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Loeries: African Shared Value Winner Announced

It’s more than an award. It’s about creating economic value and simultaneously addressing societal and environmental issue. Challenging the world. Changing it. It’s about making work that doesn’t count views, it changes them.

Culminating in the biggest creative gathering in the region, Loeries Creative Week brought together innovative minds, creative inspiration and the recognition of great work.

For Shared Value, a Gold Loerie goes to Fedgroup and Regency Global for Fedgroup Impact Farming. A Silver was awarded to Inuma TM and Water Access Rwanda for Inuma Mini Grinds and a Bronze to Abinbev and Create Mozambique for A Solution For The Future.

SVAI had the opportunity to catch up with Fedgroup, to ask them about their work.

SVAI: Why is being a purpose-led business important to Fedgroup?

Fedgroup: The independent shareholding of Fedgroup ensures that the ethos and culture of the business are inextricably linked to the values and humanity of the founder and shareholders. When personal intent is translated into corporate values, a far more enduring culture is created that drives all activities and behaviours in the organisation. In addition, rather than being a slave to the short-term expectations of any external shareholders, Fedgroup has a long-term vision which, by definition, is driven by a higher purpose rather than simple revenue generation.

And because of this, Fedgroup does not subscribe to the antiquated notion that businesses have to decide between making a financial return or contributing positively towards a sustainable society. Throughout our history, we have held these same beliefs and we pride ourselves on always standing for something.

SVAI: How did you start your Shared Value journey?

Fedgroup: Since its inception, Fedgroup has recognised the importance of placing the interests of people – our clients, staff and society members – ahead of our profits, and of actively ensuring that more South Africans can enjoy a better life for themselves, their families and their communities. This Shared Value approach reconnects business success with social progress, positing that it is not only possible but indeed preferable from a business perspective to focus on creating both economic value for its shareholders and for society. Our mission can be summed up succinctly as profit with purpose.

This approach has been evident throughout our lifespan. From our original trust administration service that we have offered since 1991 and now looks to safeguard the country’s most vulnerable through our market-leading Beneficiary Care, to our current endeavours in Impact Farming ventures with a view of generating long-term social, environmental and financial value. Fedgroup is therefore armed with almost three decades worth of purpose that looks to have a greater impact on the individuals the company serves.

SVAI: Do you have Shared Value goals you are looking to achieve; if so what is next for the group?

Fedgroup: Through our activities, particularly with our Impact Farming offering, we hope to create a financial product that will contribute to a sustainable economy and offers opportunities to partner with various local businesses in order to increase job creation efforts. We have a far broader vision of disrupting entrenched institutional systems that extract rather than add value to customers and communities alike. Impact Farming is the first step toward this broader vision. At Fedgroup, we continuously seek ways to challenge industry norms and the traditional way of thinking in order to better serve our clients, our communities and our country.

SVAI: What is the biggest advantage to you to being a Shared Value company?

Fedgroup: The world is moving in a direction where people want to do business and partner with ethical organisations that are focused on making a positive difference. Gone are the days of mindless consumerism and everyone wants to have an active say in the future they want to see. Which makes it not only good business practice but morally sound. As a financial services provider, we are in the business of building and facilitating trust and a Shared Value approach allows us to do just that. Our country faces many challenges, but Fedgroup has always been driven by a need to add value and has made conscious business decisions that ensure that the traditional revenue-generating aspects of the organisation also contribute towards creating social value. This type of approach means we have the potential to create opportunities amidst the challenges.

SVAI: Shared Value thinking focuses on collaboration with other organisations for enhanced impact. Have you considered joining a Shared Value network of companies?

Fedgroup: At Fedgroup, we continuously build partnerships and collaborations with like-minded organisations that assist us in creating and providing sustainable and improved value to customers and stakeholders. In many areas of our business, we have put together an ecosystem of complementary skill sets that are unrivalled in their category. So, although this may not be a traditional Shared Value network it does have a substantial impact on not only on our clients but the economy as a whole.