THE NEW EQUATION = PwC+progressive strategy

PwC recently unveiled The New Equation, its new landmark global strategy, which responds to fundamental changes in the world, including technological disruption, climate change, fractured geopolitics, and the continuing effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. The New Equation is based on analyses of global trends and thousands of conversations with clients and stakeholders. It builds on more than a decade of sustained revenue growth and continued investment.

  • US$12-billion investment over the next five years, creating over 100 000 new jobs
  • Initial commitments include new ESG Centres of Excellence, leadership institutes, accelerated deployment of emerging technologies and increased investment to support audit quality
  • Strategy focuses on helping clients build trust and deliver sustained outcomes

The New Equation focuses on two interconnected needs that clients face in the coming years. The first is to build trust, which has never been more important, nor more difficult. Organisations increasingly need to earn trust across a wide range of topics that are important to their stakeholders. Success depends on fundamental shifts in the way executives think, organisational culture, systems and ambition.

The second is to deliver sustained outcomes in an environment where competition and the risk of disruption are more intense than ever and societal expectations have never been greater. Businesses need to change faster and more thoroughly to attract capital, talent and customers. Too often, however, narrowly conceived transformation initiatives do not deliver the outcomes they promise. A new approach is needed.

Bob Moritz, global chairman of PwC said: “The profound changes in the world mean that to succeed, organisations need to create a virtuous circle between earning trust and delivering sustained outcomes. By bringing our unique combination of capabilities together and matching it with serious investment and our commitment to quality, we can help them do that. In doing so, we will help clients unlock value for shareholders, stakeholders and wider society.”

PwC will expand Centres of Excellence for specialists on key ESG topics, including climate risk and supply chain, as well as create a global ESG Academy which will enable all PwC partners and staff to integrate the fundamentals of ESG into their work.

How PwC will help build trust and deliver sustained outcomes

PwC’s multidisciplinary model is the foundation for the strategy, bringing together a passionate, diverse community to help organisations build trust and deliver sustained outcomes. The model enables investment at scale in the combination of capabilities that is essential to delivering quality and impact for clients, stakeholders and society. PwC firms will invest US$12-billion over the next five years, creating over 100 000 net new jobs across PwC, as well as continuing to develop the skills of PwC’s partners and employees.

PwC’s approach to building trust is designed to meet rising expectations of transparency and stakeholder engagement. It combines expertise in audit, tax and compliance activity with an expansion of specialist capabilities including cybersecurity, data privacy, ESG, and AI. It recognises the importance of quality and that reporting and compliance are just one link in a chain that includes organisational culture, executive mindset, aligned standards, certified professionals, stringent controls, tailored technologies, and appropriate governance.

Similarly, delivering sustained outcomes requires an integrated approach. Instead of a traditional technology-driven approach to transformation, PwC’s approach is focused on the outcome that effort seeks to achieve. PwC then mobilises expertise in strategy, digital and cloud services, value creation, people and organisation, tax, ESG, deals, business recovery services, legal and compliance, amongst other areas to deliver the agreed outcomes.

Planned investments include:

  • ESG. PwC will expand Centres of Excellence for specialists on key ESG topics, including climate risk and supply chain, as well as create a global ESG Academy which will enable all PwC partners and staff to integrate the fundamentals of ESG into their work. 1 000 partners from 60 territories across the network have already completed an in-depth six-week programme focused on business issues resulting from critical global trends.
  • Quality. PwC will continue to invest to further enhance quality across its businesses. This will include US$1bn dedicated to accelerate deployment of technology that further automates the implementation of quality frameworks in audit, as well as build the delivery model for the audits of the future, which are expected to require more types of data, assess a broader range of risks and more fully integrate non-financial information. This additional technology investment builds on the ongoing focus on quality, supported by rigorous methodology and training across all lines of service.
  • Leadership Institutes. Today’s leaders need new skills to help lead through and manage uncertainty, build inclusive cultures, and support transformation. New Leadership Institutes will be created to support clients and stakeholders. The first Institute will be based in the United States and will empower more than 10 000 of today and tomorrow’s C-suite leaders, executives, and board members to build trust. Another Leadership Institute will be created in Asia-Pacific and further announcements will be made in the coming months.
  • Technology. PwC will continue its strategy of being human-led and tech-powered. It will continue to rapidly expand its use of cloud, artificial intelligence, technology alliances, virtual reality and other emerging technologies to deliver insight and drive competitive advantage for clients. In addition, PwC is accelerating the deployment of technology products, supporting seamless collaboration and enabling its people to automate processes. These products and automations will transform the client experience and allow new insights and values to emerge.

The New Equation also accelerates PwC’s growth in the Asia Pacific, with US$3-billion of the investment planned for the region, aimed at doubling its business and significantly scaling up capabilities to serve clients.

Bob Moritz continued: “We are mobilising multi-disciplinary teams, powered by technology and drawing on deep specialist expertise. We will continue to evolve our ways of working, and expand our capabilities in the areas that matter most for the future, while remaining steadfast in our commitment to quality: bringing together the unique combinations needed to help clients answer the expectations of their shareholders, stakeholders and society at large.”

