• Introduction
    • OVERVIEW
    • INTRODUCTION TO THE STANDARD BANK GROUP
    • OUR REPORTING SUITE
    • A LETTER FROM OUR CEO
    • STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT
    • ASSURANCE STATEMENT
     
     
     
     
     
     
  • SEE impact areas
    • OVERVIEW
    • IMPACT REPORTING
    • 1.
      FINANCIAL INCLUSION
    • 2.
      JOB CREATION AND ENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT
    • 3.
      INFRASTRUCTURE
    • 4.
      AFRICA TRADE AND INVESTMENT
    • 5.
      EDUCATION AND SKILLS DEVELOPMENT
    • 6.
      EMPLOYEE DEVELOPMENT AND TRAINING
     
     
  • ESG
    • OVERVIEW
    • ABOUT THIS REPORT
    • MANAGING E&S RISKS AND OPPORTUNITIES
    • OUR DIRECT ENVIRONMENTAL PERFORMANCE
    • VALUING OUR PEOPLE
    • INVESTING IN COMMUNITIES
    • PROMOTING SOUND GOVERNANCE AND INTEGRITY
    • ESG METRICS AND POLICIES
     
     
  • Transformation
    • OVERVIEW
    • INTRODUCTION
    • A LETTER FROM SBSA CE: LUNGISA FUZILE
    • STANDARD BANK’S BEE SCORECARD
    • WHERE TO FIND MORE INFORMATION
     
     
     
     
     
Funding higher education for Africa’s youth

Standard Bank funds higher education, developing the skills needed for the future world of work. This includes facilitating access to finance such as the crowdfunding Feenix platform, and more direct funding such as our Standard Bank bursaries and scholarships.

top-circle
THE
CHALLENGE
the challenge

Student access to funding.

THE SOLUTION
the solution

Feenix crowdfunding platform enables individuals and companies to donate money directly to universities on behalf of selected students.

Standard Bank covered set-up and operating cost shortfalls.

THE IMPACT
the impact
Raised R22 million
650 students funded in 2018

We launched the Feenix Trust, a public benefit organisation (PBO), in June 2017. It is an initiative that allows individuals and enterprises to donate money directly to students to help them complete their studies. Crowdfunding platforms like Feenix allow ordinary citizens to take meaningful action to solve social problems. At least 75% of the Trust is allocated to black recipients, and 50% to women. Standard Bank is the funder, enabler and partner of the Trust, which retains and manages funds from donors. The Trust allows individuals and enterprises to donate money to universities on behalf of selected students.

We covered the set-up costs and will cover any shortfall between the total operating costs and the income received from the admin fee charged to funders.

We have a three year commitment to the project, which we expect to become self-sustaining.

Feenix has raised R22 million and funded 800 tertiary students, since inception. 650 students were funded in 2018. Standard Bank employees have contributed R850 000 of this amount. The Feenix Trust owns the Feenix.org domain, ensuring professional and accountable handling of all funds raised and disbursed. Feenix won the Public Intellectual Influencer Brand Award at the 2018 Brand Summit South Africa and was recognised by Next Generation in their 2018 Innovation and Impact Research Report as a leader of the pack.

Lehlogonolo Malemela
FEENIX RECIPIENT
“I got an email from the University of Pretoria saying that my debt has been settled. This debt had been an obstacle that prevented me from moving forward in my education and career. To my sponsors, who I will probably never get the opportunity to thank in person, you have no idea what you have done, not only for me, but also for my family. Thank you a million times. I have no idea what the future holds, but I can guarantee you that you have contributed a lot to it... I thank you. I am ecstatic. I feel blessed. I am grateful.”
UPDATE ON THE DISCOVERY FOUNDATION-STANDARD BANK PARTNERSHIP

In South Africa, the National Student Financial Aid Scheme provides assistance to underprivileged students, whose parents’ annual income is less than R100 000. However, students who fall outside this threshold struggle to access conventional bank loans, because they cannot provide surety against the loan. Using a capital base of R20 million from the Discovery Foundation as surety, we have disbursed student loans worth R15.7 million at the University of Pretoria’s medical school since 2016, benefiting 148 ‘missing middle’ medical students. Of the 148 students, 37 have now completed their medical degrees. We believe this solution has the potential to substantially increase the number of students that could qualify for an affordable loan, on a sustainable basis.

Our bursary programmes upport deserving students to obtain degrees in critical skills areas. We also partner with government institutions in some countries. In 2018, we funded 389 students.

We provided 296 bursaries for students at South African universities, to the value of R35.7 million. 130 of these bursaries were directly awarded and managed by Standard Bank and 166 were funded through the Ikusasa Financial Aid Programme (ISFAP). ISFAP is a public-private partnership between government and corporates, aimed specifically at addressing the funding gap for the so-called ‘missing middle’. In 2017, Standard Bank funded full cost bursaries for 172 students. We continued to fund these students in 2018, less the six that exited the programme.

In 2018, 12 of our bursary recipients who graduated in 2017 were employed by Standard Bank. They include:

Lindokuhle Twala,
who received a bursary to complete his engineering degree from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. While studying, he worked as a petrol attendant to support his family. In 2018, he joined the bank’s graduate programme.
Mmakole Mphalele,
the first person in her family to be awarded a degree. She excelled in her internship at the bank in 2017, earning further sponsorship to complete her postgraduate degree in risk management. She’ll be joining the bank’s risk graduate programme in 2019.
Olwethu Myeza,
who received a bursary in 2015 to study computer science at the University of Cape Town. Circumstances delayed the completion of his studies, but his resilience and tenacity caught the attention of our leaders who offered him mentorship in his final year. He graduated in 2018 and will participate in a Standard Bank graduate development programme in 2019.

Standard Bank and the University of Johannesburg have partnered to support 10 exceptional students through their undergraduate and post-graduate studies, through the Actuationist programme. Two of these students started their careers in Standard Bank in 2019.

We also run specific bursary programmes in key countries in Africa Regions. For example: Standard Bank Malawi has launched a MK120 million (R2.4 million) bursary programme, to run for four years. Bursaries have been provided to six students from each of the five public universities in Malawi, totalling 30 students.

The Standard Bank Chairman’s Scholarship (previously known as the Derek Cooper Scholarship) welcomed its fourth intake of 10 students in October 2018. Our 2018 investment of R7.8 million brings the total number of beneficiaries to 33, across eight African countries (South Africa, Ghana, Zambia, Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and Zimbabwe). The scholarship is awarded to a small number of exceptional African graduates, who we believe have the potential to become influential leaders in business, politics and/or civil society, to pursue post-graduate studies at top international universities. Our alumni include:

Zainab Haruna,
who completed an MSc in African development in 2017, at the London School of Economics and Political Science and has established a youth-led social enterprise in her home country, Nigeria, aimed at building entrepreneurs and sustainable enterprises and improving the quality of education.
Lesego Holzapfel,
who has co-founded Raise the Children International, a registered non-profit organisation in South Africa which supports orphans from impoverished and rural communities and mobilises resources for these children to access higher education. As a former volunteer teacher in a rural school near her hometown of Mmabatho, Lesego believes in education-based solutions to poverty. She’s also the founder and CEO of Bokamoso Impact Investments, a social enterprise dedicated to uplifting remote underdeveloped areas of the country through agriculture and entrepreneurship.