UAP Old Mutual says it has set aside over KES 800 Billion to drive its shared value projects across the continent. The Shared Value Business Model focuses on maximizing the competitive value of solving social problems creating new customers and markets, cost savings and retaining talent.
It seeks to tackle the challenges facing society and the environment within which they operate taking on a philosophy that focuses on putting social needs first. This approach applies the efforts of business towards people, planet and profits.
Speaking during the Shared Value Summit which is taking place in Nairobi this week, UAP Old Mutual’s East Africa CEO Peter Mwangi said the company is commitment to creating Shared Value as part of the company’s Responsible Business approach which seeks to align operational business goals with the broader challenge of finding solutions to society’s challenges.
“Business can no longer be a passive observer to the multitude of socio-economic and environmental challenges that beset the world,” said Mwangi. “Its long-term sustainability and growth depend upon its ability to embrace the concept of profit with a purpose by becoming an active participant in bringing about positive social change.”
Shared Value Pioneer and Harvard Business School Professor Mark Kramer says that the shared value business model holds immense potential for SMEs to leverage on partnerships with large corporations to increase profitability and address the challenges facing the communities in which they operate.
“SMEs are essential to Africa’s economic growth of Africa and offer great opportunities to create shared value, we see that SMEs working in partnership with larger companies can create new initiatives, new products and opportunities that help meet social needs at a profit.” Prof. Kramer added.
Over the last three years, the business has invested KES 40 million to upgrade three strategic hospitals in the region – Kenyatta National Hospital, Al Saabah Children’s Hospital and Uasin Gishu County Hospital – improving access for millions of people in the process.
The 2019 Africa Shared Value Summit, which takes place from 23-24 May in Nairobi, Kenya, will focus on the importance of Shared Value ecosystems in driving Africa’s business growth.
Old Mutual Group Commitment
During its 174-year history the Old Mutual Group has built a strong reputation for operating as a diligent Responsible Business with bold and mutually beneficial, value-adding strategies. The company’s decision to move its primary listing from London to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) in 2018 not only signalled a return to its African roots but was also a major step towards facilitating more inclusive economic growth and sustainability in Africa.
As a responsible custodian client savings and an advocate for more socially inclusive, low-carbon and resource-efficient economic growth, Old Mutual has the ability to materially impact the African economy through its day-to-day business activities. As part of this drive for more inclusive, sustainable economic growth, the Old Mutual Group has already directed more than $8 billion (KES 800 Billion) towards driving shared value on the African continent. This includes:
- more than $6 billion paid in claims and benefits to it’s clients;
- $1.35 billion invested in affordable housing and infrastructure projects across the continent;
- $2.28 billion invested in renewable energy initiatives;
- $69.7 million invested in sustainable agriculture;
- $34.85 million invested in small business; and
- $104.55 million invested in education
“Our role as a responsible custodian of our clients’ savings also enables us to deploy funds into strategic investments that not only deliver returns for our investors but also help fuel the economy by delivering critical infrastructure such as schools, housing and more,” said Mwangi. “Of course, that comes with a great responsibility to ensure that our investment decisions also incorporate environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations. Not only is this the right thing to do, but it also makes good investment sense, which is precisely what Shared Value is all about.”