IS INVESTING FOR GOOD REACHING - ICON
Posted on 28 August 2020 by Natasha Dinham
Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Is investing for good reaching its tipping point?

With sustainable investments increasingly outperforming traditional options, millennials - the recipients of the greatest wealth transfer in history — are queuing up to get on board.


With sustainable investments increasingly outperforming traditional options, millennials - the recipients of the greatest wealth transfer in history — are queuing up to get on board. 

There used to be a time when actions that delivered a social or environmental return came with an accepted financial trade-off. Do good for people and planet, and get a smaller — if any — financial return. Those days are gone as sustainable investing starts to deliver serious results for savvy financial investors.

A 2019 report by BOA Merrill Lynch shows that US companies with high Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) rankings in the S&P 500 index have outperformed their counterparts with lower ESG rankings every year for the past five years. Not surprisingly, the amount poured into ESG-focused funds by US investors quadrupled in 2019 — with the majority of responsible investors citing performance as their main motivation.

South African investment specialist and writer Warren Ingram agrees saying he now routinely looks for fund managers who focus on sustainability and are concerned about environmental issues, social and gender inequality, and governance, rather than chasing short-term profits. Why? Because these investments, quite simply, deliver better returns in the long run. 

As traditional bets like oil and gas lose their appeal — ethically and financially — knowing where to put your money for solid returns is becoming more difficult. Investing for impact offers the promise of better value precisely because investors are more likely to look beyond the financial data alone. By taking a more holistic view of the companies they invest in — Are they well run? Do they treat workers fairly? What is their environmental footprint? — they are putting money into the kinds of companies that plan for long-term success. 

The future is impact investing

Anyone expecting this to be a temporary blip rather than a long-term trend need only look at the data around the next generation of investors to realise otherwise. Studies are showing, again and again, that millennials want their investments to focus not only on making a financial return, but to provide positive returns for society and the planet.

A 2020 global survey found that nearly eight out of 10 millennials cite ESG investing as their top priority when considering investment opportunities. Morgan Stanley found that millennial investors in the US are twice as likely as the overall pool to invest in companies or funds that target social or environmental outcomes. It also found that 86 percent of millennials are interested in sustainable investing. A whopping 90 percent of millennials indicated an interest in pursuing sustainable investments as an option in their retirement funds.

What millennials are doing with their money matters. By 2030, millennials will hold five times as much wealth as they have today. In what is being called the biggest wealth transfer in human history, millennials are expected to inherit over $68 trillion over the next decade or so from their baby boomer parents — widely considered to be the wealthiest generation in history. To put that into context, that’s around 200 times the GDP of South Africa. This could signal a massive wealth transfer into companies and funds that have solid sustainability credentials.

Local momentum is building

Early signs suggest South African millennials are just as ethically driven as their international peers. In its inaugural 2019 survey, Sustainability Africa found that 72 percent of South African millennials said that a company’s environmental and/or social reputation influences their decision to invest. Despite the small sample size, it’s an indicator that what we’re seeing in other countries could soon shape the investment landscape here too.

While South Africa may be a couple of years behind Europe and the US, the local retail impact investing market is gaining quiet momentum. Investec recently launched an innovative Environmental World Index Autocall, which offers access to companies with the highest environmental rating. FedGroup’s Impact Farming app allows users to directly invest in small-scale agriculture and solar, while also monitoring the impact of investments, including CO2 emissions avoided, jobs created, and water saved.

With study after study showing that incorporating sustainability into investment decisions is more than just a feel-good exercise, these funds and services are designed to win over more than just millennial investors. This is not just another form of philanthropy — as investing for good was often framed when it was first mooted. Impact investments are now sound financial decisions in their own right — and they deliver more than just financial value.

With Africa’s myriad social and environmental challenges — and the impact of both COVID-19 and climate change expected to hit the continent hard — impact investing is a win-win with exciting possibilities. Financial investors and asset managers that embrace this opportunity can feel good about doing good — for society, for the environment, and for their clients’ pockets.

Natasha Dinham co-convenes the Impact Investing in Africa specialised short course offered by the Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the UCT Graduate School of Business, where teaching and learning focuses on sustainable impact in African business and society. 



