Bertha Centre Scholarships


The Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship was established as a specialised unit at the UCT Graduate School of Business (GSB) in 2011, in partnership with Bertha Foundation, a family foundation that works with inspiring leaders who are catalysts for social and economic change. 

Through this partnership the GSB strengthens its commitment to transformation and equality and UCT’s strategic goal to address key development challenges facing Africa. 

While the Bertha Foundation supports activists, storytellers and lawyers across the world, who are working to bring about social and economic justice, and human rights for all; the Bertha Centre Scholars at the GSB are part of a larger Bertha Foundation network of “troublemakers/radical actors” whose purpose it is to challenge the status quo for social justice - in this case through social innovation and entrepreneurship. 

What does the scholarship offer? 

The Bertha Centre Scholarship covers full or partial costs of a wide variety of programmes at the UCT Graduate School of Business. These include the MBA (both full-time and the modular programme), the MPhil in Inclusive Innovation, and PhD programmes. The scholarship caters for candidates* committed to advancing social justice and pioneering inclusive opportunities through social innovation and entrepreneurship.

* provided they meet the admissions requirements of the university

Should I apply?

The Bertha Centre scholarships are open to innovators, entrepreneurs, out-of-the-box thinkers, system-entrepreneurs, change-makers, social activists and cross-disciplinary candidates from any field provided they are actively involved in the exploration of social, environmental and/or economic justice using innovative approaches. 

Am I eligible?

If you are an African citizen (or a South African permanent resident for at least one year.)

If you have: 

  1. started or worked with a social/green/entrepreneurial innovative idea that seeks social or economic change; or
  2. if you have worked on advancing social justice and pioneering inclusive opportunities through social innovation within an organisation for at least one year. 

Experience in these fields would be preferable, as well as a track record of action exploring or initiating innovative approaches in these sectors.

If you can demonstrate strong leadership qualities within your field.

Finally, you must demonstrate some level of financial need for the scholarship*.

* We consider any circumstance that would make self-funding the degree programme a significant burden, including previous work experience, personal background or demonstrated commitment to start a social venture.

If you are interested, follow these steps to apply

You must first be eligible, comply with and apply for the MBA or MPhil programmes entrance requirements at the UCT Graduate School of Business*. 

You would then submit the Bertha Centre Scholarship Application Form which should include:

  • Your UCT GSB application number received from the GSB Admissions Office
  • Your contact details and your CV uploaded
  • Your answers to the three essay questions, which shows how the degree programme at this stage in your career will help to accelerate impact in your area of work/interest and how it will contribute to society as a whole.
  • Your short [no longer than four minute] video.

*For full details about the MBA programme and the MPhil in Inclusive Innovation programme, eligibility, criteria and how to apply click here.  

Note: You will only be able to take up the Bertha Centre Scholarship if you are successfully admitted to the UCT GSB MBA, MPhil or PhD programmes. 

Your submission will be assessed and the Bertha Centre will contact you only if you have been selected for an interview with the scholarship selection panel. 


* Subject to change.

1. Applications Open 17 July 2017
2. Application deadline 31 October 2017
3. Scholarship shortlisting (internal committee meeting) 14 - 15 November 2017
4. Shortlisted applicants invited for interview 16 - 17 November 2017
5. Interviews 28 November 2017
6. Scholarship committee meeting (internal) 29 November 2017
7. Scholarships offered 30 November – 4 December 2017


Canon Collins Trust

The Bertha Foundation

Frequently asked questions

  1. Does the scholarship apply to international students not having lived in an African country?
    Candidates must be South African or African citizens or must have been a permanent resident in South Africa or an African country for at least one year prior to applying.
  2. Does the scholarship apply to an MBA at any other university?
    The scholarship only applies to the MBA, MPhil or PhD studies at the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business.
  3. Would the scholarship be available to Modular MBA students as well?
    Yes, it will be.
  4. I have completed the online scholarship application; do you need anything else from me?
    You will need to complete the UCT GSB MBA or MPhil application process to be admitted onto the programme. This is a separate application to the Bertha Centre’s scholarship application process and is a requirement. Please see UCT GSB application processes here.
  5. What supporting documents do I need to send with my application?
    Applicants must supply the following documents:
    • Your UCT GSB student registration number.
    • Your UCT GSB student registration number.
    • A cover letter/motivational letter.
    • A copy of your CV.
    • Your short video 

Contact The Bertha Centre

E-mail:  berthascholarships@gsb.uct.ac.za

Tel:  +27 (0)21 406 1524 / 1514


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