Anglo American empowers entrepreneurs

One of the BCtA (Business Call to Action) companies is Anglo American. Anglo American is one of the world’s largest mining companies focusing on platinum group metals, diamonds, copper, nickel, iron ore, metallurgical and thermal coal. With its BCtA commitment, it vows to create 25,000 new jobs through 1,500 new businesses over a 7 years period by establishing 12 enterprise development hubs in communities in South Africa. Entrepreneurs will be able to receive loans and mentoring to start businesses and will also receive access to the existing supply chain.

The support provided by the Anglo American Small Business Hub reaches entrepreneurs beyond the direct mining circle. For instance, it provided loans to Mahlangu and Bam, two women who were keen on starting a restaurant serving the mining community. Their dream was made possible through the Hub that provided them 489,000 Rand ($67,000) loan to buy necessary equipment. Now, Mahlangu and Bam have employed 5 more people and are netting 82,000 ($11,000) a month!

For Anglo American, South African operation is valued at more than $50 Billion. They understand that for enhancing its investment and promoting competitiveness, a sustainable and broad-based community development is critical. While Anglo American can go the route of pouring in money into philanthropic initiative, this decision of empowering local communities through facilitation of entrepreneurship by including entrepreneurs directly and indirectly into the broader supply chain, Anglo defines a new form of development through private sector involvement. As far as the business model is concerned, Anglo American sustains the administrative costs from income earned through loan interest rates.

In the coming years, Anglo American plans on doubling the enterprise development hubs to 24 and invest in an additional 280 enterprises annually scaling up similar development activities in Chile and Brazil. And this is what BCtA envisions, an efficient private sector directly contributing to development and local empowerment, the benefits of which undoubtedly has a lasting impacts.


  1. This is very interesting, thanks for sharing! Would you call Anglo American a social enterprise? Or are their activities part of CSR pressures? Do they believe that supporting community development is crucial to their business model?

  2. Thanks for these critical questions. The BCtA (Business Call to Action) initiative is only focused on core business models that is beyond the mere philanthrophic and CSR initiatives but have high developmental impacts. In other words, if these types of programs do not add vaule to their core business strategy, a.k.a. make money in the long run, BCtA rejects the application. Anglo American is a multi billion dollar for-profit company, which in one sense cannot be considered as social enterprise. However, the end results are what social enterprises long to create – sustainalbe, market based and demand driven economic development. Additionally, in the process, the scale of these projects empower both regular and social entrepreneurs, such as the one created by Mahlangu and Bam.

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