Sending a powerful message to empower the South African community. The Giant Flag is a world-first green innovation project that celebrates the spirit of South Africa, her land and her people, while bringing together job creation, clean energy and tourism.
We were thrilled to learn that our partner, EasyEquities, had partnered with this initiative. The EasyEquities team also empower individuals through democratising access to share ownership, allowing South Africans to build wealth.
This is a guest blog written by Standwa Nongauza, who is one of the EasyEquities brand rockstars. In this blog he shares how the two are inter-connected.
Many members in our community will ask us what EasyEquities has to do with the Giant Flag intiative, and how the two are inter-connected. In my view, the EasyEquities project has quite a few parallels with the Giant Flag initiative, including our objective to change the entire landscape in our respective fields. While there are contrasts, our destinies are geared toward a similar bigger picture: growing community, making a mark in the economy, and inclusivity.
That’s why I tapped up the two fearless leaders that have made both worlds possible. Guy Lieberman, the founder of Giant Flag, and Charles Savage, CEO of EasyEquities (and Purple Group). I asked them both three questions on making their respective projects work. Here’s what they’ve had to say:
What kind of short-term sacrifices have you and your team had to make to get your project up and running?
Guy Lieberman: The Giant Flag team, and here I refer to both staff, trustees and core stakeholders, have really had to extend themselves in ways beyond the norm. Everyone that works on the project is deeply and personally connected to it. They can see it in their minds eye; they can imagine the expanse of colour, the solar field, the growing tunnels, the sheer scale of the Flag. And this motivates them, as it does me, to keep pushing, to forge ahead, even when we know that social enterprise visions like these need others who are just like us to support the project.
Charles Savage: The biggest sacrifice anyone has to make in any organisation that has our kind of ambition is time. Giving up weekends and time with our families and friends is how you can really tell that your team is truly invested in the vision we share as a company.
What do you anticipate to be the most rewarding part of this project once complete?
Guy: Besides the experience of seeing the solar field generating 5 megawatts of power, of witnessing the growing tunnels fully functioning and producing food, of noticing the slow, gradual growth of the desert plants as they expand in size and become richer in colour, will be the faces of the people on the Giant Flag. The faces of the staff, hundreds of them, working on one or other part of the project best suited to their skills, and watching the eyes of the visitors light up when they witness the Giant Flag for the first time.
Charles: Seeing more and more South Africans taking part in the markets, and proactively empowering themselves in in their personal financial journeys is what motivates me. As much as it took a lot of technical work to create a platform that breaks down the traditional barriers to entry, seeing hundreds of thousands of South Africans actually taking up the challenge to break the walls is incredibly satisfying.
When people hear of your organisation, what do you hope to inspire in them?
Guy: When people see or hear of the Giant Flag, we hope to inspire a sense of everything that South Africans actually stand for, beyond our factionalism and our fears, beyond our pessimism, and grasp that the Giant Flag is in fact an installation to our maturity, to our health as a nation, to our awesomeness.
Charles: Agency, and the sense of power being in their hands. Participation in the markets isn’t just about getting rich, but about being part of something bigger than yourself as well. Every South African can actively participate in the direction of brands they love and companies they’re invested in as shareholders. I hope they feel empowered, where they may have otherwise thought they had no business getting involved.
Do you agree with the parallels? We would like to know if you can draw any more similarities between the two worlds. Hit us up on social media and shout about it.
Be part of this historic project with the Easy Community and the rest of the nation. Full details here.