Socio-economic Development is managed along firm and transparent criteria, as well as clear corporate governance principles detailed in our Socio-economic Development Policy Document and Operational Guidelines.

Socio-economic Development Policy Document and Operational Guidelines

The Socio-economic Development is supported by the Board and employees within the organisation:

  • A Director and Socio-Economic Development Manager approve all funding. The Chief Executive Officer and a Director approve the annual budget.
  • The Socio-Economic Development Manager and two Socio-economic Development officers manage and support the operational aspects of the programme.
  • Branch Managers and employees are regularly involved in the handover of donations in the communities close to their stores.
  • The Head Office merchandising team assists in sourcing merchandise items as donations.
  • The Social Ethics  Committee includes five Directors of the Lewis Group Board.
  • We support projects which strive towards self-sustainability. Regular feedback is required for our support to continue.

The Funding Process

The funding application form requires full contact details; the project description and proposed objectives and outcomes; a realistic and comprehensive budget; the plans for sustainability and what is required of the Lewis Group. Requests can be submitted via our website online submissions link.

The group places a high value on direct, first-hand information and ensures that information is gathered in a thorough and unbiased manner.
Projects are assessed for:

  • Proven project model
  • Project sustainability
  • Transparency
  • Quality management team
  • Accountability/Responsibility
  • Fits our investment strategy
  • Does the project genuinely address community issues or problems?
  • Is the project viable and socially acceptable?
  • Is the community itself prepared to commit its support for the project?
  • Is the project high risk? Is it a pilot?
  • What contributions are the various role-players expected to make?
  • The ratio of administration costs to beneficiary spend
  • The viability of the organisation
  • Exposure to reputational risk
  • Any other vital issues or considerations affecting the project

Successful requests for significant levels of funding are presented to the funding committee for consideration.  This committee consists of the SED Manager, and a Director.

A deeper evaluation of the potential beneficiary takes place and usually requires more in-depth information from the applicant and where possible, a visit to the project. If the committee is satisfied with the additional research and outcome of the field visit, then the proposal will be approved and signed off. The projects then enter the funding state where the Company and beneficiary enter into a legally binding contract, if necessary, and arrange timelines and deliverables.

Wherever possible, Lewis facilitates procurement and negotiates best prices on behalf of the beneficiaries.