MORE ON Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Solving South Africas Problems Media
Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Solving South Africa's problems from the inside out

To change the world, social innovators have to first change themselves, argue academics from the UCT GSB

Read Article
Posted on 21 June 2021 by UCT GSB Press Office
Addis Ababa to Accra
Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Only together can sparks of impact investing in Africa light the way forward

From Addis Ababa to Accra, Lagos to Lusaka, ground-breaking examples of impact investments are flourishing. The steady growth in this asset class, however, belies a fragmented playing-field.

Read Article
Posted on 25 May 2021 by UCT GSB Press Office
Siphosethu Komani Solution Space
Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Q&A with Siphosethu Komani on the future of startups in Africa

The UCT GSB's Solution Space recently entered phase two of their annual E-Track Programme, in partnership with Ayoba. We spoke to Siphosethu Komani, about how the programme prepares its cohorts to be agile in the face of future shocks.

Read Article
Posted on 25 May 2021 by UCT GSB Press Office
Luvuyo Maseko
Entrepreneurship & Innovation

COVID-19 has nudged youth development towards 4IR, but gaps remain

The COVID-19 pandemic has spurred organisations working in youth development to find new ways to reach their young audiences through technology, but without the basics in place, many of these solutions are doomed to remain isolated examples of excellence.

Read Article
Posted on 9 May 2021 by UCT GSB Press Office
Folu Okunade  - solution to Africa’s challenges
Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Tractors may not be sexy but they offer a real solution to Africa’s challenges

As COO at Hello Tractor, a novel mobile platform that connects farmers to tractors as well as agricultural equipment, expertise and financial services, MBA alumnus Folu Okunade is working to connect under resourced farmers in emerging economies to the information age.

Read Article
Posted on 6 May 2021 by UCT GSB Press Office
Mutemwa Ushewokunze - UCT GSB graduate
Entrepreneurship & Innovation

UCT GSB graduate is banking on his country’s future

MCom alumnus, Mutemwa Ushewokunze, has returned to Zimbabwe after 20 years abroad, to help take the country’s banking sector to the next tech level.

Read Article
Posted on 6 May 2021 by UCT GSB Press Office
Mouna Akefli - Closing the digital divide and embr
Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Taking the road less travelled is a choice we make

MBA alumna Mouna Akefli is not one to conform. Passionate about building a more diverse, inclusive and connected continent, she is determined to shake things up and her role as marketing manager for Ericsson in West Africa and Morocco is giving her new opportunities to do so.

Read Article
Posted on 6 May 2021 by UCT GSB Press Office
Jody - New business skills
Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Rebuilding the SA economy more sustainably — and for greater impact

COVID-19 has devastated the economy, but it has also opened a window of opportunity for businesses to integrate smarter and more sustainable solutions into their day-to-day operations as they rebuild for the long-term.

Read Article
Posted on 20 April 2021 by UCT GSB Press Office
Impact Investing 2021
Entrepreneurship & Innovation

COVID-19: Impact investing’s inflection point

As South Africa marks the anniversary of its first lockdown we reflect on our journey toward a post-COVID economic recovery and how the systemic shift toward impact investing and other financial innovation may point the way to lasting change in the country.

Read Article
Posted on 1 April 2021 by Julia Woods Price
The backpack is too heavy - MEDIA
Entrepreneurship & Innovation

The backpack is too heavy: what schoolchildren are carrying into 2021

Many hope that the new year will bring new energy and stability to the education sector, but as the country finds itself still very much in the grip of COVID-19, there is much work that needs to be done to ensure that schools deal with the baggage of 2020.

Read Article
Posted on 28 January 2021 by Louise Albertyn
Ricardo Perez - media
Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Is design thinking an endangered species in the future of work?

With the loss of shared spaces due to the pandemic and a shift toward remote working, the practice of design thinking will need to adapt so that we can continue to harness its power to co-create and solve problems.

Read Article
Posted on 13 January 2021 by UCT GSB Press Office
Media_UCT GSB3
Entrepreneurship & Innovation

UCT GSB accelerator guides entrepreneurs through pandemic

Battered by COVID-19 lockdown, fledgeling entrepreneurs needed all the help they could get in 2020; the Solution Space at the UCT GSB quickly went online to make sure they were not left out in the cold.

Read Article
Posted on 15 December 2020 by Shiela Yabo
Cape Talk
Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Power and privilege in the social justice sector

Social justice organisations play a vital role in addressing the many challenges South African citizens face. But what happens when the focus on external inequalities and injustices in society causes the same problems within these organisations to be overlooked? MBA alumni Ella Scheepers and Shamillah Wilson spoke to Kieno Kammies about their work in this sector.

