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Nedbank’s 4-pillar strategy to support the green economy

Images: Nedbank, @Nedbank 

Nedbank has launched its Green Economy Fund, starting off with a generous capital of R10-million.  

According to Poovi Pillay, the Executive Head of Corporate Social Investment (CSI) at Nedbank, this fund aims to support and finance around 100 start-ups in the waste, water, energy, and agricultural sectors. These four sectors have been specifically chosen as part of Nedbank’s Green Economy Strategy, which not only aims to create sustainable job opportunities but also aligns with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. 

The inaugural Nedbank Green Indaba, held on Thursday, 30 November 2023, celebrated the success of Nedbank’s Green Economy Strategy, which was announced as the centrepiece of its CSI programme at the end of 2021. 

The unique corporate social investment plan focuses on building a network of partners that would promote sustainable economic growth and uplift rural and semi-urban communities through: 

  • Entrepreneurship 
  • Delivering skills development  
  • Job creation 
  • Education 

The GetOn Foundation Trust, supported by Nedbank, is providing funding to 30 aspiring entrepreneurs. This financial support will enable them to acquire the necessary skills to establish their own businesses successfully.

Furthermore, Nedbank is actively involved in two additional initiatives aimed at empowering young entrepreneurs in South Africa’s renowned wine industry. The Pinotage Youth Development Academy and the Cape Winemakers’ Guild are working towards nurturing a talented pool of young individuals who possess the appropriate skills to thrive in this dynamic and export-oriented sector. These projects hold immense potential for job creation.

In the city of Mbombela, Real Shift, an innovative non-profit organization, has partnered with local municipalities to implement waste separation for recycling purposes. This groundbreaking initiative has already generated 11 sustainable job opportunities, contributing to the overall socio-economic development of the region.

“South Africa faces many challenges, but each one of them is a potential set of opportunities for those with the vision to see them. One of our key success levers is that we believe that green businesses have to create wealth and grow the total economy; the green economy has the potential to kick-start the economy,” Pillay says. “We also believe very strongly that the green economy has to be inclusive, opening up more opportunities for those who are currently excluded.” 

Dr. Frank Aswani, CEO of the African Venture Philanthropy Alliance (AVPA), delivered the keynote speech at the event, focusing on financing.  

‘For green economy SMMEs, remember to fall in love with the problem, not your solution and collaborate because together, we can achieve so much more’, says Dr. Aswani. 

He emphasized that adopting innovative financing methods can help attract more investment capital to address Africa’s challenges. 

Read more about how employment in the green economy might be ideal to grow SA’s workforce. 

Lynn Brown
Lynn Brown
Lynn is a content marketer that focuses on brand storytelling through digital platforms. Skilled in a background of web development, search engine optimization and content production, Lynn is excited to utilize over 10 years’ experience in digital marketing to help grow the ecosystems that support Africa’s very young entrepreneurs to ensure their success.

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