Bigen exemplifies ‘profit with purpose’ at SVAI event

Bigen, a leading infrastructure development company driving socio-economic change, will outline its effective development impact strategy at a business breakfast focusing on how business can contribute to more equal societies, hosted by the Shared Value Africa Initiative (SVAI) at the JSE on 4 March 2020.

Aligned with this theme is the Bigen Group’s strategy of creating development impact for current and future generations to the benefit of the disadvantaged communities in proximity to the infrastructure development projects Bigen delivers for its clients. Dr Mthandazo Ngwenya, Managing Director of Bigen’s Development, Advisory and Impact directorate, will outline the Group’s approach to driving socio-economic growth in Africa through not only providing sustainable infrastructure solutions but also improving quality of life through inclusivity, localisation and indigenisation for and among SMMEs and entrepreneurs – especially women and youth – to build cohesive and resilient societies.

Profit with purpose 

Bigen’s infrastructure development goals have, for years, extended beyond ensuring a healthy bottom line for the business to empowering people to improve their livelihoods, now and in the future. This approach has become a major requirement in the business world, especially the investing sector. Today, a single-minded focus on profit is no longer enough. Into this reality comes a growing set of entrepreneurs who are able to innovate in a way that established companies cannot and who have built profitable enterprises by addressing social needs. This is the essence of the shared value business model – profit with purpose. As Bigen has shown, established businesses can play a crucial role in supporting young entrepreneurs to the benefit of the whole business ecosystem, providing them with business opportunities and support, to scale and increase their impact.

At the SVAI breakfast, corporate leaders and entrepreneurs will explore how big businesses can enable small enterprises, particularly women and youth. Companies’ senior management members will share how they create social and financial impact returns, while young entrepreneurs will describe how they have built their businesses around growing inclusive economies.

Bigen, through its purpose and mindset of “doing good while doing business”, has made a significant contribution to the development of entrepreneurship, in particular, start-ups by women and youth, in many African countries.

“Bigen is driving development impact outcomes to ensure that young entrepreneurs and small businesses partner with us,” explains Dr Ngwenya. “We have a partnership approach in all the countries we operate in, to ensure that we practise what we call localisation. In some countries, it is called indigenisation. It means taking small businesses and working with them, making sure that we empower them so that when we complete the project and leave, those small businesses will be able to ensure that they are sustainable.”

To ensure that socio-economic development aspirations are measurably realised, Bigen uses its ImpactPro mobile application, an innovative electronic capturing platform providing “stats at a glance”. These include details such as the number of jobs created in a community, the number of people empowered and the number of communities benefiting from economic inclusion. Collaborating with numerous partners and proactively “doing good while doing business” on all projects, Bigen creates value for communities, clients and other stakeholders as well as the Group itself.

Development footprint 

With offices in South Africa, Botswana, Kenya, Ghana, Zambia, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia and Tanzania, Bigen provides the innovative, solutions-focused infrastructure in the agriculture, water, real estate, transport, energy, and health sectors in 19 countries across Africa with a focus on socio-economic development. Solutions are delivered through Bigen’s bespoke development advisory and impact, financial, technical, environmental and institutional services.

“As staunch African-optimists, we take pride in Bigen’s development footprint and the life-changing impact of our activities on Africa’s people,” says Bigen Group CEO, Dr Snowy Khoza. “We believe that it is time for Africa to tell its own story – one in which social and economic development responds effectively to the complexity of the continent’s growth needs. Bigen will continue to champion the inclusivity, indigenisation, cohesion and human dignity that will liberate, inspire and empower those who will help us to build a better Africa.”

To book your seat for this informative business breakfast session set to take place Wednesday 4 March from 8.30 to 11.30 at the JSE, One Exchange Square, 2 Gwen Avenue, Sandown, email