Merchants employees shine at UN Global Compact’s Young SDG Innovators Programme

Merchants employees shine at UN Global Compact’s Young SDG Innovators Programme

After becoming South Africa’s first BPO to join the UN Global Compact, Merchants immediately took the decision to get involved in the UN Global Compact’s Young SDG Innovators Programme (YSIP) – an opportunity for participating companies to identify young talent within their organisations to collaborate and accelerate business innovation towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Merchants put forward three participants – Glenise Mouton, Asheeka Thebus, and Keabetsoe Kgasi, who completed the programme toward the end of August.

The programme activates future business leaders and changemakers and challenges them to rethink traditional business models and unlock new business opportunities. “The YSIP directly correlates to our core values, as it focuses on the development of our people and driving innovation and sustainability both within our business and for the BPO industry at large,” explains Dr Sydwell Shikweni, Transformation Director at Merchants.

“Our people are the driving force behind the success of the Merchants business. We are incredibly proud of our chosen participants, who have shown great promise in their respective teams and have delivered exceptional work throughout the programme,” he says.

Talking to what this opportunity meant to each participant, Keabetsoe said: “Being blessed with the opportunity to be a YSIP has really being lifechanging. I have learnt that sustainability is not just about the environment but refers to every part of our lives. I have also learnt the importance of falling in love with the problem you are trying to solve, as the best way to solve a problem is to fully understand it”

Asheeka added: “Being given the opportunity to be a part of the Global Compact YSIP was such an honour. The ability to interact, learn, teach, and receive inspiration by other innovators across different industries was a phenomenal way to realign my potential growth and developmental opportunities. To be able to share this experience with both Glenise and Kea was truly a beautiful one, and it just proved that we have such amazing talent within our organisation and by working together we can continue pay it forward to others who are open to causing ‘disruption’ to bring positive, meaningful, and impactful changes.”

Glenise said: “I truly consider myself privileged to have had the honour of participating in this programme. The word sustainability is used quite loosely, but this journey helped me see the rapid change it could bring to our world, when paired with action.”

It remains incredibly important that corporate South Africa remain committed not only to development of their businesses, but to the people who work hard to keep those businesses alive. “We encourage all BPO’s to join the UN Global Compact and get involved in the YSIP – this is how we move our country forward,” concludes Dr Shikweni.

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