Read Article
Posted on 7 December 2020 by UCT GSB Press Office
luvyo solange - media
Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Building a safety net for young people who drop out of school is everyone’s problem

Low attendance rates and lost school time are signalling a looming skills crisis for the country, as high numbers of young people are likely be lost to the education system and the economy across the next year. To solve this, we need to act together, and we need to do things differently.

Read Article
Posted on 3 December 2020 by Solange Rosa
Running a profitable - media
Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Giving initiative a chance to grow

Running a profitable and sustainable business while also making a worthwhile social impact makes things extra tough for social entrepreneurs. These enterprises urgently need more formal support to help them continue doing the good work that they do.

Read Article
Posted on 16 November 2020 by Mignon Reyneke
Sheila on entrepreneurship - media
Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Turning a tech innovation into a viable business

Why do so many tech startups fail? Shiela Yabo, Programme Manager at the UCT GSB’s Solution Space, recently gave a presentation at the Africa Tech Festival, where she addressed this and other questions around launching a successful tech startup, particularly as a woman.

Read Article
Posted on 16 November 2020 by Shiela Yabo
Cape Talk
Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Bertha Centre partners with Build Peace 2020 Conference

Fergus Turner, Programme Manager at the Bertha Centre, spoke to Kieno Kammies about the Build Peace 2020 conference, hosted virtually in partnership with global non-profit, Build Up.

Read Article
Posted on 9 November 2020 by UCT GSB Press Office
peace image - MEDIA
Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Calling all young South Africans who want to help build social justice and peace

The Bertha Centre at the UCT Graduate School of Business (UCT GSB), is calling on young South Africans to join a global community of peace makers at Build Peace 2020, a virtual international peace-building conference that gets underway this weekend.

Read Article
Posted on 3 November 2020 by UCT GSB Press Office
Shiela Yabo Future Tourism - MEDIA
Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Reimagining the future of tourism

Having received a hammer blow from COVID-19, South Africa’ tourism sector needs to find innovative ways to bounce back.

Read Article
Posted on 22 October 2020 by Shiela Yabo
Bertha Scholarship 2020 - media
Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Scholarship programme to foster a more just, inclusive and sustainable Africa

The Bertha Centre for Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship aims to support a cohort of new leaders across the African continent with its scholarship programme, commencing in 2021.

Read Article
Posted on 20 October 2020 by UCT GSB Press Office
Funders are not seeing the big picture - Media
Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Funders are not seeing the big picture in South Africa

An award-winning case study on local digital animation filmmaker, Triggerfish, has highlighted the absurdity of lack of access to funding for SMEs operating in the creative space.

Read Article
Posted on 15 September 2020 by Mikael Samuelsson
Cape Talk
Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Reimagining the future of tourism post-COVID-19

The UCT GSB’s Solution Space recently hosted a virtual Future of Tourism Bootcamp where participants were given the opportunity to develop innovative solutions to solve challenges amplified by the Covid-19 pandemic within the tourism industry.

Read Article
Posted on 15 September 2020 by UCT GSB Press Office
UCT GSB’S E-TRACK PROGRAMME - MEDIA
Entrepreneurship & Innovation

UCT GSB’s e-Track programme takes nine local start-ups to the next level

The latest e-Track programme, an initiative of the UCT GSB's Solution Space in partnership with the MTN Group, yields exceptional results as all participating teams progress to next phase.

Read Article
Posted on 7 September 2020 by UCT GSB Press Office
Young people can lead the response to COVID-19- ic
Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Young people can lead the response to COVID-19

Youth Day reminds us of the role the young people have played in the past to drive change. In a world that is battling the COVID-19 pandemic, their vibrant energy and mobilising ability is needed more than ever — especially on the African continent.

Read Article
Posted on 15 June 2020 by UCT GSB Press Office
fennix
Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Helping students bridge the digital divide in the time of COVID-19

Three MBA graduates from the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business (UCT GSB) are spearheading a campaign by Cape Town Education Technology fundraising start-up Feenix, to raise R6.6 million to get laptops, food vouchers and connectivity to final year and graduate students during COVID-19 — ultimately ensuring these students make it into the South African workforce.

