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  • Our Communities
Posted: 6 Apr 2016

Transformation through SMMEs

At Old Mutual, we are committed to economic transformation and recognise the role of small, medium and micro-enterprises (SMMEs) in driving change both in communities and at the broader societal level. We also recognise that the SMME sector requires financial education as much as it does funding.

For this reason we drive various financial education initiatives to enable small businesses to thrive and achieve their financial goals. We then facilitate access to the funding they need to operate and expand their businesses.

Examples include:

  • The Heiveld Co-op is a 65 member operation based in the Northern Cape, where the harsh landscape and climate yield vast tracts of wild rooibos (red bush) from which local farmers make a living. The co-operative, which exports high quality organic rooibos tea to niche fair trade and organic markets in the northern hemisphere, was established in 2001 with only 14 members. Using R200 000 in funding from the Old Mutual Foundation in 2009, it purchased a tractor and constructed a second tea court – a flat, open area where the chopped rooibos is left to “sweat” and dry – thus increasing production, improving efficiency and ultimately enabling expansion.
  • In 2010 the Old Mutual Foundation invested R179 000 into the Reikemetse Agricultural Co-operative in the small village of Potsane on the outskirts of Thaba Nchu, enabling it to purchase materials and construct a three-roomed factory. Reikemetse is a Sesotho word that means “We stand on our own”. This 10-member, all female co-operative produces a range of bottled products from vegetables, including tomato relish, beetroot and carrot atchars. They buy their ingredients at wholesale prices and can make up to 50 bottles a day.
  • Masisizane is a non-profit agricultural fund established by Old Mutual South Africa in 2007. With a capital base of R988 million, it supports a host of SMMEs, 70% of which are owned by black women or youth. Of these enterprises, 75% are situated outside major urban centres. The fund’s primary focus is on the development of agri-clusters, which allow small scale farmers to benefit from economies of scale. To date, 1 453 jobs have been facilitated through direct funding from Masisizane and a further 46 057 through partnerships.
  • Old Mutual Insure contributes to enterprise development through their partnership with Masisizane. Old Mutual Insure funds various SMEs to help grow South African businesses and protect what is important to them. Below are examples of two business initiatives that have been funded:
    • LexForensica - A business that provides voice analytics services to help detect fraud in the claims process. Masisizane, provided pre-investment support and continues to play a significant role in ensuring the success of the business through their post-investment services.
    • Claims Recoveries Business - Is a business that provides claims recoveries and legal services to Old Mutual Insure.

These and other initiatives form part of the Old Mutual Group’s Positive Futures Plan, whose objective is to become the recognised financial services leader in responsible business - a goal explicitly chosen to deliver on the Group's vision of becoming our customers' most trusted partner.

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