Dion Shango, CEO for PwC Africa said: “PwC Africa is excited by the opportunity that The New Equation represents for our clients, employees and other stakeholders. The launch of our new global strategy comes at a time of unprecedented change – it will enable PwC teams to support clients and other stakeholders across the African continent to move toward greater sustainability and more inclusive growth, as well as to drive their digital evolution. The strategy will shape how PwC Africa develops in the coming years as we seek to deliver against our purpose in society – which is to build trust and solve important problems. As part of the strategy, we are making substantial investments to further enhance audit quality and expand our capabilities.”

Commitments in our Africa region

As part of The New Equation, PwC’s Africa region is also announcing plans to meet the specific needs of clients in our market. Here in Africa, PwC will continue focusing on the following, with plans of further commitments to be announced within the next few months:

  • PwC Africa is committed to delivering quality in everything we do, and we are making substantial investments to further enhance quality. We’re committed to driving a strong culture of quality. It’s core to our purpose – to build trust in society and solve important problems. Importantly, it’s also what our clients and stakeholders expect of us, and rightly so.
  • The New Equation will lead PwC to make the most of the multi-disciplinary model – building capabilities at the depth and scale needed to serve our clients as they seek to build trust and deliver sustained outcomes.  At a time when businesses are evolving, we are focused on providing innovative, high-quality services and solutions. The trust that our clients and our people place in PwC, and our high standards of ethical behaviour are fundamental to everything we do.
  • The new world of work will demand the development of new skills. PwC Africa is fully committed to continuing to invest in helping our clients and our people to prepare for change brought about by advances in technology and digitalisation. Digitising our business is a strategic focus for the Africa firm, including upskilling all of our people and making them more digitally astute, as well as growing their competency with the firm’s digital assets and tools to deliver services to clients.
  • To achieve this goal, we will invest some 150 000 hours in training across the continent. Through our New World. New Skills initiative we’re excited to share what we’ve learned, and we plan to help businesses, governments, local communities, and individuals accelerate their own upskilling journeys. We believe everyone should be able to live, learn, work and participate in the digital world, but that will require business leaders, governments and educators to work together to make the world a more resilient, more capable and more inclusive place.

“We are bringing the best of our people, capabilities and technology together to support our clients in building trust and delivering sustained outcomes for their businesses and society,” said Dion Shango.

Building PwC’s passionate community of solvers

The most important challenges faced by clients and stakeholders can only be met through multi-disciplinary, diverse teams. PwC is doubling down on its existing commitment to attract and equip its people to meet this need – combining human ingenuity with technology to deliver sustained outcomes whilst building trust across the value chain.

PwC cntinues to attract diverse talent, supported by expanded flexible and remote working as well as progressing the previously announced commitment to upskill its own people. The 100 000 net new jobs will be focused in emerging capability areas, from ESG to AI. In addition, PwC will continue to hire over 30 000 people into early career posts each year, providing training and qualifications that set people up for a strong career either within PwC or elsewhere.

Bob Moritz said: “We want our people to be the most sought after in the market, because they have the technical, digital and human skills needed to build trust and deliver sustained outcomes. We are proud that so many people begin their careers at PwC before moving on and are committed to continuing to support training and development for a new generation of business leaders.”

Here in our Africa region, PwC is taking further action to improve the diversity of our talent. Dion Shango elaborated:

“The diversity of our firm contributes to its growth in various ways. PwC Africa’s goal is to achieve a staff profile reflective of the demographics across the continent and to achieve equality in the workplace. Our people strategy is focused on being the leading developer of talent on the African continent. We are focused on diversity and fostering an inclusive environment.”

Delivering Net Zero, increasing transparency

In addition, the network is mobilising around the commitment made last year to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, which involves transforming its business model to decarbonise its value chain. It is submitting specific science-based targets to the SBTi, and each member firm has appointed a Net Zero leader to enable progress based on local plans.

PwC is also increasing transparency around its own operations, through expanded reporting based on the World Economic Forum/International Business Council metrics, as well as the recommendations of the World Business Council on Sustainable Development.

Bob Moritz went on to say:

“There is a strong need for stakeholders from across society to work together. Whether it’s the pandemic, climate change, social injustice or the digital divide, there is a growing expectation that businesses have a role to play in addressing broader societal issues. Our new strategy is about helping clients address their toughest challenges and delivering for society and the planet.”

Dion Shango concluded: “Our Africa firm actively supports our global commitment to become net zero by 2030. This is an ambitious target that will require the reshaping of our operations, working across our value chain and engaging in public policy discussions. We are also committed to supporting our clients in their sustainability journey. We are equipped to support organisations with insights including energy transitions, TCFD alignment, net-zero strategy and implementation, circular economic opportunities, carbon tax, carbon emissions assurance and much more.

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Vaccinate Our World call-to-action

AHF continues its global ‘Vaccinate Our World’ call-to-action urges world leaders, vaccine manufacturers, and public health organisations to ‘VOW’ to protect humanity by providing equal access to Covid-19 vaccines worldwide, particularly in lower-income countries.

