26 Oct

Civil Society Working in Partnership with Business to Build a Strong NGO sector

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It is a strong and long standing passion of mine that NPOs and NGOs should not be going to the government and corporate SA with their caps in hand asking for funding to continue with the good work that they are doing. The  narrative is that they almost have to beg to obtain funding - that is if they get to see the CSI manager in the first place. I personally think that it scandalous that big business and the government do not embrace civil society more robustly. After all, civil society is what keeps the government in check and fulfils key areas in society that need addressing.


For that reason we have started and assisted two initiatives and are working on a third. Let me make it clear, we are for profit company that obtains a return on investments at 40% per annum. We do not believe in giving handouts to charities - although we broke this rule quite spectacularly with Atlantis Dream Team. We believe in creating profitable business that are subsidiaries of NPOs/ NGOs so that they become self sustainable. In New Venture Studios, we assisted in setting up an entrepreneurship incubator that is controlled by Salesians Life Choices. The plan here is for the NPO to totally be self sufficient within 10 years so that they do not require donor funding. Besides generating profits, it gives the youth an opportunity to be taught the principles of business and be physically incubated, taking their business concept through to a fully capitalised operational business. A win win scenario.


In Atlantis Dream Team, a soup kitchen in Atlantis, we have formed Qei Holdings Limited, 51% held by the NPO. Qei Holdings will start a manufacturing incubator for which it will retain a 20% share of the businesses that will be housed in a factory. From the profits generated from this enterprise, The Atlantis Dream Team will be able to expand its soup kitchen and fulfil its ambition to start a free crèche and youth centre in an adjoining property. Caban Investments owns 25% of Qei Holdings and has applied its business model of assisting entrepreneurs. The result is Caban still achieves its objectives while assisting an NPO. It creates much needed jobs for the area and creates sustainable enterprises from within the community, hence the definition Community Investment Companies.  


We are proud that we are able to create situations where everyone wins. Our shareholders are happy because of our high return on investment and the NPOs have a constant source of income under their control. Business are created which employs people and therefore reduces crime. 


If you want to join us on this journey, contact us, make a difference. 


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