Co-Founder, Utando Social Impact Solutions
Honoree Year: 2021
University of Cape Town
Graduate School of Business
Area of Impact:
Early in his career, Alforde Charumbira rose up the corporate ladder in South Africa, becoming chief financial officer for the VW Group and then director at FMI. He is a co-founder of the holding company Ukwaba Group (formerly Isithemba Group), with interests in construction, logistics, and property. For the last six years Charumbira has focused on Utando Social Impact Consultancy, which he also co-founded.
Utando works with leading companies to design corporate social responsibility programs and measure their impact. Together they focus on employing individuals, particularly women, from previously zero-income households and demonstrating the impact of such initiatives on individuals, families, and communities. The work has resulted in more than50 families earning an income for the first time. Utando has also worked with over 15 startups on growth strategies, fundraising, and impact assessments, resulting in job creation, access to commodities, and additional income for families.
Most recently, Charumbira was a finalist for the 2021 MBA Leadership Award from the Association of MBAs and the Business Graduates Association (AMBA-BGA).
Charumbira credits his postgraduate diploma in business administration from the University of Cape Town (UCT) and his MBA from UTC’s Graduate Business School (GSB), with instilling in him the importance of good leadership. He believes business leaders should also empower communities and stand against inequality.
With a former classmate, Charumbira co-founded Utando Social Impact Solutions, merging his finance and management background with his deep concern for the community to find innovative solutions to social problems through entrepreneurship. He believes that corporations have a major role to play in changing communities, particularly given the growing inequality in the world. However, corporations need help developing strategies, identifying opportunities for collaboration, implementing programs, and measuring their impact to ensure efficient deployment of their resources and to maximize their impact on individuals, families, and communities.To that end, Utando developed a unique impact assessment and measurement tool that provides feedback on efficiency and effectiveness.
In a UCTGSB article that featured the tool, Charumbira shared, “I care deeply about the role that business plays in society and the community and how we can bring small entrepreneurs into the mainstream economy.” Consequently, he has served as entrepreneur-in-residence at UCTGSB’sSolution Space in Phillippi, South Africa, where he was a volunteer mentor for young businesspeople and community members. In that capacity, Charumbira coached and mentored the two founding partners of Estratweni Mobile Foods, a social enterprise that intentionally hires and trains marginalized youth to give them work, hope, and a second chance. The company now has four food trailers and employs five full-time and five part-time staff. Learn more about their story.