November 2019 Newsletter


November 2019 Newsletter

NSI Consultants continues to work alongside organizations to create sustainable solutions in our communities. Through proper social investment, businesses can be part of the change they seek in their communities. 

This Newsletter edition focuses on Impact Investing, how it has developed in the last decade, and the challenges that Impact Investing faces in the future. In addition, NSI attended the final Touch Talk for 2019 in October, where a group of insightful industry professionals analysed the ways in which brands are positioning themselves to create effective awareness around gender-based violence. 

Impact Investing: A new era of Corporate Citizenship

Though there are many definitions of Impact Investing, there is consensus on its purpose and how it functions. The definition we can give is that: Impact Investing is the exercise of making investments into assets that generate environmental and social returns- in conjunction with financial returns. We can conclude that there is value in conjoining societal and environmental gains with a conventional, competitive return.
The workings of Impact Investing reflect a departure from “feel-good” Corporate Social Investment activity of the pre-2008 global economy. The defining feature of Impact Investing is a measurable return. It is reported that ethical goals are also rapidly becoming an important consideration, particularly among young investors.

According to Morgan Stanley’s 2018 ESG and Sustainable Investing Report, “Millennials are twice as likely as the overall investor population to put their money into companies with social or environmental strategies.”

Opportunities and Challenges
There is harmony among leading stakeholders (leaders of industry, public officials and investment consultants) that South Africa stands poised to benefit significantly from the seismic shift in investment attitude. The main opportunities for what many consider Africa’s gateway include:
• Strong financial systems & potentially strong public institutions.
• A great need to find new ways to mobilize capital for businesses
• The social conditions to address unemployment and revitalize key economic sectors.

There are, as is the case anywhere else on the planet, challenges that stand in the way of securing substantial Impact Investments:
• Lack of deal-ready (bankable) investments.
• Poorly defined impact objectives, across sectors and stakeholders.
• Adequate technical and managerial support to complement available finance.

Luvo Gila is a Business Development Consultant for NSI.

Brand Awareness & Gender-Based Violence
In October, NSI attended the final Touch Talk for 2019. In the months following a wave of protests against the gender-based violence (GBV) in South Africa, brands, large corporations and small businesses have started to question if they are doing enough to address the issue. 
One of the main concerns raised in this closed-door session was a lack of sincerity on the part of corporations attempting to raise meaningful awareness to GBV:

1. Largely, the related campaigns have not been sustainable or lead to small pockets of change, leading the public to recognize when certain campaigns are simply 'box-ticking activities'.

2. Brands and organisations are unsure of how to contribute to this space, beyond creating 'hashtags'. Organisations were accused of only commenting on certain events when 'trending'. Such expressions can be perceived by the public as 'rushed' and insincere, eroding brand trust.  
3. There is limited 'internal' corporate culture regarding women empowerment. Corporations are accused of doing very little to empower and educate staff members. As there is not enough being done internally, it translates as to why campaigns directed at the public are not received well. 

4. Organisations also risk losing a lot of money if their campaigns are not executed correctly. 

All points raised during this session were deemed valid, and NSI is in support of corporations first and foremost creating a safe space for their staff members to talk about GBV and associated nuances. Additionally NSI believes that there is value in discussions with staff members in creating a positive shift regarding how GBV influences corporate culture. This can be done through training, seminars, educational sessions and empowerment workshops. NSI also supports brands striving to embark on related campaigns, while encouraging them to ensure they are sustainable and well-researched.  
Copyright © 2019 NSI Consultants, LLC, All rights reserved.

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