Shared Value Research Report

How the Private Sector Can Address the Issue of GBV

By Dr Corne Davis, Department of Strategic Communication, University of Johannesburg


There have been increasing calls to all sectors to intervene in addressing GBV, its economic cost to the global economy was estimated at $1.5 trillion (UN Women, 2016). The economic cost of GBV to South Africa has been estimated at between R28.4 and R42.4 billion (KPMG, 2014). Still, there has been little evidence of widespread successful GBV interventions (Abrahams, Mathews, Martin Lombard & Jewkes, 2013). It has also become clear, as Morrison and Orlando (2005) argue, that accounting-based measures of GBV were insufficient, suggesting that different perspectives are needed. While many private sector organisations have GBV interventions through corporate philanthropy, they have not taken action to address the issue head on.

The purpose of this commentary is to show that just funding non-government organisations dealing with GBV issues is no longer sufficient. GBV is the responsibility of stakeholders across all sectors and the criticality of the private sector’s participation and intervention, in particular, has to be clearly articulated.


How the Private Sector Can Address the Issue of GBV has been published by African Safety Promotion Journal. It is accessible on the African Journals Online ( and South African Medical Research Council ( websites.


Gender-based violence and the private Sector
Jointly prepared by the National Business Initiative (NBI) and the Shared Value Africa Initiative (SVAI)

MAY 2020 | Gender Based Violence and Femicide (GBVF) has been an important issue in our society for years, and this year, the COVID-19 pandemic created even more focus on this key issue – rendering it “the second pandemic”. Across the world, communities were place under various levels of lockdown and restriction, creating even more isolation for victims of GBVF.

In a time where business is challenged to look beyond profit to how it can support broader society through COVID-19 and beyond, it became important to look at what business is doing with regards to GBVF; particularly when it relates to their work force that was mostly home-based.

From 26 to 29 May 2020, the Shared Value Africa Initiative collaborated with the National Business Initiative on a set of webinar discussions with the private sector, to discuss what is currently being done to support employees – and what more could be done. These virtual roundtable discussions also focused on how business society can collaborate to tackle GBVF.

This along with an online survey the in-depths discussions are covered in this report, which provides key points of the discussions, as well as recommendations from the panel.

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Designing Social Value: Informed Programme Development for Future-Focused Social Entrepreneurship in Africa

The emergence of young African social entrepreneurs who design social change could translate to significant social value design that, in turn, could improve the future of several communities. Nevertheless, the designed value will only benefit the continent if it is substantial and sustainable. The problem is that many social entrepreneurial endeavours are implemented without a long-term future focus or an understanding of how social value is conceptualised. For this reason, tertiary institutions in Africa should consider presenting training or education related to sustainable social value design.

In this paper, author Adelaide Margaret Sheik reports on research done to inform programme design at a university in South Africa with a particular focus on social value design.

The objectives for this research focused on

  • how participants define social value within their context, and
  • why they see this as sustainable for the future.

The paper makes recommendations relevant to programme design for future-fit social entrepreneurs. It has a particular focus on how to incorporate the various dimensions of social value for Africa into designing a training programme or modules that incorporate social value

Designing Social Value: Informed Programme Development for Future-Focused Social Entrepreneurship in Africa was presented at the Design Education Forum of Southern Africa’s 2019 conference. Shared Value Africa Initiative was involved in facilitating the questions posed to the entrepreneurs from across Africa and reviewing the research feedback.

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Shared value holds the key to unlocking the next wave of business innovation and growth.

Prof M. Porter & M. Kramer, Creating Shared Value (2011)

From October 2019 to February 2020, Shared Value Africa Initiative and Strathmore University Business School embarked on a research study to establish private sector understanding and implementation of the Shared Value Business Management concept by businesses operating mainly in Southern and East Africa.

This study, held with a select group of businesses, resulted in insights that will contextualise the Shared Value discussion within a sub-Saharan Africa environment, and form the foundation that guides engagement around Creating Shared Value and growing this community.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has made it clear that business will never operate the same again, it makes the Shared Value discussion even more important as those who are able to align their profit with social impact will far outlive those who focus on the more conventional profit-only strategy.

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Shared Value Companies during the Coronavirus Research Report

In May 2020, Shared Value Africa Initiative embarked on a desktop research study to establish what relief work its members have implemented during the Coronavirus pandemic, and how this relief is linked to the purpose statements of the companies.

This research was done during May 2020, using desktop research, and it may not include all relief work being done by members. Research is focused on what companies are doing in their home country.

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