Corporate Vision April 2017

18 CORPORATE VISION / April 2017 , The Euclid Society is a South Africa based organisation that aims to transform society and support those who are dedicated to this aim. We invited David Oliphant to share the secrets behind the firm’s success, which has seen it win the ‘Award for Excellence in Social Development Initiatives’ in the African Corporate Excellence Awards. Building Better Communities Established in 2014, the Euclid Society provides capacity building platforms for vulnerable groups with a focus on business support services to social enterprises, improving the access of employment opportunities to low-income earning people and basic sports training for young people. David discusses the society’s recent projects and the differences these have made in the local community. “Here at the Euclid Society we support a wide range of charities and organisations, including non-profit organisations such as the Haven Night Shelter, a progressing night shelter assisting with the reintegration of homeless people into society, with capacity building programmes in terms of assisting their clients with financial planning and goal setting techniques. “The programme assisting the Haven Night Shelter’s clients is called StreetWise, and is designed to reintroduce homeless people to job opportunities. The learning is also underpinned by a strong social work component as well platforms to assist budgeting and learning the basic skills necessary to keep a basic skills job such as interview etiquette and anger management. We have also been lucky enough to work with some entrepreneurs in the Western Cape through our programme called Financial Literacy. The entrepreneurs include RAW Construction (a plastering subcontractor), NK Security (a security contractor) and District Six Recycling. All these entrepreneurs have a few things in common: they come from low-income backgrounds and use their business to feed their families and provide employment to other low-income individuals. “Other partners include Sustainable Brothers and Sisters as well as the Kusasalethu Group. For Christmas of 2016 we had formed a great team with these two non-profit organisations to help collect and distribute second clothing. These clothes were donated to the homeless people who live at the Haven Night Shelter.” Recently there have been a number of opportunities and challenges for organisations such as the Euclid society, as the government is now taking a much firmer stance on bigger companies training smaller enterprises. Through the Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment Policy many organisations are being mandated to ensure that smaller firms are being developed in the market. This is not necessarily a bad thing as it has the potential to develop the industry but it also puts strain on bigger organisations to circumvent their monitoring and reporting ability to training. This assists the society as its business model is skills development and it therefore becomes a gap in the market that it can fill as a service provider. Challenges include the lack of quality infrastructure in the region, which is affecting the positive growth of the entire country. It hampers adequate transport and movability of the population. It also is rooted in problems of skills, as it requires a vast array of skills within the population to have an effective infrastructure system. Despite this challenges the society is committed to being the change and differentiating itself from other community development societies through its dedication to excellence, as David outlines. “What sets the Euclid Society apart is that we have a fresh, professional approach to the social development sector. We have vowed to give the people we help the best value for money service but also include very structured and professional methods of project management in terms of initiation, monitoring and reporting. Many social development organisations in South Africa struggle with these demands in the modern business environment. It causes many businesses to close simply because their reporting is not what it should be.” Looking to the future, the society has a number of exciting opportunities on the horizon which will allow it to build upon its current success, as David highlights in his concluding comments. “Overall, our future seems quite bright as we have started having conversations with a few investors who starting to believe in us and what we are trying to achieve in communities. With their funding, we are able to increase our resource base and the number of people we help. Our partnerships with the Department of Social Development also will enable us to reach around 30 non-profit organisations per year and one by one we are able to improve the skills base on the social development sector.” K Company: The Euclid Society Name: David Oliphant Email: [email protected] Web Address: Address: 13 Norden Street, Parow, South Africa Telephone: +2771 304 3720 ACE16019