Corporate Responsibility in Sub-Saharan Africa
J.P. Morgan is committed to building vibrant communities, preserving our environment and promoting an inclusive culture across the globe that benefits people not only today, but for generations to come.
Globally, J.P. Morgan, through the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, makes philanthropic investments in cities where it has major operations, assisting those suffering disadvantage to help them build better lives for themselves, their families and their communities. Across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, the firm focuses its investment and attention on three pillars: Economic Development, Financial Empowerment and Workforce Readiness. Across Sub-Saharan Africa, examples of our commitments include:
- SME Catalyst for Growth Programme
- Junior Achievement South Africa (JASA)
- TechnoServe (South Africa & Ghana)
- Junior Achievement Nigeria (JAN)
SME Catalyst for Growth Programme
In South Africa, the SME sector has the potential to positively affect the high level of unemployment and the relatively low economic growth rate in the country. J.P. Morgan has learnt that while access to finance is a challenge for SMEs in South Africa, there are several pools of capital currently targeting the sector. A more pressing challenge is the lack of management capacity and skills in the start up and early growth phases of an SME and it is this support that the SME Catalyst for Growth programme is targeting.
The programme will support two high quality Business Development Services (BDS) providers in South Africa, Raizcorp and Aurik, to help them increase their reach to urban SMEs in the Gauteng province. Through their product suite of BDS, Aurik and Raizcorp will work with ten businesses each and help the selected entrepreneurs achieve real growth for their businesses. The programme, through its partnership with Dalberg, a strategy consulting firm specializing in international development, will also establish the platform for transparency and standardization in the quality of BDS provision.
For more information on the programme, read the initial research report that provides background and context for the initiative and a follow-up report, which details the progress that the programme has made just one year later.
Junior Achievement South Africa (JASA)
‘Junior Achievement South Africa’ (JASA) prepares young people for life after school by raising their awareness of economic issues, teaching them entrepreneurial and life skills, providing them with an understanding of the business world and enhancing their sense of personal responsibility through practical business experience.
The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor South Africa has repeatedly stressed the critical role that entrepreneurial education plays in increasing the entrepreneurial rate in South Africa. A stronger focus on entrepreneurship as a life skill is needed in order to foster problem solving skills and self-confidence. Based on the success of previous partnerships with JASA, J.P. Morgan support will help JASA develop an interactive digital learning platform through which it will deliver its programmes in a more cost effective and efficient way. Once the platform has been developed, it will be piloted in 6 (middle and high) schools to reach 240 students aged 16-18 years.
TechnoServe’s mission is to help entrepreneurial men and women in the developing world build businesses that create income, opportunity and economic growth. It overcomes market failures by providing expert advice, technical and business capacity building, and by opening markets for entrepreneurs’ goods and services. J.P. Morgan is supporting Technoserve’s key programme in the Nkomazi region in Mpumalanga province in South Africa – the Nkomazi Expanded Agribusiness Development Initiative (NEADi). The NEADi programme is a continuation of work that TechnoServe has been doing in the Nkomazi District since 2007.
The initial grant from J.P. Morgan in 2008 was given to TechnoServe to support five entrepreneurial farming enterprises in the historically disadvantaged communities of the Nkomazi Municipality. The support assisted these businesses to create employment and develop agronomic and business skills. In 2011, funding from J.P. Morgan was designed to support NEADi’s efforts to consolidate on learnings from the first phase of the programme and apply them to ensure the businesses from Phase I are self sustainable. Technoserve also aims to apply the learnings to a wider pool of emerging farmers in the area, thereby creating a critical mass of sustainable farmers in Nkomazi.
J.P. Morgan is also working with TechnoServe in Ghana to build the capacity of women’s groups and SMEs in rural Ghana through business and technical training. The particular programme is focusing on the shea butter industry which engages about 500,000 women and is a major source of overall household income.
Accion is a global non-profit dedicated to building a financially inclusive world, with access to economic opportunity for all, by giving people the financial tools they need to improve their lives. Accion has a depth of experience in building sustainable and commercially viable institutions that have already benefited millions of people.
Nigeria is the largest country in Africa. It is the continent’s most populous and its 3rd largest economy. Yet, 60% of Nigerians are living below $1/day and approximately 40% of the country’s adult population is financially excluded. Microfinance has the potential to have a positive impact on the social and economic development of the country.
J.P. Morgan support to Accion aims to strengthen the risk management function of microfinance institutions in Nigeria through developing a comprehensive risk management training curriculum. Access to financial services through a formal, regulated institution with strong risk management structures can help not only generate income for the poor, but also increase their income by turning subsistence businesses into growth and employment generating enterprises impacting the wider communities.
Junior Achievement Nigeria (JAN)
Junior Achievement Nigeria provides business and economic education to young people. Since commencing its operations in Nigeria in 1999, JA Nigeria has reached over 400,000 students in over 750 schools in 14 locations throughout the country. JA Nigeria aims to bridge the gap between the classroom and the workplace in terms of skills development for youth entering the job market.
J.P. Morgan is supporting JAN’s Ready-Set-Go (RSG) program, designed for young people between the ages of 14 and 25, to help them take charge of their future as independent leaders, entrepreneurs or managers. RSG will focus on the provision of life skills and entrepreneurship training with practical exposure through apprenticeships, preparing the youth for the workforce. The programme will be implemented in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt. RSG was developed to meet the needs of the targeted participants and will be piloted over the course of twelve months to reach 3000 young people.
This programme will seek to equip youth between the ages of 14 and 25 with basic life skills, business education, entrepreneurship training and leadership and workforce readiness skills.