There’s an old adage that goes “charity begins at home”. This in Africa’s case, is true for both business and social issues. The unique and complex nature of the continent’s challenges calls for an Afro-centric approach, with a holistic remedial strategy at its core. It is going to take a group of dynamic Africans who understand that in order to contend with the volatile economy and cultural barriers that are prevalent in our current business landscape. In order to achieve effective results moving forward, business-thinking models that speak to Africans, as well as reinstitute new methods of measuring success must be adopted.
The Shared Value movement recognises the need to redress and challenge the structural, economic and societal constraints that undermine our business efforts as a continent at large. Shared Value does not aim to immediately alleviate the effects of issues such as poor access to information, inadequate resources, and lack of training and upskilling facilities. What Shared Value does is address the causes, in order to make informed decisions in order to prescribe effective remedies. Over and above that, Shared Value creates solution-driven initiatives in order to foster collaboration and a single-minded purpose for all.
It is without a doubt that collective responsibility cannot be an endeavour that is undertaken by someone who does not share the African experience. In order for Shared Value to make a meaningful and impactful difference for Africa, there needs to be one goal and one vision. It is imperative that the African business of the 21st century adopts a collaborative mindset. It is through the intermingling of business, industries, government bodies and social change agents that economies of scale can be achieved. This Shared Value strategy not only makes business sense but also promises a way for which Africans can begin bridge the socio-economic gap that exists between the continent and the rest of the world.
That’s why platforms such as Export Portal exist: to close the gap for SMEs wishing to join in international trade and to provide all the resources necessary to trade successfully. Working in tandem with the Shared Value movement, Export Portal provides South African SMEs with the ability to succeed in ways that were previously extremely difficult.
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