Indalo Inclusive South Africa NPC, in partnership with Nedbank, is launching the Indalopreneur South African Green and Inclusive Enterprise Awards & Support Programme. They have joined forces specifically to promote the principles of inclusive growth and sustainable development in the social and green economies of South Africa.
With this new programme, they aim to address the country’s triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality, by supporting innovative entrepreneurial solutions that also promote a climate-resilient society and an inclusive, green economy.
Currently, South Africa’s unemployment rate is at a record-breaking 44.4% (which includes people available for work but no longer looking for a job). We also have the highest unemployment rate on a global list of 82 countries.
We need to develop entrepreneurs now, more than ever before, especially in rural communities where unemployment is rife. At the same time, there is a constant, pressing need to factor in the impact on the natural environment in all new initiatives, given the climate crisis unfolding before us. Indalo Inclusive and Nedbank want to bring home the message that entrepreneurs can and should consider the environment in everything they do, and find solutions that either support or promote a greener society.
Like many other developing countries, South Africa is especially vulnerable to the impact of climate change, according to South Africa’s second Annual Climate Change Report 2016. The report states that South Africa has the task of balancing the acceleration of economic growth and transformation with the sustainable use of environmental resources, in order to conserve resources and respond appropriately to climate change.
For decades, scientists have been warning that human activity is releasing critical volumes of greenhouse emissions, the effect of which is exacerbated by the rate at which we are destroying forests, the earth’s natural ‘lungs’. Global warming is the result, and unless we find solutions to curb emissions and cease destroying our natural resources, we will experience more and more freak weather patterns. Already, South Africa has experienced the devastating effects of weather-related hazards such as floods, wildfires, storms, and drought. Most importantly, and a focus for Indalo Inclusive, is the fact that communities are left vulnerable because of these extreme weather patterns; as such, innovations are required to build resilience and adaptive capacity for communities, more especially those that are most affected, who include women, children, and persons living with disabilities.
The Nedbank partnership will enable Indalo Inclusive to develop and support the growth of rural and township green and inclusive entrepreneurs, through their integration into the value chain of established enterprises which align with the eco-inclusive agenda and are role models of climate-smart entrepreneurship. The support package includes extensive entrepreneurial skills development, mentorship, access to tools, and financial support.
The programme will be implemented through strategic and direct support for green and inclusive enterprises in the water, energy, agriculture and waste sectors. Assistance will be provided in three phases: ideation, business model development (Indalovator), and business model refinement.
The Indalopreneur programme builds upon the foundation and success of the ECSIGE (Entrepreneurship for a Climate-Smart Inclusive Green Economy) project funded by the government of Flanders, which seeks to support entrepreneurial solutions for climate adaptation in South Africa.
In addition, the programme seeks to strengthen the ecosystem of green enterprises through prototyping, testing, showcasing and financing certain key support instruments.
‘The economic disruption associated with the Covid-19 pandemic is providing us with an opportunity to rethink our approaches to development. We have an urgent need to build resilient economies and societies for all, and we need to stabilise and regrow economies while working to face up to the climate change challenge. This is not only possible, but essential. The only viable way forward is a resilient, inclusive green plan to ensure that we leave no one behind. Sustainability is crucial for the future of economies, society and the planet,’ says Rest Kanju, Director and Head of Operations at Indalo Inclusive.