/ 10 April 2014

Join the celebration

Edna Ngeringwony Kiplagat celebrates after winning the women's marathon final at the 2013 IAAF World Championships.
Edna Ngeringwony Kiplagat celebrates after winning the women's marathon final at the 2013 IAAF World Championships.

Twenty years into South Africa’s democracy, we invite you and your organisation to be part of our celebration of good corporate citizenship. Join us at the Investing in the Future & Drivers of Change awards on October 28 2014 as we honour the finalists and winners. A special commemorative supplement will be published on Friday October 31 2014.

Investing in the Future

In 2014, the Investing in the Future & Drivers of Change awards seek to promote investment in much-needed science, technology, engineering and mathematics (Stem) skills. A new category has been added to this prestigious annual celebration of corporate South Africa’s contributions to youth development, job creation, anti-poverty and development work that improves the lives of our people.

As in many other countries, corporate South Africa is aware of its responsibility to support Stem development, to grow the country’s competitive advantage. Stem skills are essential not only for technological progress, but also for enterprise development and social wellbeing. “Poor performance in school maths, and the subsequent drop in graduates qualified for careers that rely on the subject, have led to skills shortages.

“This has a negative impact on the country’s economic growth and its position as a meaningful participant in an increasingly digital global economy,” said Setlogane Manchidi, head of the Investec ProMaths programme, a finalist in the 2013 Investing in the Future Education award. In 2014, Investing in the Future builds on that legacy by introducing a new category for projects making a meaningful difference in Stem education.

The new award complements the eight other categories projects can enter. The M&G Investing in the Future awards were created 26 years ago to publicise the often unsung contributions to the future of the country and its citizens. They are designed to heighten public, government and business awareness about meaningful social investment. Other new categories this year are Youth Development, and Job Creation & Enterprise Development.

Drivers of Change

Investing in the Future has partnered with the Southern Africa Trust’s Drivers of Change award for the past eight years. Since its inception in 2006, the Drivers of Change award has recognised individuals or organisations from across southern Africa for making a real impact on the lives of people living in poverty, through innovation in the development and implementation of effective public policies and strategies to overcome poverty.

Drivers of Change is awarded in four categories: business, civil society organisations, government and individuals. The award profiles living examples of innovative practices, creative new approaches, inclusive attitudes and effective processes.

It seeks out the best initiatives that build social trust for a real and lasting difference to the lives of people living in poverty.

Recipients of the award in each of the four categories must demonstrate in their approach:

• Innovation in the strategies used to develop and/or implement better public policies;

• Policy work with a focus on making a real difference to the material conditions of people living in poverty;

• Attention to, and success in, reducing poverty and inequality throughout the southern Africa region; and

• Inclusion of diverse voices, particularly voices of the poor.

Who can enter?

  • Corporations with corporate social investment (CSI) programmes, or corporate foundations attached to a company, or grant-making programmes run by a self-governing foundation separate from the founding corporation;
  • Independent foundations and trusts, community foundations, grant-making NGOs and trusts, family foundations and grant-making trusts and private foundations;
  • Individuals from any sector across business, civil society or government who have played a significant role in developing new, innovative and inclusive ap­proaches to anti-poverty and development work;
  • Government or intergovernmental agencies, programmes or initiatives that create new possibilities and develop new models for policy engagement in the national and regional policy spheres. Ministries, government departments, parliaments or parliamentary forums are included.

Categories in 2014 — enter at investing.mg.co.za

Investing in the Future Youth De­velopment Award: South Africa’s young people are the future of our national identity, but they need support and guidance. This award goes to programmes or projects that show a forward-thinking commitment to developmental change in the lives of young people.

Investing in the Future Health Award: This category recognises companies and organisations with innovative and integrated primary health care and wellness programmes. Awarded to initiatives aimed at enhancing and strengthening the country’s health care system.

Investing in the Future Job Creation and Enterprise Development Award: This category rewards companies and organisations with innovative, integrated programmes that stimulate job creation and/or enterprise development. Awarded to projects that set new benchmarks in anti-poverty and development work.

Investing in the Future Stem Skills Development Award: Projects and initiatives that demonstrate a company or organisation’s commitment to addressing the huge educational challenges in the fields of science, mathematics, engineering and technology (Stem).

Investing in the Future Award for Best Corporate Employee Community Involvement Programme: This category showcases examples of how companies are actively encouraging and supporting their employees to play a role in the community as part of their broader commitment to community upliftment and development.

Investing in the Future and Drivers of Change Civil Society Award: Projects that best demonstrate how civil society can contribute to the wellbeing and development of society. Awarded to organisations that go beyond the conventional in anti-poverty and development work.

This article has been made possible by the Mail & Guardian's advertisers. All content has been sourced independently by the M&G's Supplements editorial team.