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Investing in the Girl Child: School as Sustainable Enterprise


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Presentation at the World CSR Congress, Taj Lands End Hotel, Mumbai, India, 18 February 2015

Updated: 5 November 2015 for Presentation at WINDaba,“Powering the winds of change”
Cape Town International Convention Centre, South Africa.

Published in: Education
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Investing in the Girl Child: School as Sustainable Enterprise

  1. 1. by Dr Jeremy B Williams Investing in Girls: School as Sustainable Enterprise @TheGreenMBA @jeremybwilliams jembwilliams profjeremybwilliams WINDaba, Cape Town, South Africa, 5 November 2015
  2. 2. Why the need for sustainable enterprise?
  3. 3. The Earth … is full
  4. 4. Full of us …
  5. 5. Full of our stuff…
  6. 6. … and full of our garbage
  7. 7. We’ve also changed the surface of the earth
  8. 8. We dig it up …
  9. 9. We chop it down …
  10. 10. … and we take as if there is no tomorrow
  11. 11. We need 1.5 planets to sustain current consumption patterns … Overstepping Ourselves As our Ecological Footprint continues to exceed Earth’s biocapacity, we overdraw from our future. 74% 114% 156%OF BIOCAPACITY OF BIOCAPACITY OF BIOCAPACITY
  12. 12. with potentially devastating effects in the form of climate change
  13. 13. Why GS4G as sustainable enterprise?
  14. 14.
  15. 15. The ROI on girls’ education is well documented
  16. 16. A community provides landAnd labour Materials to build the school are sourced locally Energy is entirely renewable: solar, wind; or biomass High quality curriculum via InternetRainwater harvesting for water supplyAll wastewater disposed of on site Used for fruit and veg cultivation and livestockAnd tree planting GS4G is a focal point for the whole community
  17. 17. VISION Empowering all girls to realise equal opportunity through education that is ecologically, socially, and economically self-sustaining.
  18. 18. MISSION Provide community prosperity through local investment of labour and materials to establish a sustainable educational campus for girls. In return, the education delivered will enable the inter-generational cycle of gender inequality to be broken, and provide knowledge that will provide the foundation for sustainable development of communities.
  19. 19. VALUES The enterprise will revolve around the three values of: 1. ecological sustainability 2. gender and inter-generational equality 3. the belief that giving a girl the education and the ability to make informed decisions about her life will ultimately benefit her community and society more broadly.
  20. 20. What does the business model look like?
  21. 21. The business model is based around IMPACT INVESTMENT
  22. 22. Set up GS4G Foundation Make debt/ equity investments in GS4G campuses including student loans Recycle returns to make new investments Scale up creating economic, social and environmental impact
  23. 23. Set up GS4G Foundation • Corporate investors • Social Stock Exchanges and patient capital funds; e.g. Acumen • Crowdfunding • Fundraising chapters • Carbon offset programs • Donor agencies; e.g. UN agencies
  24. 24. The World’s Most Sustainable Companies, 2014 (Forbes Magazine) Corporate investors
  25. 25. Toronto New York SingaporeLondon
  26. 26.
  27. 27. GS4G Fundraising Chapters in major cities hosting regular events
  28. 28. Funding via companies participating in CDM programs
  29. 29. Make debt/ equity investments in GS4G campuses including student loans • The GS4G Foundation would retain majority ownership to ensure mission integrity for a period of 10 years • Return on equity may be set at capital preservation (or close to 0%) for a period of time • Debt in the form of social impact bonds • To be sustainable enterprise every campus of GS4G must become economically viable • Operational costs to be covered from proceeds of on-campus entrepreneurial activities • Student loans from the GS4G Foundation repaid upon employment following graduation
  30. 30. Scale up creating economic, social and environmental impact • Location selection is critical and local knowledge essential • Extensive community consultation an important first step and the rationale for an all girls’ school accepted • Local community must supply the land and the labour in return for equity • Best practice sustainable building design, sourcing construction materials locally • The campus would be a focal point for the community in providing a catalyst for sustainable development; i.e. food and water security, employment and business development • Volunteer networks would be tapped to import skills and knowledge unavailable locally
  31. 31. Recycle returns to make new investments • GS4G is not a charitable organisation, but a business with a different mission; i.e. it seeks to maximise economic, social and environmental welfare not profit. • Development is freedom from hand-outs. A person’s dignity is not served by charity, and GS4G is about contributing to the creation of strong, self-sufficient and resilient communities. • Successful GS4G campuses can provide financial returns to the GS4G Foundation and also provide mentorship for new campuses.
  32. 32. “Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls” … following energetic campaigning from groups like Girl Effect The UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have been succeeded by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  33. 33. Potential partner organisations focused on investment in girls’ education and gender issues
  34. 34. India would be an ideal place to start
  35. 35. Companies with at least Rs 5 crore net profit or Rs 1,000 crore turnover or Rs 500 crore net worth will have to spend 2 per cent of their three-year average annual net profit on CSR activities in each financial year, starting from FY15. Mandatory expenditure on “CSR”
  36. 36. "Girls' education is the single best investment that any society can make." Carol Bellamy, Former UNICEF Director
  37. 37. @TheGreenMBA @jeremybwilliams jembwilliams profjeremybwilliams Thank you for listening