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Nedbank announces R10m Green Economy Fund

8th December 2023

By: Tasneem Bulbulia

Senior Contributing Editor Online

     

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At the Nedbank Green Indaba, held on November 30, Nedbank Corporate Social Investment executive head Poovi Pillay announced that the bank had set up its Green Economy Fund with initial capital of R10-million.

He explained that the fund is intended to provide funding for up to 100 startups in the waste, water, energy and agricultural sectors – the four sectors targeted by Nedbank’s Green Economy Strategy to create sustainable jobs and build wealth while furthering the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

“Too many startups fail to last more than a year, and one of the main reasons is that they are not eligible to receive finance via conventional funding models. Our fund has been created specifically to provide this vital lifeline to enable more green-economy small and medium enterprises to survive until they are ready for conventional funding,” Pillay said.

The Nedbank Green Indaba celebrated the success of Nedbank’s Green Economy Strategy, which was announced as the centrepiece of its corporate social investment (CSI) programme at the end of 2021.

Pillay stressed that Nedbank’s Green Economy Strategy was aimed at making substantial changes to the way in which the bank seeks to drive positive change in South Africa.

He said Nedbank aimed to create sustainable jobs with a focus on the youth and rural communities, two groups that are marginalised.

In that regard Nedbank is also focusing on measuring the impact its investments in the green economy are making.

The bank has developed a method of assessing a project’s social return on investment, which covers the financial impact it makes on the beneficiary, the economic impact of the jobs and skills created, the impact on the environment and, lastly, the amelioration of social conditions. The latter includes improved standards of living and an increase in average household income.

“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 kickstart the economy.

We also believe very strongly that the green economy has to be inclusive, opening up more opportunities for those who are currently excluded,” Pillay outlined.

He emphasised the fact that the green-economy concept is more than the framework for Nedbank’s CSI spending – ultimately it will be the guiding principle for how the bank does business, in line with its aim of being financial experts who do good.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

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