While more than 1.3-billion Covid-19 vaccines have been administered worldwide, 83% have gone to a handful of wealthy nations. Low-income countries – of which many are in Africa – have received a mere 0.3%. AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) continues its global call-to-action to ‘Vaccinate Our World’ urges world leaders, vaccine manufacturers, and public health organizations to ‘VOW’ to protect humanity by providing equal access to COVID-19 vaccines worldwide, particularly in lower-income countries.

The ambitious but achievable ‘Vaccinate Our World’ call-to-action includes five primary tenets:

  • The global COVID-19 vaccination effort must secure $100-billion from G20 countries,
  • It must produce and provide seven billion vaccine doses worldwide within one year,
  • Companies and governments must waive or suspend ALL Covid-19 vaccine patents during the pandemic,
  • Countries must be 100% transparent in sharing information and data, and finally,
  • World leaders must also promote far greater international cooperation as the driving force for ending the pandemic, not continue with politics as usual.

“If vaccine procurement proceeds at the current pace, experts are predicting that most of Africa won’t begin to see sufficient quantities of Covid-19 vaccines until early 2023, which is flatly unacceptable.”

AHF South Africa Country Program Director Dr. Nduduzo Dube

“COVAX was well-intentioned, but with wealthy countries buying up enough vaccines to inoculate their citizens as much as five times over, it’s clear that it’s too little, too late. We must learn from our battle against HIV that we cannot wait for years to get lifesaving vaccines and medicines to people who need them most. It’s time that heads of government, global public health organizations, and pharmaceutical companies do all that’s necessary to ‘Vaccinate Our World’ now.”

In addition to securing adequate funding, vaccine production must be increased worldwide, which requires access to Covid-19 vaccine patents for the rapid scale-up of production. Information sharing and cooperation between nations must also be significantly increased—including removing self-imposed restrictions on vaccine exports for those countries with a surplus. Leaders from the G20 and global financial institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and World Bank must also VOW to step up their contributions immediately.

“If one nation has Covid-19 and no access to vaccines, all countries are in danger,” added AHF Africa Bureau Chief Dr. Penninah Iutung. “The ‘VOW’ call-to-action is about uniting advocates worldwide and shining a spotlight on the immorality of vaccine rationing. While COVAX was established to help lower-income nations – the quantities of vaccines have been inadequate and have forced developing countries in Africa to fend for themselves in securing enough vaccines to protect their citizens. Legislators and decision-makers must do more to ensure that all countries have the requisite numbers of vaccines to ‘Vaccinate Our World’ and defeat the pandemic.”

The ‘Vaccinate Our World’ call-to-action kicked off in mid-April with a global digital advocacy campaign and has continued with virtual media events in Bangkok, São Paulo, and Johannesburg.

For more information on VOW or AHF, visit https://vaccinateourworld.org/ and either www.freeHIVtest.org.za or www.facebook.com/aidshealth.org respectively.

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Paragon Interface redefines workspace planning for the office of the future

Striking a balance between working from home and returning to the workplace is likely to result in the ‘hybrid office’ of the future, according to Paragon Interface Senior Associate Kirsty Schoombie.

The ‘hybrid office’ is defined as the ideal compromise between remote working and being office-bound, as was the norm prior to Covid-19. Instead, in this ‘new normal’, employees continue to work from home while being required to be in the office on occasion. This will allow for interaction with fellow colleagues and bolster corporate culture, especially with larger companies. “Yes, there is an associated cost-saving with having your staff work remotely,” acknowledges Schoombie. However, the phenomenon dubbed as ‘Zoom fatigue’, which refers to the increased cognitive demands posed by constant teleconferencing, indicates that workers would prefer some level of human interaction as the world slowly recovers from the pandemic.

The hybrid office is defined as the ideal compromise between remote working and being office-bound.

This will also give interior architecture companies like Paragon Interface the opportunity to ‘reimagine’ the office of the future. “With social distancing, sanitising and mask-wearing likely to be with us for the foreseeable future, it is important for workspace planning to take this into account,” highlights Schoombie. This can easily be done by reducing the number of work stations and placing them further apart, while also increasing the number of couches for social seating, for example.

Wider corridors and doorways and additional partitioning will become more common, while even office furniture is likely to evolve in terms of fabrics and advances such as foldaway desks. Other features include no-touch doors, increased use of stairs to reduce crowding in elevators, and the use of materials such as silver and copper in surface finishes due to their antimicrobial properties.

Management consultant McKinsey highlights four steps to redefine workspaces post Covid-19: Optimising basic processes so that remote work is as uninterrupted and as effective as possible; redefining work roles in terms of ‘fully remote’ and ‘hybrid remote’; redesigning the workspace to foster safe collaboration; and optimising the office footprint accordingly.

Schoombie points out that the latter does not necessarily mean reducing the physical size of an office building per se, but rather using interior design to improve space utilisation and planning. Traditional layouts will have to be reconsidered, with the addition of Perspex screening now a regulatory requirement. This is likely to result in a more modular approach to workspace design. Another area likely to change significantly post Covid-19 is the office canteen or cafeteria.

“With so much time now being spent working from home, it is going to become increasingly important for people to ensure that their ‘home offices’ are comfortable and practical. This is essential for both personal well-being and productivity,” concludes Schoombie.

