Integrated market access and logistics solutions provider Imperial, and markets, risk management and data science company Risk Insights jointly hosted the official launch of the World Economic Forum (WEF) New Champions Chapter, in Johannesburg, on June 14.
In August 2021, the WEF announced both Imperial and Risk Insights as its strategic partners for the first-ever WEF New Champions Chapter in South Africa – an initiative forming part of the WEF’s New Champions Community, which mobilises and capacitates invested corporate leaders to improve the state of the world.
Imperial group CEO Mohammed Akoojee says South Africa’s first chapter of the WEF New Champions Community focuses on bringing together social impact projects to create sustainable jobs in South Africa.
“The New Champions Community South Africa chapter aims to amplify global initiatives on South African soil and ensure meaningful engagements within the South African business community to drive and accelerate impact on the ground, and we are looking forward to playing a significant part in this initiative,” he says.
A recent WEF report published in collaboration with the University of Cambridge, the National University of Singapore and the Entrepreneurs’ Organisation highlights that small and mid-size enterprises represent around 90% of all firms globally, and, by some estimates, contribute to up to 70% of employment and global gross domestic product.
These businesses are shaping the nature of growth, innovation and sustainability in global, regional and local economies.
With this in mind, the forum has been working with its New Champions Global Community – a group of innovative and forward-looking mid-sized companies, which are leaders in their respective areas, mindful of their impact on society and committed to building a better future for all.
“We are thrilled to work with incredibly inspiring New Champions members who are creating the first Local Chapter of our growing community. This is an opportunity for the Forum and our members to extend their support to the local small and medium enterprises,” says WEF New Champions global community head Julia Devos.
Imperial and Risk Insights have chosen three initial initiatives for the WEF South Africa chapter, which are focused on critical issues in the country. These include health and wellbeing, education, gender equality, innovation, sustainable infrastructure and climate action.
Risk Insights principal and CEO, and WEF New Champions Local Chapter South Africa co-chairperson Andrey Bogdanov says “the new chapter comes at a critical juncture of climate change and the rise of stakeholder capitalism".