The Regional Centre for Social Responsibility, the Inclusive Business Forum for the Western and Southern region, SNV Zimbabwe and its partners, hosted the 3rd Corporate Social Responsibility Indaba from 29th to 30th May 2014 in Harare. The theme was “Corporate Value Re-visited: Achieving Business Growth through Creating Shared Value”. The Indaba was held with the increasing realization that the whole discourse on CSR was changing and that many companies were still stuck on traditional forms of CSR which yield very little sustainable value for both the companies and the beneficiaries.
The Indaba deliberations were marked by the following:
• The keynote speech by Dr. Wayne Wisser focused on showing the need to move from traditional CSR to a more transformative CSR that delivers on both impact and sustainability.
• The Minister of Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment, the Honorable Francis Nhema provided the government perspective on CSR.
• The Office Cabinet in the President’s Office made a presentation of ZIMASSET, the government policy blue print for multi-stakeholder engagement to meet both social and economic objective. After the presentation is was clear that Inclusive Business Businesses are operationalizing the policy of objectives of ZimASSET. However, creating accountability platform is required so as to be able to track past and current private sector contributions to the economic and social objectives.
• A presentation was made by the Ministry of Mines, giving the Mines perspective on effective CSR.
The Programme created space for sharing of the Inclusive Business as a way of doing business. Three Inclusive Business Partners made presentations.
- Small & Medium Sized Enterprise Association of Zimbabwe (SMEAZ) presented on Inclusive Business Approach as a cost- effective model for value creation. SMEAZ is implementing an inclusive business model that is supportive of the distribution chain powered by a computerized system. The RetailNet Micro Franchise are positively contributing to creation of strong linkages between economic agents; formalization of the informal sector and addressing macro-economic issues such as: Unemployment, Balance of payments, Local products promotion,
- MilkZim presented their IB story which is showing the Base of Pyramid involvement in the supply and distribution chain.
- Shurugwi Partners shared how the NGO has created sustainability through long term community engagement wand has been instrumental in brokering a business relationship between the Community and the Shurugwi Mine by being part of the supply chain.
SUMMARY OF PRESENTATIONS:
1. SMEAZ presented on Inclusive Business Approach as a cost- effective model for value creation Small & Medium Sized Enterprise Association of Zimbabwe . The SME Association of Zimbabwe was founded in December 2011 has its objective as to grow small and medium enterprises into large corporations. The Main challenges for SMEs in Zimbabwe are: Access to markets; Access to funding; Training and development; Infrastructure (workspace, machinery, utilities); Policy issues (lobbying and advocacy).
SMEAZ from the onset, the SME Association of Zimbabwe recognized the need for business linkages between large corporations/ the formal sector and SMEs. Hence partners with SNV on the Inclusive Business Programme were a natural growth path The IB model that has worked worldwide for the advancement of economies. In Zimbabwe, historical issues created the formal / informal divide, which needs to be broken down.
Steps taken: Partnerships forged with key institutions in 2012 ZNCC AND CZI; Business Linkages Seminar held in January 2013: Brought together key stakeholders, Introduced the aspect of micro-franchising, Approached by National Foods, Secured SNV funding for launch of a pilot project in November 2013. Subsequently engaged Star Africa, Pro Group, DZL/Lyons Maid, BAT etc. who all expressed interest. SMEAZ has implementing the RetailNet Micro Franchise. Progress to date includes the following;
All major agreements now in place with Twenty Third Century Systems key technology partner; Metro Peech & Browne anchor wholesaler; Affiliate members, manufacturers, Econet, other service providers being signed up.
Pilot implementation in progress: Registered as separate entity; System design and roll-out; Suppliers registration; Registration of kiosks / tuck shops.
Expected pilot completion in three months are: Creation of strong linkages between economic agents; Formalization of the informal sector; Addressing macro-economic issues such as Unemployment, Balance of payments, and Local products promotion.
In conclusion, the presenter highlighted the major gains of doing business the Inclusive Business Way:
o Value chain linkages are business imperatives for success.
o Economic growth will be driven by integration, not perpetuation of formal/informal divide.
o Inclusive Business Works!
2. MilkZim shared their business model which is based on the farmer’s involvement on the supply chain as well as the distribution chain. The presentation which was based on the MilkZim Video outlined the rationale, historic developments, operations and the impact of the project. The business has a pilot dairy Zone in Domboshawa, where small scale farmers learn about commercial dairy practices, including home formulation of low cost dairy feeds. MilkZim buys Milk from the dairy Zone and then processes it into fermented milk and packages it into 500ml sachets. The product then is sold through a Nutrition network Partners. Currently the network has 52 partners, some of whom make as much as $2900 per month.
3. Partnerships for Sustainable Impact: Lessons Learnt from NGO, Private Sector and Community Partnership in Shurugwi by P. S Manyakaidze Shurugwi Partners
Shurugwi Partners was formed in 2008 to supports pro – poor developmental projects in various fields including environmental conservation, poverty alleviation, agriculture, sustainable livelihoods and skills for community development. The NGO ethos is based on the following pillars of excellence:
• People – a human centered development focusing on the most needy
• Service – deliverables that transform societies and their vulnerable groups
• Quality – measurable results with resounding impacts
4. Shurugwi Case is based on partnerships / relationships and effective delivery of benefits to locals. The partner roles are well defined. Shurugwi Partners is responsible for
- Organizing farmers (clusters, association)
- Mobilizing resources for local community initiative project
- Capacity building: training
- Value chain strengthening
- Create linkages (from input to output window aggregation)
- Create conducive environment and fairness between transactional partners (fair contracts)
- Private Sector is represented by Servcor Catering/Enki Mine who purchases vegetables from the Small Holder farmers. The Small holder farmers this have a business relation with the Mine, as opposed to being subject of the Mine’s philanthropy.
Assessment of the Inclusive Business Presentations:
- The presentation added value to the Indaba which is platform for sharing good practices. In additional to policy and conceptual deliberations, the sharing of life examples is enriching. It is hoped that the participants would be further motivated to be lobby for policy changes in their organisations and policy implementation.
- Thoughts about way forward
- The Indaba notable for having attracted government departments: Office of Cabinet in the President’s Office; Ministry of Mines, Parastatals; as well the Minister of Minister of Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment. Three Community Trust were represented. All the government departments are available for us to have presentations made on the Inclusive Business. The Indaba has created relationship for further policy dialogues.
- Furthermore, there is scope to discuss the concept at the Chiefs Forum as well as make a presentation to the Legislators from the Southern and Western Region.
- The Ministry of SME at both national and provincial level was not available to attend due to either travel or other engagements.
- Creating platforms for sharing success stories; I an invaluable investment in motivating others to join in the band wagon: as the saying goes: “do not just tell me; show”, is a powerful method of communicating so as to influence positive change.
- The SNV support has gone a long way in making this Indaba possible.
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