Absa Bank Limited  launched its Shared Growth strategy in 2016.

Absa’s Shared Growth commitment, based on Harvard Business and Michael E. Porter’s principles of creating Shared Value, is to make a difference and to uplift communities in which it operates whilst creating value for its shareholders 

To ensure integrity and impartiality, Tshikululu was hired in 2016 as an independent entity to manage a request for proposal and review process.

The purpose of Absa Bank’s Share Growth strategy is to identify societal problems that the organisation can assist in solving and by doing so, can both improve the prosperity of the communities, and increase the opportunities for itself as a business. Theirs is a three-pronged strategy, focussing on education and skills (Ready to Work programme); enterprise development; and consumer financial education (financial inclusion). In order to select partners to drive its Shared Growth strategy, Absa needed an independent entity to manage the request for proposal process across all three pillars, including designing the request, analysing proposals and making recommendations. Tshikululu was selected as the partner to drive this process.


As a starting point, Tshikululu needed to understand the ‘why’ and the ‘what’ of Absa’s Shared Growth Strategy. Once this was clearly understood, the request for proposal process was then initiated. This involved:
• Compiling and launching three application forms
• Marketing the request for proposal through various channels •Due diligence of all applicants
• Drafting a shortlist of recommended organisations
• Detailed review of selected organisations

Using Tshikululu’s longstanding expertise; an initial governance screening process was carried out on all 105 applications received. This was to ensure that these organisations had submitted mandatory documentation which included amongst others; latest signed audited financial statements; registration documents; B-BBEE Certificate and/or Evidence of SED points’ status; and proof of accreditation by an appropriate governing body i.e. SAQA or SETA. Tshikululu also developed a scoring matrix, and each organisation was given a rating based on a specific set of criteria. Incorporating all the above, Tshikululu drew up a shortlist of recommended organisations for support by Absa

Following the presentation, Absa selected organisations from the shortlist. Tshikululu was then directed to compile a detailed review of these organisations following Tshikululu’s tried-and-tested recommendation method which reviews the organisation, its finance, governance, track record, funding request and of particular importance, the suitability of the organisations’ proposed implementation plan. The detailed recommendations were then provided to Absa for their trustees to then make the final decision.

Appointing Tshikululu to manage Absa’s request for proposal and review drew on Tshikululu’s core strengths in terms of due diligence, integrity and impartiality.

Since this process was conducted in 2016, Absa once again appointed Tshikululu to manage the Shared Growth request for proposals the following year.