globally, addressing the challenges of providing a decentralised energy solution for Africa. We will also hear from Amy Jadesimi, CEO of the Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics Base, about working in a male dominated industry and how empowering women in Africa can be a game changer for business.
It is worth noting that, while we are at this time planning to host a hybrid Summit – both onsite and virtual, our engagements and networking sessions across the continent will remain virtual in the foreseeable future, due to the increase in COVID-19 cases in South Africa.
Until next time. Stay safe and healthy.
The SVAI Team