Careers Portal

Bertha Centre

Bertha Centre for Social Innovation

Bertha Scholarships

Bertha Scholarships. Picture: Bev MeldrumThe Bertha Scholarships were created to nurture a new generation of social innovators, and to explore entrepreneurial solutions to help solve some of the urgent social, economic, environmental and humanitarian challenges of our time.

The combination of scholarship, geographic location and leading academic content in emerging markets at the UCT GSB, provides a unique opportunity for the most talented and innovative African students.

Bertha Scholars are Africa-based social innovators with commitment and a track record to creating positive change.


MBA and MPhil Scholarships

The Bertha Scholarship covers either the full or partial costs of the MBA and MPhil in Inclusive Innovation programmes at the UCT Graduate School of Business for candidates committed to social innovation and entrepreneurship.

What is the scholarship?

The Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship offers up to five Bertha full or partial MBA and MPhil scholarships to students that have met the requirements for these programmes and who are driven by their pursuit of social justice. The focus will be on encouraging scholars on their journey to generate inclusive opportunities to advance social justice.

The Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship has been established at the GSB as a result of a partnership between the GSB and the Bertha Foundation. In addition to the Bertha Scholarship, the Centre will drive research in, and promote the practice of social innovation and entrepreneurship and will provide a variety of courses, practical learning opportunities and networks for any interested students attending UCT GSB.

Please see the information below about eligibility and applying for the Bertha Scholarship.

What areas does the scholarship focus on?

The Bertha Scholarships are open to candidates in any field where they have been exploring social and/or environmental impact through innovative approaches.

The Bertha Centre is also interested in candidates who are aligned to its key focus areas:

  • Innovative Finance – social finance and impact investing
  • Inclusive Healthcare Innovation – innovations in healthcare delivery
  • Education Innovations – innovations that improve quality and access to education

(See the Bertha Centre website for more details on these initiatives)

Am I eligible?

The criteria used for selection of Bertha Scholars are: 

  1. Candidates must be South African / African Citizens and or a Permanent Resident for at least 1 full year.
  2. Candidates must have started or worked in an entrepreneurial or social or green venture, or have worked on a socially innovative or sustainable strategies within an organisation for at least one year. Should you be interested in one of the focus areas, experience in these fields would be preferable, as well as a track record of exploring or initiating innovative approaches in these sectors.
  3. Candidates must demonstrate a strong moral character, strong entrepreneurial drive, a track record of action, leadership qualities, traits of social activism and a commitment to the sustainable development of emerging economies.
  4. Through the submission of an essay, candidates must show how the degree programme at this stage in their career will help to accelerate their impact and how it will contribute to the wider creation of value for society. 
  5. Candidates must demonstrate some need for the scholarship, through either previous work experience, personal background or demonstrated commitment to start a social venture, which make self-funding the degree programme a significant burden. 

How do I apply?

  1. Candidates must first be eligible, comply with and apply for the MBA or MPhil programmes entrance requirements at the UCT Graduate School of Business. For full details about the MBA programme and the MPhil in Inclusive Innovation, eligibility, criteria and how to apply click here.
  2. Interested candidates should submit the Bertha Scholarship Application Form together with their UCT application number received from the GSB Admissions Office, contact details and CV.
  3. Candidates are then notified if they are selected for an interview.
  4. The final decision and award of the scholarship will be made by a Scholarship selection panel. Candidates will only be able to take up the Bertha Scholarship if successfully admitted to the UCT GSB MBA or MPhil programmes.


MBA and MPhil scholarship applications TBC

    PhD Scholarships

    We currently have no PhD scholarships available, due to existing scholars still completing their research. 


    Key dates for the application process TBC.



    Applications open


    Application deadline


    Scholarship shortlisting


    Shortlisted applicants invited for interview




    Scholarships offered


    We advise that your application process begins as early as possible and do not wait until the deadline. 

    Once your application has been received, a shortlisting committee will evaluate your application using our selection criteria for the Scholarship, to produce a final candidate interview list.

    We hold interviews mid December. If you are unable to attend in person we will interview you by Skype or phone.

    We aim to tell you within two weeks of the interview whether you have been successful.

    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?
      We normally ask candidates to supply the following documents in support of their application:
        • Your UCT GSB student registration number.
        • A cover letter/motivational letter.
        • A copy of your CV.


          Bertha Centre


          Tel:  +27 (0)21 406 1470/1524/1481