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Shared Value Champion: Peter McNamara, Good Shepherd Microfinance

March 4, 2019

What does shared value mean to you?

For me the concept of Shared Value represents a way for organisations to address social issues while engaging in new and sustainable opportunities.

There are 3 million Australians living in poverty with approximately 1 million that are considered ‘working poor’.  This means that there are people choosing ‘heating over eating in winter’ and they are missing opportunities for their kids to shine.  The economic and social consequences are that a sizeable portion of Australians are unable to participate and contribute to the community.

What led you individually to the shared value concept? How did you come across it?

Through our partnerships, I became aware of Shared Value in 2015.  Partnering and collaborating for impact is the key to our work, so the approach of collaborating to address social issues made it a natural fit for Good Shepherd Microfinance.

What does shared value success look like at your company and where is your company on the journey?

Partnering and collaboration for impact is the key to our work. Good Shepherd Microfinance partners with 160 not-for-profits across 600 locations nationwide, as well with over 30 businesses and state and federal governments.

For over 15 years we have partnered with NAB delivering over $200 million in no-interest and low-interest loans to over 500,000 people doing it tough.

The impact so far has made a huge difference to the lives of so many but there is much more to be done.  By 2021, our goal is to enable financial inclusion for 1 million Australians on low incomes through partnerships, programs and advocacy.

What is your role as a leader in supporting shared value within your organisation?

I lead by demonstrating the values of Good Shepherd Microfinance – human dignity, respect, social justice, audacity, compassion and reconciliation – which align with my own personal values.

The culture of Good Shepherd Microfinance is to collaborate and share our learnings with partners to find new ways to solve the problems of poverty and inequality. 

How has practicing shared value helped you individually in your role or career more generally?

Improving the lives of those less fortunate, especially women and girls, is our purpose and in our DNA.  What I hear on a weekly basis from all sectors, is a genuine desire to address social issues.  We all want the best for our community regardless of where we work.

Being recognised as a Shared Value Award winner in 2018 for “Winner, Civil society organisation leading through shared value” has been a terrific acknowledgement of the work of our team and partners.

What do you think are some pertinent issues in Australia that could be solved through creating shared value?

Addressing financial exclusion for the 3 million Australians currently living in poverty can be solved through creative, collaborative and innovative partnerships between the not-for-profit businesses and government sectors. 

We are stronger together.

Join us as we hear from Peter McNamara on a panel of business and government leaders at our upcoming Insight event. Register your attendance here.