Read Article
Posted on 8 June 2020 by UCT GSB Press Office
Cape Talk
Entrepreneurship & Innovation

The reality of emerging market challenges for entrepreneurs

Growbox is the subject of a teaching case study by the UCT GSB's case writing centre. Its focus is on the reality of emerging market challenges for entrepreneurs in Cape Town

Read Article
Posted on 1 June 2020 by UCT GSB Press Office
yuppechief - media video
Entrepreneurship & Innovation

SA company rises to the challenge of business evolution in the time of COVID-19

In 2019, online retailer Yuppiechef, made the unusual decision of opening physical shops; a move from clicks to bricks. This story, captured in a UCT GSB case study published last year, surfaced a business model that is supple in finding solutions and deeply customer-centric

Read Article
Posted on 20 May 2020 by Tim London
solange rosa rosa - media
Entrepreneurship & Innovation

From uncertainty to lasting social value

While Covid-19 is wreaking havoc in our economy and our communities, it is simultaneously giving rise to compassion and innovation. Crisis has always been a driver of change, unlocking new ways of doing things, the question is can we sustain these into the future?

Read Article
Posted on 20 May 2020 by Solange Rosa
andrew smith - media
Entrepreneurship & Innovation

UCT GSB teaching case study surfaces a business model of agility in action

The global pandemic is forcing businesses around the world to change the way they operate. One South African company, Yuppiechef, is demonstrating that the principles of customer centricity and agility are core to successful adaptation.

Read Article
Posted on 18 May 2020 by Mignon Reyneke
black child - media
Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Q&A with Dr Solange Rosa on social innovation and its role in building a better world

Dr Solange Rosa, Interim Director of the UCT GSB's Bertha Centre explains why social innovation is thriving amidst this pandemic, and what we can do to ensure that the benefits it is bringing can be sustained in the longer term.

Read Article
Posted on 15 May 2020 by Solange Rosa
NGOs today: Competing - Media
Entrepreneurship & Innovation

NGOs today: competing for resources, power and agency

NGOs play a critical role in advancing social change and transformation, but their current funding model needs to be addressed for them make a sustainable impact in South Africa.

Read Article
Posted on 18 March 2020 by Ncedisa Nkonyeni
Innovation partnerships to tackle youth - Media
Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Innovation partnerships to tackle youth development

The Bertha Centre at the UCT GSB and youth development lab Lucha Lunako have teamed up to find practical and actionable ways to get young South Africans economically active.

Read Article
Posted on 13 March 2020 by UCT GSB Press Office
David Korten - Media
Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Q&A with Dr David Korten:

Our current economic system is driving us to extinction; that we need to change it is common sense says Dr David Korten, former professor at Harvard Business School, author and engaged citizen.

Read Article
Posted on 14 November 2019 by David Korten
Dutchess
Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Debunking 4 common entrepreneurial myths

An award-winning teaching case by researchers from the UCT GSB shines a spotlight on what it takes for entrepreneurs to succeed in the competitive world of business.

Read Article
Posted on 1 October 2019 by Geoff Bick
AMINEXT HAS SHOWN MEDIA
Entrepreneurship & Innovation

#AMINEXT has shown us that gender-based violence must be on the agenda 365 days a year

The recent brutal and tragic deaths of several young women have shaken the nation and caused every woman in South Africa to wonder #AmINext?

Read Article
Posted on 19 September 2019 by Farhana Parker
The seeds of systems change are a
Entrepreneurship & Innovation

The seeds of systems change are all around us

In order to disrupt the systems that perpetuate outdated principles we must involve and connect the people who are most impacted by that change.

Read Article
Posted on 30 August 2019 by Ncedisa Nkonyeni
South Africa
Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Four ways to give township entrepreneurs a much-needed boost

If township entrepreneurs are ever going to be the job creators that policymakers hope for, a major overhaul of mindsets and infrastructure will be necessary — and it will take a collaborative effort to bring this about.

Read Article
Posted on 20 August 2019 by Elvis Sekhaolelo
MEDIA-unlocking creative potential in africans
Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Unlocking the creative potential in Africans - Dr Puleng Makhoalibe (PhD)

Unlocking the creative potential in Africans

Read Article
Posted on 22 July 2019 by UCT GSB Press Office
grant horsfield media
Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Selling the Cape Town lifestyle in China - Grant Horsfield (MBA)

UCT GSB alumnus Grant Horsfield has built a rapidly expanding business in China that aims to provide a better lived environment - both at work and at play — and deliver a more balanced, sustainable and enjoyable lifestyle.

Read Article
Posted on 13 August 2018 by UCT GSB Press Office