The new Nation Builder website provides free resources for South Africans who want to learn more about how they can mobilise businesses to invest into communities, and become part of socio-economic advancement in South Africa.
South Africans, and especially the business sector, will be listening to the 2017 budget speech with an eager ear on how Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and his team plan to address sluggish economic growth in the country, amongst other challenges (Fin24).
In the build-up to the speech, Minister Gordhan put a call out to South Africans to give their input on the following areas:
- Funding of free education for students in tertiary institutions;
- How South Africa can achieve inclusive economic growth;
- How South Africa can use its resources to ensure efficiencies; and
- How the government, civil society, unions and business can work together to achieve the economic objectives of our country.
According to research commissioned by Nation Builder (A case for CSI in South Africa – see full report), the Bureau for Economic Research (BER) found that Corporate Social Investment plays an important role in creating an environment that allows for more inclusive economic growth. It shows that the potential impacts of already existing expenditure are highly significant in the current South African context. The BER calls this “a rare win-win situation”.
It is estimated that R8.1 billion* (*The Trialogue 2015 CSI Handbook) was spent on CSI in 2015. If all of these funds were invested effectively, this could result in R25 billion being added to South Africa’s economic output. In effect, businesses will experience a societal return of R3.2 for every R1 spent annually on CSI. This same value of CSI spend would sustain almost 63 000 jobs and generate R7.7 billion in labour remuneration – ultimately reducing unemployment and impacting our economy positively. It is projected that the GDP could increase by R12.5 billion if the investment is done efficiently.
The challenge for most businesses however, is to be strategic with CSI, and to measure and monitor the effectiveness and efficiency of their CSI efforts.
To address this challenge, Nation Builder offers collaborative platforms and expert resources so businesses can come together to learn, be enabled and connect with each other to increase the effectiveness of Corporate Social Investment (CSI) in South Africa.
On the new Nation Builder website, all of these expert resources are now available at no cost.
Through tools like the Nation Builder Benchmarking Tool, for example, developed by a panel of industry experts, businesses can better understand the impact and effectiveness of their social investment strategies.
“Previously, all the Nation Builder resources and affiliations were reserved exclusively for businesses. But we noticed a great interest from individuals who want to become part of the solution in South Africa. In the interest of sharing knowledge to maximise social impact, we have now opened the opportunity for anybody to access these resources and thought leadership, not just Nation Builder businesses,” said Keri-Leigh Paschal, Executive Director of Nation Builder. “We all have a role to play in mobilising businesses to invest in their communities. As more and more people join the community, we will see greater awareness created within the business world, and more businesses will commit to playing their part as Nation Builders – bringing about socio-economic change,” she added.