Green Finance in Kenya

2016 was definitely the hottest year on record and probably also the dirtiest and most hazardous. “The climate broke records in 2016“ said World Meteorological Organization chief Petteri Taalas. With the primary cause climate change: the burning of fossil fuels. Mt. Kilimanjaro has lost 85% of its icecap 26% being since 2000. Worldwide, around 18,000 people now die every day as a result of air pollution. Some 26 million people are also forced into poverty each year by the impact of natural disasters, with climate shocks reversing hard-won development gains.

Thus 2016/2017 have been the best years ever for green finance. Many countries are issuing strategies for greening their financial systems. Simply put, green finance covers the financing of investments that generate environmental benefits as part of the broader strategy to achieve inclusive, resilient and sustainable development.

In Kenya, the African Guarantee Fund (AGF), the International Trade Centre (ITC) and the Nordic Development Fund (NDF) organized a Green Finance Conference on 21 June in Nairobi, Kenya. Participation at the event brought together representatives from financial institutions including commercial and SME banks and microfinance institutions as well as policy makers from government, representatives from development finance and donor institutions and other key stakeholders engaged in sustainable development and innovating finance for transformation to a green and inclusive economy and a sustainable future.

The event built on work by all three organizing institutions to expand access to finance for green growth-focused small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Africa, especially those climate-focused. Recognizing that SMEs are the engine of growth in Kenya accounting for 25% of GDP, providing employment and thus inclusion of women and youth.

Insights came from the Central Bank and National Treasury together with the Capital Markets Authority, UNEP and Kenya Association of Manufacturers discussing the role of policy makers in promoting green finance and green energy in the Kenyan context. Agreeing to the need to facilitate a conducive environment for the growth of green finance by being clear about the policy signals they send to financiers about their plans for climate action and sustainable development. Clear roadmaps are needed making the bridge between high-level national targets and the technical details of how money actually flows across banking, capital markets, insurance and investment through capacity buiding

DFIs such as Nordic Development fund, are at the forefront of promoting green finance and responsible investment. But face challenges in risk evaluation facilities for SMEs but agree on the need to reduce collateral requirements for SME’s to have greater access to funding while also looking for more innovative ways to provide financing by funding pilots and demonstrations. The conclusion being that DFIs are in a position to take more risk by adjusting risk management models and using co-financing models

There is no doubt that considerable uncertainty clouds the year ahead. But one thing is clear - the shift to climate-consistent, green and, ultimately, more sustainable finance now looks unstoppable.

 

10 Best practices on maintaining and managing your reputational Capital

On 6 July Gong Kenya, Moody’s Investor Services and the Business Council for Africa (BCA) collaborated to stage a breakfast event on the subject of ‘Reputation Capital’ in Nairobi.Gong’s Group MD, Narda Shirley started the conversation by a quote by Warren Buffet that states,

We can afford to lose money — even a lot of money. But we can’t afford to lose reputation — even a shred of reputation.
— Warren Buffet

Reputation is what people say about you when you’re not there Think of social media – we can’t escape the speed at which information travels in media.

Why does Reputation matters?

·         Attract the best talent possible

·         Attract new opportunities for your business

·         Participate in Accolades/awards

A few examples of what your organization can’t control and can affect your reputation include: News/social media, TV/radio, Bloggers, Websites, Experts & advisors and the General public.Websites such as LinkedIn, Glassdoor and Vault review, rate and give information about your business as places to work to potential hires.

We were challenged  to do a search of our respective companies on a search engine (e.g. google) using a different computer. This will show us the ‘first opinions’ that the public form about our organizations.

Credible Certifications and accreditations also assist in managing a company’s reputation

We were also cautioned on how (PR) crisis can affect a company’s reputation; hence needs to be managed as soon as possible.  Systems and processes should be put in place to take care of your reputation

Some examples of incidents that can affect your company’s reputation include: - leadership crisis (succession planning), environmental attacks, accidents at work, natural disasters, terrorist/cyberattacks, workforce strikes, whistle blowing, short seller attack/financial crisis, customer experience, product recalls, product harm to customers, service failure

Best practices on maintaining and managing a good reputation

1.       Be clear on what your company stands for – Mission / Core purpose / Values

2.       Manage your online presence pro-actively.

3.       Use the right channels in social media that are most appropriate to your company

4.       Advocacy program that can ascertain you are a good company

5.       Acquiring Awards and certifications from highly credible third parties

6.       Continuous Risk analysis

7.       Having a crisis committee in your organization; having processes and procedures around crisis.

8.       Scenario planning / Crisis simulation e.g. if a product being launched goes bad

9.       Having credible spokespeople.

10.   Build your reputation as a good and credible company; no need to wait for crisis, do it now when you have a good reputation.

INCLUSION AND THE ROLE OF LEADERSHIP IN THE WORKPLACE

INCLUSION AND THE ROLE OF LEADERSHIP IN THE WORKPLACE

In 2016, B Lab issued the first-ever call-to-action for the global B Corp Community to improve collective impact and take action to move toward an inclusive economy; the aptly titled B Corp Inclusion Challenge. B Lab East Africa together with Daproim Africa, a founding East African B Corp and Node Africa to speak on the opportunities and challenges of inclusion and Leadership in the workplace.

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