Tools for building sustainable businesses
A Shared Value Executive Programme
By Dr. Mumbi Maria Wachira, Lecturer, Strathmore University Business School
Companies have been at the forefront of increased public scrutiny due to their history of prioritising short-term profitability, often at the expense of the communities they work in. Increasingly, companies are expected to address a broader range of needs by adopting a social purpose that can create economic value and simultaneously benefit the wider society.
Global challenges such as climate change, heightened levels of income inequality and modern day slavery, among other problems, also require a fundamental shift from the traditional shareholder-centric business models towards stakeholder-oriented approaches to doing business.
Likewise, the investment landscape is shifting towards rewarding organisations that demonstrate strong Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) performance, coupled with robust financial returns. In the wake of COVID-19, research by BlackRock suggests a strong correlation between sustainable business models and resilience in crisis. Therefore, it is becoming imperative for businesses to adopt more holistic and sustainable modes of operating.
One of the ways in which organisations can combine economic performance with societal value is through Creating Shared Value (CSV), a business management strategy first coined by Harvard professors Michael Porter and Mark Kramer. CSV outlines the policies and practices that enhance the competitiveness of an enterprise, while advancing the economic and social conditions of the communities in which it operates.
To empower and help companies acquire the necessary organisational tools and insights needed to make this strategic shift, Strathmore University Business School (SBS) and the Shared Value Africa Initiative (SVAI) have co-created the Shared Value Executive Programme that is aligned to Harvard Business School’s course offering.
The Shared Value Executive Programme is an online programme that will equip participants with an in-depth understanding of the various ways their enterprises can successfully pursue a shared value strategy. Specifically, the course will enable participants to think through their organization’s value proposition, its competitiveness, and how it aligns towards addressing social and ecological needs.
The programme lays a deep emphasis on the importance and process of crafting a meaningful social purpose, and how adopting a shared value strategy can drive organizational change that delivers profitability and societal benefits. While the programme is Harvard aligned, the curriculum has been adapted for businesses working in Africa.
In addition to case studies featuring companies based in North America and Europe, the course also draws on local case studies that demonstrate the experiences of African organisations, which have successfully implemented a CSV strategy.
A case in point is Safaricom, which is often cited as an organisation that translates its corporate purpose ‘transforming lives’ into tangible shared value initiatives. M-PESA for instance, achieves the twin aim of financial inclusion and economic value for Safaricom.
Fedgroup is another excellent example of a purpose driven business. Specifically, their impact farming offering provides investors with an easy way to invest in sustainable farming projects in South Africa.
The course will explore practical examples like these in detail and also incorporate guest lectures facilitated by African business leaders, which will provide first hand experiences of the nuances of implementing CSV within an African context.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE COURSE
Online Course: 23 – 27 August 2021 | On Campus Course: 15 – 17 November 2021
- For more information about the course, to register your interest or download an information leaflet about the course, please CLICK HERE.
- To gain first hand insight into what the course is all about, CLICK HERE TO REGISTER and attend the free pre-course webinar on 25 June
Pre-course seminar: Friday, 25 June 2021
For those who have expressed interest or would like to gain a better understanding before enrolling in the 2021 Africa Shared Value Executive course, a free, pre-course orientation seminar will be hosted virtually on 25 June. If you are curious to learn how you can help your business contribute to creating economic value and value for society, book your seat here https://bit.ly/2TNNBVx
ABOUT DR. WACHIRA
Dr. Mumbi Maria Wachira is the academic lead for this programme. She is also a full-time accounting lecturer at Strathmore University Business School, Nairobi. Her research focuses on the intersections between accounting practice, society, and the environment Dr. Wachira’s teaching areas are Financial Reporting, Forensic Accounting, Accounting Theory, Sustainability Accounting, and Accounting Fraud.