Brands have the potential to deliver tangible value to consumers – and more broadly to society – by being purpose-led and value-driven.
South Africa is undeniably a land of opportunity and possibility. The issues we face are challenges and call-to-actions for innovators and innovation-enablers to provide the tools to overcome those trials.
One of the biggest challenges we face as a nation is our high unemployment rate. The latest statistics show the youth (15 to 34-year-olds) are most affected, with unemployment at 46.3-percent. This dark cloud hangs over us – but we have the power of the wind to change its direction. These times present opportunities for us to solve our country’s problems.
I passionately believe the key to this is enabling entrepreneurship. For our economy to grow, it needs more entrepreneurs. South Africa (and by that I mean business, government and individuals with the means to) has a responsibility to invest more in our youth and communities to develop high impact platforms that change the course of our country. Inclusive economies, support programmes, and skills growth initiatives for communities play a vital role in changing the country’s direction.
That’s why at Nedbank, we have a deliberate focus on equipping the youth with the skills and support that they require to find employment and even become employers. We support the youth in multiple ways. These include the Youth Employment Scheme (YES), Unlocked.me platform (where the youth can search for jobs, take courses and build CVs), and YouthX, a social media focused movement, where we’ve partnered with some of South Africa’s most accomplished youth change makers to give guidance and industry expertise along six sectors ranging from entertainment, fashion, technology, and business for this social media campaign.
SMMEs make up the majority of businesses. These SMMEs often present opportunities that address societal and other needs required for such stimulus. SMMEs need an enabling environment underpinned by growth friendly policies and strong government support. It is not only in the form of innovation as far as products and services are concerned, but the all important role that entrepreneurship plays in job creation.
We continue to live and operate in unprecedented times; this is our reality. Innovation lies at the centre of everything – and is the path to our success. South African government and businesses need to adopt an innovative mindset. It is the importance of innovation across all spheres of business, not only in the areas where you have a direct impact but holistically in your community.
Khensani Nobanda is the Group Executive for Marketing and Corporate Affairs at Nedbank Group. As both the executive in charge of marketing, and a member of the Nedbank Group executive leadership, she ensures the cohesive and consistent alignment between marketing messaging,
brand positioning and business objectives across the group, while also providing strategic input into various Nedbank structures, committees, and partnerships.
Khensani has a BCom from the University of the Witwatersrand, and an MBA from GIBS. She is a member of the board of Effie Awards South Africa, a regular member of the judging panel for the Loeries and Bookmarks Awards, and a sought after public speaker. Kensi has amassed several accolades in recognition of her contribution to the industry, including top honours as winner of the Loeries 2021 “Marketing Leadership & Innovation” award and the “Marketing Industry Leader of the Year” by AdFocus.