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98% of adults in South Africa willing to take personal action on sustainability issues

  • 81% of adults in South Africa are more mindful of their impact on the environment since COVID-19, with the trend being led by Gen Z (89%)
  • Three quarters of South African respondents (76%) say companies behaving in more sustainable and eco-friendly ways is more important than before
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Beware of Covid fatigue and complacency in the workplace

South Africans were all relieved when President Cyril Ramaphosa announced recently that the first two batches of Covid-19 vaccines had safely arrived in the country, followed by Health Minister Zwheli Mkhize’s announced that the vaccination programme is rapidly gaining momentum.

“After months of suffering through lockdowns, social distancing, isolation and sanitising, it is easy to suffer from Covid-fatigue. The temptation exists to become lax when it comes to implementing health and safety protocols in the workplace. However, it is vital to remain vigilant. Until the majority of South Africans have been vaccinated, we cannot afford to think that life and business can resume to the way it was before the virus,” warns Robert Palmer, Head of the Occupational Health Department at Afroteq Advisory – a multi-disciplinary integrated company providing advisory and training services to the built environment sector since 2000.

According to Palmer, typical short-cuts taken in the corporate environment include only sanitising or disinfecting obvious “high traffic” areas such as boardroom tables and chairs, but neglecting door handles, lift buttons, staircase bannisters, telephones etc. The improper wearing of masks, forgetting to sanitise hands, the absence of visible sanitisers and failure to enforce adequate social distancing are also frequently encountered when the company conducts their workplace audits.

Even though we have moved through the second wave, South Africa still records on average 1500 new cases more than 200 deaths per day, with almost fifty thousand people who have already succumbed to the virus.

Health experts have warned that we could see the third wave at the end of April and predict that a fourth wave could hit the country when Winter arrives.

“Finally seeing a light at the end of the tunnel makes companies believe that we are out of danger. Decision-makers think they can save money by appointing unaccredited, uncertified service providers to deep-clean and sanitise the building or by purchasing inferior quality cleaning materials and other PPE. There should be zero-tolerance for this kind of behaviour that puts profit over the well-being of people. The reality is that Covid-19 is still with us and that it will take several months for the vaccine programme to be rolled out and until the majority of our workforce can be considered safe,” he says.

A specific area concern to facility managers working in the built environment is the health and safety of construction workers. OHS officers agree that labourers not wearing their masks on-site, working in too close proximity to each other or being transported in large numbers are cause for grave concern. 

“Construction companies face harsh penalties and high fines when their projects run late. They put pressure on their teams and workers fear that they might lose their jobs should they call in ill.  By failing to disclose their symptoms to their supervisors and adhering to safety protocols, everybody on-site is put at risk,” Palmer says.

Confirming this warning, the World Health Organisation (WHO) listed occupations where workers performing mostly routine tasks, such as construction workers and cleaners that have to contend with low wages, job insecurity and a rushed return to work, as medium risk.

“As health and safety experts, we urge employers to ensure that they continue implementing the correct protocols and pay attention to potential problem areas.

Paradoxically, it tends to be the companies that have until now been largely unaffected by Covid-19 that are at the greatest risk of succumbing to complacency.

We all want to rebuild our economy, but we cannot ignore the fact that many employees are dealing with emotional battles after having lost family, friends or loved ones due to the pandemic. The world has paid a high price already, and we owe it to each other to be responsible and make the right decisions to the end. That is what true leadership is all about,” Palmer concludes.

For more information, visit www.afroteqadvisory.co.za

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Oxygen shortage amid Covid-19 second wave has affected industrial production

Covid-19 has had a significant negative impact on businesses across all sectors and taken a toll on healthcare systems and facilities in South Africa. In recent weeks, there have been news reports of a high demand of medical oxygen, putting immense pressure on oxygen suppliers and affecting industrial supply.

In an attempt to assess the scale of the oxygen shortage, the Steel and Engineering Federation of South Africa (SEIFSA) surveyed its member companies to establish their experiences around oxygen shortage within the metals and engineering (M&E) sector and to understand the impact of the shortage on their production levels and whether alternative measures were being sought regarding input supply chains.

According to the survey results, which was sent to all 1 600 companies that are members of SEIFSA through its affiliated Associations, 76.92% of the respondents said they had experienced oxygen shortages and had considered alternative supplies in the process. Several companies whose analytical instruments use oxygen had to alter their inspection regularly to reduce consumption and find alternative supply, in one case at a cost of R4 000 per bottle versus the standard cost of R140 per bottle.

Some of the respondents mentioned that they were at risk of running out of oxygen within 14 days. Others said the impact had been so severe that they had to apply for extensions on their projects or stop production altogether.
“Based on the views of the respondents, SEIFSA is of the view that the oxygen shortage has, indeed, disrupted industrial production. However, we concur with our respondents who believe that lives need to be saved, hence the supply of medical oxygen should be prioritised,” said SEIFSA Chief Economist Chifipa Mhango.

He said, however, the SEIFSA survey indicated that the issue of oxygen supply is a concern as the Covid-19 pandemic persists. He said it is clear that the second wave had placed a strain on sectors heavily reliant on oxygen as a result of the high rate of daily hospital admissions. He said that going forward, strategic interventions and engagements will be required with oxygen suppliers to salvage the crisis.

