CEO Connect Forum Nigeria: Creating Shared Value for Sustainable Business Practice in Nigeria

 

L-R: Rashidat Adebisi, Chief Client Officer, AXA Mansard Insurance; Adeolu Adewumi-Zer, CEO, ZER Consulting Africa and Shared Value Nigeria; Jessica Chivinge, Chief Strategy and Commercial Officer, Vitality Health International, South Africa; Tiekie Barnard, CEO, Shared Value Africa; Patrick Akinwuntan, Former CEO, Ecobank Nigeria and Faculty, Lagos Business School who represented the Dean, Lagos Business School; Karen Basiye, Director, Sustainable Business and Social impact, Safaricom, Kenya; and Ayodele Olojede, Divisional Head, Retail and SME, Wema Bank, unveiling Shared Value Nigeria at the maiden edition of the CEO Connect Forum Nigeria held in Lagos recently

Shared Value Africa (SVA), in collaboration with Lagos Business School Sustainability Centre and ZER Consulting Africa, proudly hosted the CEO Connect Forum Nigeria and the official launch of Shared Value Nigeria. The event was convened to foster dialogue among CEOs and business leaders on integrating the Creating Shared Value (CSV) approach to sustainability as a fundamental business strategy in Nigeria and beyond.

The forum was held in person at The Wheatbaker Hotel in Ikoyi, Lagos on Wednesday, June 26, 2024, providing a unique opportunity for high-level business executives to engage and discuss leveraging societal challenges as avenues for business innovation and growth through the CSV framework. The event featured keynote addresses and discussions from esteemed local and continental leaders, who shared practical perspectives on embedding shared value into business operations.

 

Tiekie Barnard, CEO and Founder of Shift Impact Africa and Shared Value Africa set the tone of the forum. She emphasised that creating shared value can be a game changer for Africa. “Shared Value Africa was started six years ago with the aim of strategically addressing societal challenges through a business management concept developed by Professors Michael Porter and Mark Kramer at Harvard. Shared value is first and foremost about profitability and not CSR or philanthropy. Businesses should serve all stakeholders, not just shareholders, weaving its purpose around the intersection of people, profit, and planet,” she said. She added that, “The CSV approach can enhance reputation, attract investment, and is a long-term commitment to addressing societal issues. It is our dream at Shared Value Africa for every organisation on the continent to practise shared value.”

L-R: Godfrey Adejumoh, Head, Communication and Sustainable Business, Unilever Nigeria; Kate Onsati, Operations Lead and Kenyan Office Rep, Shared Value Africa; Adeolu Adewumi-Zer, CEO ZER Consulting Africa and Shared Value Nigeria; Tiekie Barnard, CEO, Shared Value Africa; Afomre Ubogu, Corporate Affairs Specialist, œ Nigeria; and Abam Inyang, Senior Associate, Communications, LBS Sustainability Centre at the Shared Value Africa CEO Connect Forum Nigeria held in Lagos recently.

Adeolu Adewumi-Zer, Founder of ZER Consulting Africa and CEO, Shared Value Nigeria, spoke on ‘Value Creation as a Business Imperative.’ She shared her discovery of shared value three years ago, pointing how it connects profit with purpose. “Shared value offers a bridge to sustainable growth, providing long-term profitability while addressing societal needs. Launching Shared Value Nigeria will foster partnerships, enabling businesses to achieve success while improving the Nigerian society and economy.”

Rashidat Adebisi, Chief Client Officer at AXA Mansard, who were major sponsors, addressed the importance of responsibility towards future generations and stakeholders. She mentioned that at AXA Mansard, they have redefined their purpose to focus on inclusion and biodiversity. “One of the biggest challenges we should address is what do we leave for the next generation. How do we ensure that we are responsible for our stakeholders? At Axa Mansard we did rethink our purpose to ensure that we are doing what matters. Purpose is beyond making money for us, our purpose is hinged on two key pillars which are inclusion and biodiversity. We have run programmes with women like the SHE Initiative to ensure that our business accommodates more women and we are working with other organisations to create more shared value in critical sectors like healthcare,” she said. Programmes such as the SHE Initiative have demonstrated the value of including more women in business, increasing their participation from 15 to 34 percent. AXA Mansard continues to work with organisations to create more shared value in healthcare, defining, mapping, and partnering to ensure their activities create value.

Karen Basiye, Director of Sustainable Business and Social Impact at Safaricom delivered the first keynote speech themed, ‘The Business Case for Shared Value.’ She indicated that businesses can create shared value by leveraging resources and expertise to tackle societal challenges, resulting in mutual benefits. Examples from Safaricom include the mobile money initiative, M-PESA in Kenya which revolutionised digital mobile money payments and installing masts in refugee camps, both of which have driven profits and societal benefits. Safaricom also created a mobile health wallet for specific health savings, reinforcing the importance of responsibility towards people and the planet.

L-R; Ireti Samuel-Ogbu, CEO Citibank Nigeria; Toju Egbebi, Corporate Affairs Manager, Nestlé Nigeria and a guest at the recent unveiling of Shared Value Nigeria at the Shared Value Africa CEO Connect Forum held in Lagos recently.

Jessica Chivinge, Chief Strategy and Commercial Officer at Vitality Health International, spoke through her presentation themed, ‘The Pursuit of Shared Value in the Health Sector.’ She highlighted Vitality’s approach to shared value through client, employee, and societal initiatives. She added that engaging employees to innovate and rewarding clients for healthy lifestyles were key strategies that unlocked value across the entire value chain.

The event concluded with an engaging Q&A session, where the audience interacted with the speakers and shared reflections, learnings and implementable actions. The CEO Connect Forum was proudly supported by AXA Mansard, Zenith Bank Plc, Wema Bank Plc, Unilever Nigeria and Nestlé Nigeria.

Lagos Business School is Africa’s leading management education institution and the LBS Sustainability Centre is a globally recognised knowledge hub that brings together the theory and practice on business and sustainability for the advancement of business performance and development outcomes. For more information about the initiatives and upcoming events by the Lagos Business School Sustainability Centre, please contact sustainabilitycentre@lbs.edu.ng. Together we can work towards a sustainable future for businesses on the continent. See our programmes at https://lbssustainabilitycentre.edu.ng/training

Shared Value Africa is the regional partner of the global Shared Value Initiative. Operated by Shift Impact Africa Group, a Shared Value consultancy, advocacy and training firm based in Johannesburg, its purpose is to grow the community of African Shared Value leaders. Shared Value Africa has been at the forefront of championing Creating Shared Value (CSV) on the continent via policies and practises that enhance the competitiveness of organisations while simultaneously advancing the economic and social conditions in the communities in which they operate. For more information, visit svai.africa.

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