IRAS is a Shared Value Organisation

At the very outset, when IRAS first began, the term "Shared Value Organisation" was not the buzz word it is today, nor was it so broadly misunderstood as it currently is.

Despite what many JSE listed companies believe, Corporate Social Investment (CSI) and/or Socioeconomic Development (SED) Spend is NOT "shared value". While CSI/SED can lead to "shared benefit", the actual concept of shared value can only truly exist within companies that, at their core, have been designed and developed to address one or more social (e.g., health, education, poverty alleviation, etc.) and/or environmental need. 

From the outset, back in 2009, the principle aim of the company was to act as a means to a more important socioeconomic ends: to generate income that would allow us to invest up to 10% of our Total Revenue in projects that benefit those less fortunate than ourselves, and never has this been more important than now in this post-COVID-19 world we live in.

With a national unemployment rate currently hovering around 46% (March 2022), and so very many people suffering the effects of unsustainable price increases linked to supply chain interruptions and the rise in global oil prices, we believe that the value IRAS creates should never be limited to the financial success of our company owners and/or employees. We therefore invest extremely heavily in ongoing Research & Development (R&D), to a level often exceeding 33% of our total revenue, while maintaining charge-out rates that continue to be considered 'lowest among peers' (thus passing along benefit to our clients), all while investing in the following:

  1. We educate and up-skill recent university graduates, well beyond our own personnel needs, at an estimated cost of roughly 25% of our total annual revenue. Our initial term is 3 months, but has frequently resulted in trainees being on-boarded for periods of up to 3 years.

  2. We employ independent contractors on an as/when needed basis to assist with IRAS client engagements to support like-minded entrepreneurs.

  3. We provide income guarantees of no less than R500 per team member per month to ladies within our Siyathuthuka Khalokazi Zulu Baskets project in deep rural KZN. Between September 2020 and September 2021, IRAS has worked with the ladies to develop a 1 000 m2 'Food Security Garden' that has already resulted in harvests that have been shared by the ladies, a local primary school, and a local church (to assist others in their community).

Basket Ladies - Pic 1 - March 2019.jpg
Siyathuthuka Khalokhazi Zulu Baskets
Sarah and 23 other ladies in the Hlabisa area of northern KwaZulu Natal (KZN) practice the ancient art of Zulu basket weaving in a region where there are seldom any visitors to whom they can sell their work.
 
The IRAS team supports these ladies by sponsoring their cooperative and hosting them in Johannesburg up to four times a year. 
Our role is simple. We buy their work for a "fair wage" and then help them re-sell their baskets on the basis that all revenue returns to the ladies as a bonus. 
Email michael@iras.co.za if you'd like more information.
Sarah & Zodwa @ Sandton City.jpg