“However, with the Covid-19 vaccine rollout soon to be implemented in the country and a managed approach by Government to reduce Covid-19 infections, we expect a return to normality in oxygen supplies in the coming weeks and months as hospitalisation rates decline,” Mhango concluded.

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SA’s transport sector in the age of Covid: A roadmap to economic recovery

The South African transport sector entered the age of Covid already beset by several major challenges. Ageing infrastructure; a lack of impartial regulatory bodies; an unfriendly environment for private sector collaboration; over-reliance on roads for both public transport and freight; and a skewered subsidy model are a few of the structural obstacles that were present.

Covid-19 has both highlighted and exacerbated these hurdles and must force the industry out of complacency.  The challenges it faces must be viewed as opportunities with the problem areas providing a guide as to the solutions that can be delivered with maximum impact, where they’re most needed.

A study conducted in partnership by Business for SA and global management consultancy firm, Kearney found that the already beleaguered transport industry has been further imperiled in 2020, and in the absence of any interventions, would likely plunge into an L-shaped curve, in terms of both GDP generated and employment levels, from which it would take at least five years to emerge.

However, Sujeet Morar, Principal at global management consultancy Kearney, believes that the challenges are not insurmountable and that there are solutions in the form of interventions that have the potential to deliver up to R223 billion and create up to 168 000 formal sector jobs, figures which far exceed the potential losses incurred by the Covid-19 pandemic. But for these to be effective government will have to act swiftly, delegating efficient, accountable teams, and galvanizing private-public collaboration.

Pre-Covid studies had positioned transport among the high impact, high potential growth sectors that have been earmarked for priority interventions (along with sectors like financing, petroleum-products, metals, and construction). All of these have the potential to induce cascading benefits that ripple throughout the broader economy, but perhaps none more so than transport.

“Inasmuch as it enables the movement of people and goods, the transport industry is a necessary facilitator and catalyst of every other industry at the macro-economic level. It is a crucial determinant of development metrics like GDP, and also prefigures a nation’s overall competitiveness in the global economic arena. Just as other industries rely on transport, transport itself is reliant on a functional, well-maintained infrastructure of roads, railways and ports; both air and sea”, explains Morar.

The role of transport in an economy is double-edged: it at once serves the demand of other sectors, and drives national and industrial competitiveness at the regional, national and global levels, through enhanced process efficiencies and cost improvements.

Within the land-based road- and rail- subsectors, the freight industry is the primary contributor to income, approximately 55% of which is derived from 3 key industries – mining, manufacture, and agriculture.

“Re-energising transport starts with sound governance. We advocate for a Single Transport Economic Regulator (STER), as well as a standalone ports authority and an independent rail regulator. Such structures would provide transparency, impartial oversight, and enhanced competition. In addition to this, we recommend a strong government-enabled model for collaborative networking amongst SMME’s, private companies, and academies or associations”, Morar elaborates.

A seismic shift in economic history, the covid-19 pandemic and its after-effects are ushering in a veritable fourth industrial revolution for the SA transport sector. “We anticipate many more Private-Public Partnerships (PPPs) including collaborations with logistics partners to overcome traditional obstacles, and start to forge more cost-effective, multi-modal transport solutions”, says Morar.

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A recipe for effective, quick, and affordable job creation in Africa

Willem Gous – The Human Entrepreneur

According to a world bank blog post, it costs around $30,000 to create one job in sectors like trade, wood, or construction. In my opinion, this is not sustainable because we might never recover that investment.

I dreamt of bringing the cost of job creation down to between $1,000 and $3,000 per job. 

I believe that I succeeded and want to share what I did to achieve this. 

“Poverty is not an accident. Like slavery and apartheid, it is man-made and can be removed by the actions of human beings.”

– Nelson Mandela

The challenge of rising unemployment

As a result of the worldwide 2020 pandemic, the world is facing unprecedented levels of unemployment. Some say 2021 will be worse as the economic effects of the 2020 lockdowns come into full effect. Millions lost their jobs, and many more will still as lockdowns persist. 

We must find a way to replace these lost jobs, quickly and affordably and The Human Entrepreneur Program might just be the most cost-effective and quickest way to achieve this.

The first part of the program helps to identify potential entrepreneurs and business owners while the second part, the incubator, assists them to create working businesses in record time. 

“Progress is a choice. Job creation is a choice. Whether we give our children a future or more or a future of less – this too, is a choice”

– Martin O’ Malley

Getting people to want to start businesses

Between August to November 2020, close to 1,700 candidates completed The Human Entrepreneur EDP (entrepreneurial development program) online. It helps you make an informed decision between finding a job and following a career or becoming an entrepreneur by starting a business. It also provides the basic information needed to start a business right there and then.

At the end of the online program, candidates had to make the actual decision between finding a job and following a career or becoming an entrepreneur and starting a business. The results were surprising. 

29% said they want to become entrepreneurs, 36% said they want to follow a career, and 35% indicated they want to do both, to have a job and build a business on the side. 

