Partnerships for the goals: The role of the shared value ecosystem

One of the keys to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) lies in the 17th goal: partnerships. None of us can tackle a social challenge as complex and widespread as, e.g. world hunger on our own, especially not as individuals. There is immense power in collaboration, and this is exemplified in one of the three foundational shared value pillars, enabling local cluster development.

This refers to the responsibility of business to look outside of its own value chain to the ecosystem in which it operates. As Sanda Ojiambo, head of corporate responsibility at Safaricom, said at the 2017 Africa Shared Value Summit: “Our fundamental, driving principle is that a successful company cannot exist if the society around it is failing.”

Seen through the prism of a shared value strategy, partnership becomes more than a donation to a nongovernmental organisation or complying with regulations. It becomes a tool for promoting inclusive growth and achieving profit with purpose.

A business does not exist in a vacuum — it is a part of an ecosystem that it must support in equal measure to the support it receives in order to create true sustainability. Investment in the development of a shared value ecosystem is an investment in the longevity of any business’s success.

From the infrastructure that allows businesses to bring their product to market, to access to the know-how and understanding necessary to discover innovative solutions, every aspect of your value chain can only be maximised — and attuned to your purpose — through collaboration with governments, civil society organisations, and communities.

The Africa Shared Value Summit is not only a platform for creating awareness about the shared value business model and advocating for its implementation. It is also an opportunity for people from diverse industries to come together to find common purpose and create connections with others working towards the same goal.

Events like this bring together shared value practitioners from across industries, sectors and countries. This is an opportunity not only to broaden a business’s footprint but also to combine purpose-driven efforts to create stronger societies through combining reach and expertise. In short, partnerships enable businesses to be more effective at scale, both in generating profit and in contributing to the achievement of the SDGs.

Taking place from May 24-25, the 2018 Africa Shared Value Summit is a platform where shared value practitioners and business thought leaders can share their stories and insights on the implementation and impact of the shared value business model. Seats are limited, so book yours today at www.africasharedvaluesummit.com/book-now. 

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