Small businesses, nonprofit organisations, social cooperatives and training institutions whose focus is in uplifting the community will get a chance to grow through the new Barloworld Mbewu social impact programme launched on Wednesday.
The initiative seeks to pioneer a new approach in growing social enterprises and driving sustainable change in SA. It will also seek to build a network of key stakeholders, both public and private, to support capacity building and incubation, and measurable growth of players in the social economy space.
Programme beneficiaries will be selected from social enterprise start-ups and established social businesses with proven income streams and potential for scalability. The programme will focus on marginalised communities with a specific focus on rural and township economies.
Entities can apply online and shortlisted businesses will be invited to a panel discussion of their business. Only the most innovative submissions will be selected for the Barloworld Mbewu programme. Barloworld will use its partners to provide funding to winners, access to finance and incubation with the aim of scaling up their business and create sustainable social value.
“We’ve relooked our approach to social investment with the aim of maximising social value creation and we believe that social enterprises are an ideal vehicle to further contribute to inclusive growth”said Barloworld CEO Dominic Sewela.
“Barloworld Mbewu will not only support selected social enterprises by helping facilitate access to funding and finance; [it will also] lookat the unique need of the social enterprise and develop individualised support to help scale up social value creation.”
The focus will be on social enterprises that are active in education, agriculture, environment and green economy, the automotive value chain and social innovations that uplift and empower local communities. Applications for the Barloworld Mbewu programme can be accessed at www.barloworld.com and entries close on July 31.
Applicants need to be:
- black-owned and run by South Africans;
- operational for more than a year;
- active in marginalised and previously disadvantaged communities;
- active in the education, automotive value chance, agro-processing, agriculture, green economy, groundbreaking innovation, creative arts and the use of technology to address local challenges.
All other businesses involved in gambling, alcohol and sex work will not be considered.