I spoke to many candidates who chose to do both (get a job and build a business on the side) and found the chief reason for this choice was driven by the belief that you need a lot of money to start a business, which is a myth. 

Thus, after doing The Human Entrepreneur EDP, 64% showed an active or delayed intention towards entrepreneurship and starting a business.

The program serves as a tool to identify people with a desire and drive to start a business and The Human Entrepreneur EDP is affordable and makes it possible to serve large numbers of people cost-effectively. 

Employers benefit from having people working for them that can think like entrepreneurs.

In a nutshell, the program assists in awakening potential business owners and serves as an excellent work readiness tool. 

Don’t stop until you are proud.

Starting businesses in record time

As mentioned before, the first part of the program helps to identify potential entrepreneurs and business owners while the second part, the incubator, assists them to create working businesses in record time. 

Due to extreme time constraints, I could only interview close to one hundred candidates who chose entrepreneurship and want to start businesses to go into The Human Entrepreneur Incubator Program. 

53 candidates were chosen to attend the 21-day incubator program. 21 Days were chosen due to time constraints. In future, I suggest 28 days instead.

Desired outcomes of the Incubator Program

Candidates have to build a business, with actual paying customers in 21 days. The aim is to generate enough profits to replace the salary they receive as part of a work experience program.

The candidates come from previously disadvantaged communities. The salary is not large, however, it covers their living expenses and a bit more, giving these new entrepreneurs the ability to live while building a business. They have independence, self-reliance and self-determination from the start. 

This is significant since it has a huge impact on focus, drive and motivation for an entrepreneur. Trust me, when the school says they will not allow your child entry tomorrow due to non-payment of school fees and you are behind on rent, then I am not giving my best to my business and customers possibly resulting in eventual business failure.

“Anyone has ever struggled with poverty knows how extremely expensive it is to be poor.”

– James Baldwin

A solution for effective job creation in Africa and the world

60% of candidates replaced their salary while the remainder is well on their way. Some achieved it in 7 days. 

The incubation program created 35 new businesses in 21 days, all with customers, generating turnover, and many being profitable past the desired outcomes. 35 Businesses means 35 new jobs created in 21 days, giving people the power of creating their own economy and self-determination. 

This was achieved starting with just over 50 people. What will happen if we consistently take people through this program? At its current price point, this is absolutely possible.

“The only limits in life are those we impose on ourselves.”

– Bob Proctor

Types of businesses created

Most of these businesses are low tech or no tech, ranging from hairdressers, food businesses, car mechanics, clothing brands, simple trading businesses. These are the types of jobs that Africa needs right now.

All of these businesses ended up serving the communities they were founded in and is an excellent way to stimulate the local economy. Thus this program can be used as a targeted economic stimulus tool for struggling communities.

“… The best way to help the poor is to promote economic growth and job creation.”

– Myron Magnet

What are the possibilities?

Imagine a struggling or disadvantaged community. You take 100 people per week through the EDP then absorb 25 people who want to start a business into the incubator program, with the aim of creating between 15 and 20 new businesses within that community every week. Where would that community be 12 months from now? 

Even if you only run this program monthly, it would mean between 180 and 240 jobs annually in businesses that serve the community while you have trained 1,200 people on The Human Entrepreneur Entrepreneurial Development Program. 

You would have improved the general view, understanding and practice of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial thinking as well as help to create future workers for the businesses created.

“The saddest thing in life is to see people suffer from hunger and poverty in a world of plenty”

– Mouloud Benzadi

Interesting mindset shifts

Here are some interesting mindset shifts the candidates experienced on The Human Entrepreneur Incubator Program.

#1. No External Money Required to Start

In South Africa, we suffer from a major problem; most people believe that they require a lot of money to start a business. This belief is hampering the development of new businesses.

However, 100% of the businesses created on this program were started with the limited money the candidates had. Some business owners needed money to buy stock and dealt with that hurdle by asking customers for 50% deposits, and it worked. It is about finding creative solutions to problems and working with your customers. 

“Let new adventures begin.

#2. Start Today, Make Money Today

Some candidates got their first customers in 1 day, another added 13 new customers to his business in 24 hours after being stuck on 10 customers since the inception of the business. 

One candidate had an idea at the start of the program, and 7 days later, they made 1,5 times their monthly salary in profit.

People are hungry, they have direct financial needs now, and I feel this is where 6 or 12-month programs fail because why would anyone be motivated to build a business over 6 or 12 months when they need money to care for themselves and their families now. 

The Human Entrepreneur Incubation Program is a cost-effective feeder for longer-term incubation programs because we provide real businesses, with customers, making money making sure you sit with the right people with the right mindsets before investing a lot of time and resources into them on a 6 to 12-month program.

“You can make a life out of what you have, not what you are missing.”

– Kate Morton

#3. Many Started, Closed and Started Another New Businesses during the 21 Days

Many new businesses were started in week 1; some were closed down in the same week, and different businesses started instead. 

I have worked on other incubation programs, and even though people were working on businesses that were going nowhere, they simply could not let go of it. Their sunk cost was too high.

