Student Seed Fund


Test Funding Available

30 Oct

Application Deadline

R100 000

Seed Funding Available


The  Bertha Centre for Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship and the SAB Foundation (SABF)  have partnered to offer the Student Seed Fund to social innovators and entrepreneurs as part of their joint missions to catalyse and invest in change makers. 

The Student Seed Fund (SSF) provides all UCT, UCT GSB and RAA students, with innovative ideas for tackling social or environmental problems in low-income communities, with access to seed capital at the business model discovery (or pre- startup) phase and the startup phase. The Student Seed Fund will support innovative ideas with test funding of up to R20 000 and social enterprise startups with seed funding of up to R100 000.

* For the amount that is applied for, clear backing projections of how it will be spent will need to be provided by applicants.


Pre-Startup: The student has identified a specific issue, which he/she is passionate about. The problem solution and product market fit needs validation and the business model could still be unclear. At this phase, activities typically concentrate on the development of a feasibility plan, pitching deck, prototypes and early market testing. The overall goal is to develop a tested blue print for a startup.

Startup: The business model is clear, repeatable and scalable, the product development is finalized and initial marketing has taken place. At this phase, activities typically concentrate on the first commercial sales, the establishment of the organisation and a final business plan. The overall goal is to test and conduct market validation for an early stage venture.


The evaluation criteria for test and start-up funding will relate to the impact potential, overall sustainability of the business model, as well as team capabilities (or "delivery potential").

Potential for Impact

1. The idea or enterprise addresses a particular social need in an innovative manner (preference will be given to high-impact models). 

2. Evidence that the targeted community/end-users will engage with the idea or enterprise. 


1. The idea or enterprise has a viable and potentially financially sustainable business model. 

2. Budget estimations are realistic.

Team Capabilities

1. The individual or team has the relevant experience and expertise.

2. The individual or team has demonstrated commitment and passion for the enterprise.  


Test Funding

The test funding supports current students who have developed and researched an innovative idea and require cash funding for further development and pilot to refine their business model. The test funding is up to R20 000.

Eligibility Criteria

1. Applicants currently enrolled as a University of Cape Town, UCT Graduate School of Business (UCT GSB) student including RAA students.

2. Student has developed and researched a social innovative idea.

3. Requires cash funding for further development and pilot to refine business model.

Startup Funding

The seed capital supports current and recent students who have made significant steps towards product development and require cash funding for market validation and enterprise sustainability. The seed funding is up to R100 000. 

Eligibility Criteria

Applicants are either recent graduates (two years) of UCT or current students who intend to graduate the following year from their UCT programmes, again including RAA.

Student has made significant steps towards product development, and can demonstrate progress made since initial seed funding (if applicable).

Requires cash funding for market validation and enterprise sustainability.


For more information or inquiries, please contact or on 021 406 1033. 



Student Seed Fund

Access seed capital for your innovative business idea/startup. Application deadline 30 October 2018.

Apply Today



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