Indalo Inclusive South Africa (Indalo) coined a word to describe economic activities which focused on positive environmental and social impacts: Indalopreneurship.
Economically viable businesses are a must for developing communities, but negotiating social and environmental factors through economic instruments should never be neglected. The impact of business on a community surpasses the financial benefits and a well established business can benefit a community over an extended period of time.
Indalo Inclusive is a non-profit company and it encourages eco-friendly enterprises and healthy business structures. The relationship between entrepreneurship and the environment should be cherished and respected. Indalo actively identifies projects for donors – these projects are aligned with the discourse for a green recovery and a sustainable economy. The Indalo Symposium plays an integral role in this regard, as Natania Botha explains: “Indalo has a flagship annual event called the Indalo Symposium … the [purpose of the] Symposium is to provide a platform for our entrepreneurs to connect with investors and to showcase their innovations and it is a very impactful event that we host every year in March – in collaboration with the government of Flanders, as well as Nedbank, so that is definitely a highlight.”
Indalo receives grants from funders with the purpose of increasing eco-inclusive enterprise development and support to enterprises through programmes on different levels. “So,” says Vivian Kgaphola, Programme Co-ordinater of Indalo, “we don’t just receive the funds and then give it to the enterprises. We actually provide them with enterprise development support so they can be able to effectively run their businesses and use the funds wisely.” Even though Indalo works with enterprises across different sectors, such as sustainable agriculture, energy, waste management, water innovations and bio-diversity, Vivian makes it clear that: “… our focus is always linked to climate change mitigation and adaptation overall … so we’re looking at innovations that can assist us – the country – to support these entrepreneurs who’ve got these innovative solutions to help us combat climate change.”
It was after the 2021 Indalo Symposium that a three year partnership between Indalo and Nedbank materialised. CSRNEWSSA did promotional work for Indalo via different social media channels as well as a press release which was published on the CSRNEWSSA website. Nedbank approached Indalo to do a proposal for an entrepreneurship-programme which specifically focused on townships and rural areas. This was the first time that Indalo and CSRNEWSSA collaborated on such a project and the results were more than satisfactory. Poovi Pillay (Executive Head for Nedbank Foundation) demonstrates what the desired outcomes of the Indalopreneur Programme should be, namely: “…to create sustainable enterprises that grow and lead to green job creation, which, in turn contributes to economic growth over the long-term … and innovative solutions to enact a lasting change in the green economy for future generations and this partnership holds true meaning.”
The organisation emphasises reaching out to entrepreneurs in the townships and rural communities, but entrepreneurs based in the urban and peri-urban areas are not left behind. The main idea is to reach those who would otherwise not have access to this kind of opportunities. Indalo has a good track record of working in the rural areas, simply because of the partnerships it has on the ground with organisations within those areas. Succesful programmes have been launched in partnership with the government of Flanders and hence, it became a valued proposition to actually reach the enterprises based in those communities.
Indalo recognizes the importance of the climate change discourse and wishes to build upon established climate finance mechanisms for the creation of a greener and low carbon economy in South Africa. Entrepreneurship is inextricably linked to environmental issues; entrepreneurship issues cannot be seperated from environmental degradation and climate change. Entrepreneurship offers immediate employement to community members and very often this results in long-term employment. Some of the donors of this organisation are Nedbank, Innovation Hub, SANParks, Old Mutual, the IDC and the government of Flanders. These donors share the same ideal for South Africa and that is a passion for entrepreneurship in a climate-smart green economy.
This type of entrepreneurship brings together the economy, environment, and society – Indalo Inclusive calls it Indalopreneurship!