With The Human Entrepreneur Incubator Program, the timeframe is so short; there is little or no sunk cost. They created and destroyed businesses based on actual performance and the businesses’ ability to generate an income NOW.

“Every new beginning comes from the other beginning’s end.”

– Seneca

#4. Real Ubuntu

Ubuntu is a Nguni term meaning: “I am because we are” and it very powerful. However, in my experience, it is something people like to throw around to create a feeling of unity.

What inspired me was that candidates in the incubator program helped each other freely. They gave each other new business ideas (without asking for a cut or a profit share) and even encouraged each other to copy each other’s business ideas that already worked. 

Because of this, the group as a whole moved forward faster and performed better. Think of how this would play out in a community and the long term benefits of such thinking and working. This is ubuntu in action.

“Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.”

– Aristotle

#5. Some Started in Week 3, and Still Succeeded

One person started the program in the third and last week. On the first day, they came up with 6 ideas to make money and had their first paying customer by the end of that day.

The results are truly inspirational in a year filled with despair and disappointment. 

“Keep looking up. That is the secret to life.”

– Charlie Brown

Let’s create 1,000 jobs in 2021. Can You Help?

I am looking for assistance. I want to use this program and create 1,000 new jobs in Africa or anywhere else in the world during 2021. That would require me to run this program many times through the course of 2021, and I require funding to do so. 

If you are in this field, please reach out to me.

If you do not actively work in this field but might know someone who does, please arrange an introduction.

Please contact me info@willemgous.com 

Stay positive, better days are on their way.

Video testimonials

Other testimonials

“I started my business last year in June. When I started this business I thought I would get 10 customers at the same time but I only got a few customers. I started to lose hope in my business. Since I started the human entrepreneur incubator program I realised that I have to work hard and I don’t need funding for my business. All I have to do is work hard look for customers because customers can’t look for me if I don’t work hard.

Now I’m happy because my business is running smoothly and I have more than 100 paying customers. I would like to thank the human entrepreneur incubator program for pushing me, I really appreciate that.” – MPHAHLELE MGIBA

“I am grateful for the human entrepreneur incubator program. I always wanted to start a business but I always wanted to ask for funding. This program taught me that I don’t need funding to start the business.

I’ve learned that to get customers I need to speak to customers. I don’t need to rely on social media only. During this incubator program, I learned from my colleagues and classmates that it doesn’t matter the business idea but that you can make it.

I started my cleaning business two weeks ago and I’ve made money and I have 10 paying customers. I am very grateful to the human entrepreneur incubator program because I now have registered and working business.” – JERMINA THAGISHA

“I started my intrapreneurial training two weeks ago and learned how to make money and be able to start a business. It was an easy thing to do, but I never thought I could open a business and operated in one day. The human entrepreneur incubator program made this possible.

In just two weeks I have 16 paying customers which I charge R90 per customer once a month. I am happy that I am making money.

What is interesting is that I was able to register my business and I got the knowledge of that there is no need for a business plan and funding. If you want to start your business start now.

I’m very grateful for the great opportunity that I got.” – LINDIWE MOSEA

“It was a great opportunity to learn to become an entrepreneur through the human Entrepreneur incubator program.

I learned many things like you don’t need funding to start a business.

My business is transporting school children and in two weeks of this program, I have six customers.

I was planning to start my business only next year January but luckily from those six customers two customers will start on 1 December.

My colleague who is one of my classmates suggested that I can keep my business going getting the festive season by transporting people who work in restaurants or shops in the mall near my community. So luckily next week I will have more customers.

The incubator program gave me the opportunity to start my own business and it’s really going well. My target is eight customers and I already have six customers. Thank you to the incubator program.” – NANETHI KOKETSO MNCUBE

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Environmental risk, Trump, Covid as priority for top SA companies

Leading companies are taking crucial steps towards financially quantifying their exposure to climate risks by identifying and measuring the value of the economic, social, and environmental context opportunities available to them.

This year seven South African companies have made it onto the CDP A-list 2020. CDP is a not-for-profit charity that runs the global disclosure system for investors, companies, cities, states, and regions to manage their environmental impacts. The world’s economy looks to CDP as the gold standard of environmental reporting with the richest and most comprehensive dataset on corporate and city action.

CDP’s annual environmental disclosure and scoring process is widely recognised as the gold standard of corporate environmental transparency.

In 2020, over 515 investors with over US$106-trillion in assets and 150+ major purchasers with US$4-trillion in procurement spend, requested companies to disclose data on environmental impacts, risks, and opportunities through CDP’s platform. Over 9 600 responded – the highest ever. South African companies taking the lead are demonstrating not only good governance but are taking transparent action to mitigate these risks, realise the opportunities, and building climate-resilient and sustainable companies going forward.

South Africa’s A list companies include:

1.       Anglo American Platinum (Double A-lister: CDP Climate and CDP Water Security)

2.       Clicks Group ltd. (A-list for CDP Climate)

3.       Gold Fields Limited (A-list for CDP Water Security)

4.       Impala Platinum Holdings (A-list for CDP Water Security)

5.       Mondi PLC (Triple A-lister for CDP Climate, CDP Water Security and CDP Forests)

6.       Nedbank (A-list for CDP Climate)

The National Business Initiative (NBI), the local partner to CDP, has assisted companies with their disclosures through CDP since 2008. Steve Nicholls (Head: Environmental Sustainability) says: “It is exceptional to see so many A-listers emerge in a time when business competitiveness is increasingly driven by international and local climate policy.”

