Anglo American, one of the world"s largest mining companies, today unveiled a new project to create more jobs, support entrepreneurship and boost local economies in South Africa, a move welcomed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The multinational corporation is answering the Business Call to Action (BCtA), a global initiative challenging companies to apply their business expertise, technology and innovative spirit to tackling poverty and contributing to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), eight anti-poverty targets with a 2015 deadline.
Today"s announcement makes Anglo American the first company from the extractive industry to have a project accepted by BCtA.
The company seeks to set up 12 enterprise development hubs in areas experiencing high unemployment in South Africa, spurring the creation of 25,000 new jobs in up to 1,500 new businesses across the country over the next seven years.
It will provide mentoring as well as financing for small business start-ups, targeting the most vulnerable people, and seeks to expand to Chile and Brazil in the near future.
"Long-term economic growth is vital to the fight against global poverty and business investment is vital to building economic growth," said Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator. "Today, business leaders are rewriting the value equation to show that true worth comes not only from profits but from making a positive difference."