I am considered the ‘mother’ of the company. My role is director of innovation and allows me to apply creative corporate entrepreneurship. This involves the definition of new solutions, evaluating opportunities for impact and new processes or products within the 14 diverse Signa related member entities.
Signa Group and entities have the collective objective to make a sustainable impact on the future of South Africa and Africa through offering solutions to socio economic challenges. This is summarised in our slogan of ‘Preparing Africa for a working future’ which encompasses multiple levels. The organisation is anchored by values that sound unrelated to business, but at its core is the foundation of sustainability – love and trust in persona, stakeholder relationships and economic future of Africa. Enthusiasm to make a sustainable impact. Grace, giving and gratitude as core principles to our approach to deliver purposeful results through massive action. Quite a mouthful but fully integrated in our culture and approach to business.
The specific UN Sustainable Development Goals Signa Group aligns to are related to: No Poverty, Zero Hunger, Quality Education, Decent work and Economic Growth, Industry Innovation and Infrastructure, Reduce Inequalities, Sustainable Communities and Cities, Partnership for Goals.
This covers a very wide spectrum of general socio-economic challenges which Signa Group member entities address through supporting organisations with various solutions, including economic transformation and equality through B-BBEE support. This impacts around 300 corporate clients per annum; a wide variety of quality educational, sponsorship and bursary solutions that lead to employment or self-employment in academic and artisan fields, which train and empower around 2,000 students per annum, job creation and employment facilitation through a YES programme to around 300 candidates per annum; investment funding solutions to small businesses for development; infrastructure and technology development, and a personal safety portable solution through an app that links to a network of security companies.
In quantifying the impact, 100% of activities throughout the group of 14 member entities can be linked to an outcome aligned to the UN SDG. We are focused and excited about expanding our impact and reach on an ongoing basis.
Signa Group is achieving its purpose of elevating and empowering individuals and businesses by consciously impacting Impact thinking in everything we do.
One should never make the mistake to think of impact as theoretical business practices. What we are speaking about are students and employees who are people with families, living their life and taking responsibility for looking after their families. It is about individuals able to reach their full potential because of the right training or support; businesses that can sustain their employees and serve their clients well. Impacting in the true sense of making a difference in someone else’s life.
Another factor is the protection of the environment to preserve it for future nations to be able to do the same. It is the culmination of humanity in action with all the challenges and opportunities of the moment, and being able to support individuals and businesses to serve their purpose effectively. Keeping that focus is what enables a purposeful business.
Our partnerships with clients include that we evaluate their training or enterprise and supplier initiatives to ensure that it offers a secondary benefit to themselves or their client base. Examples of this are:
All of these projects impact people and businesses, which secures a future for themselves and economic activation within South Africa.
Signa Group is actively pursuing projects that will lead to economic activation of marginalised communities or people. 75% of our students are disabled students and 100% of our students come from underprivileged families. Our innovation is visible in these projects, like a fund-raising initiative with the Ndebele nation to establish training centres in remote areas.
We have been running Signa Trust for the past 10 years, which is a registered NPO that invests in tertiary education of black ladies who have the potential to become market leaders in the industries they are studying. We sponsor full bursary programmes that cover all expenses from education to accommodation and stipends. In all our learning businesses, our training is measured in its result of employment or self-employment for our candidates, with the firm belief from Signa that education without the right result only leads to hopelessness.
We are in the process of registering a private tertiary educational institution with the hope to make tertiary education affordable and accessible to all. Signa Group member entities wish to make a positive impact in the future of South Africa and Africa. True to our slogan we wish to ‘Prepare Africa for a working future’.
We promote an approach of micro decisions for macro impact. Our advice to companies who would like to do purposeful business would be to simply include a measure for positive impact in every business decision. It is essential for any business to be profitable in order to be sustainable; however, it is core to understand how every action from corporate communication, sustainable HR practices, services and product definition can be linked to positive impact. Once one realises you are part of a tribe wanting to change business and the environment for the better, business overall becomes a happier place. Our recruitment focuses on people who are driving personal positive purposes, so we actively surround ourselves with people that share the same values and vision of Signa. Our clients are recognised in our Power of One project where we highlight the economic or personal impact their projects had on either individuals, other businesses, or communities. We publish a comprehensive record of these feel-good-true-life and business stories on our website and make it available for corporate sustainability reporting of our clients.
We wish to invite associates, related businesses, like-minded people, potential clients, and impact groups to contact us through our website www.signa.co.za, to register as members, whereafter our teams will be in contact to provide the necessary information for involvement in the area of interest.