A detailed and independent methodology is used by CDP to assess these companies, allocating a score of A to D based on the comprehensiveness of disclosure, awareness, and management of environmental risks and demonstration of best practices associated with environmental leadership, such as setting ambitious and meaningful targets. Those that do not disclose or provided insufficient information are marked with an F.

Paul Simpson, CEO of CDP, says: “We extend our congratulations to all the companies on this year’s A-List. Taking the lead on environmental transparency and action is one of the most important steps businesses can make and is even more impressive in this challenging year marked by Covid-19. The scale of the risk to businesses from climate change, deforestation, and water insecurity is enormous, and we know the opportunities of action far outweigh the risks of inaction. Leadership from the private sector will create an ‘ambition loop’ for greater government action and ensure that global ambitions for a net-zero sustainable economy become a reality. Our A List celebrates those companies who are preparing themselves to excel in the economy of the future by taking action today.”

The full list of companies that made this year’s CDP A-List is available here, along with other publicly available company scores: https://www.cdp.net/en/companies/companies-scores

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Bouncing back in 2021

There is little doubt that 2020 has been the year that has severely tested our mettle and has left many an industry imperilled and in urgent need of a reboot. But experts believe that the economic slump and consequent expected government investment into infrastructure is one of few positive spinoffs of the catastrophic outbreak and can be a silver lining for rebooting failing industries and organisations.

According to Igor Hulak, partner at global management consultancy, Kearney, these investments could present massive opportunities in digital transformation; transitioning to renewable and cleaner energy; and, an outcome-based ecosystem of collaboration between operators and suppliers.

Energy

A re-imagined energy supply is among the key shifts that will shape our new resilient, future-proof business mindsets.  Internationally, the pandemic has seen several European countries taking advantage of the slump in demand for energy to wean themselves off coal and into renewables.  Nationally, an accelerated implementation of a mixed energy supply, in which renewables and liquid natural gas (LNG) will play a much greater role is on the cards.

“The dearth in demand for oil, and the reduced cost of solar and wind technologies has resulted in a favourable investment landscape for renewables. Government has come on board to facilitate these transitions, and Eskom is poised to purchase power from independent renewable energy producers for use in the national grid.”

Hulak adds that, in the renewables sector as well as other industries, we’re seeing an emergence of novel restructuring of projects so that they become scalable, executable modules. “This flexible, iterative approach obviates the need for lump-sum upfront investments and is congruent with innovative modern business paradigms.”

In South Africa, the fifth round of bidding for independent energy supply is currently underway and government and corporates alike are investigating the recent innovations in battery technology and how to best procure these for greater storage capacity of energy gleaned from non-traditional sources.

Digitisation

For forward-thinking organisations, the Covid-19 pandemic might well be the watershed moment that drove broad-based digitisation and spearheaded the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). Hulak urges businesses that have not yet embraced digital transformation to do so swiftly or risk obsolescence in the face of agile disruptors.

According to Hulak, the promised future of digitisation and 4IR is already upon us and is expressed through the greatly increased carrying capacity of the cloud, the ubiquity of reliable connectivity and greater numbers of people going online and becoming digitally active. 

“The customer of tomorrow fully expects automated, instantaneous access to a wide variety of basic, and more nuanced services and transactions.” 

Igor Hulak, partner at global management consultancy, Kearney

This recognition will drive innovation and expansion and will enable companies to emerge stronger, nimbler and more resilient to future disruptions.

Collaborative partnerships

It is widely acknowledged that strategic partnerships, when done right, add mutual value through a less-siloed approach and enhanced efficiencies of operations. Hulak explains that the constrained business climate brought on by the pandemic has necessitated a radical shift toward tactical alliances based on the outcome, rather than adversarial competition focused narrowly on cost and position.

“Rather than the traditional contracting methods of the past, which saw lump-sum risk being pushed onto suppliers, the risk is now shared proportionally, incentivising outcomes and driving towards a common goal”.  Hulak adds that in the new reality, data will enable an aligned view of what ‘best’ looks like thereby building trust, as well as prompting realistic, auditable costs and timelines.

Rishad Khan, the South African operations manager for engineering, procurement, construction, and maintenance company, Fluor, believes that early and effective resource-loaded portfolio planning and identification – and engaging strategic alliances upfront – will help mitigate and manage risks associated with key performance drivers of safety, cost, schedule, and quality.

“An example of this early engagement is applying a construction-driven execution approach to enable better-build techniques that drive the engineering and design process, instead of following the traditional engineering and design sequence, and then finding a construction solution and developing an execution strategy. The same methodology can be applied to suppliers. Significant cost savings have been achieved with this approach,” says Khan.

“These shifts toward holistic leadership reflect the increasing sophistication of governance globally and enable the management of often finite resources in a more responsible way with greater oversight. This stands in stark contrast to the adversarial, myopic paradigms of yesteryear,” concludes Hulak.

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