Careers Portal

Bertha Centre for Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Bertha Centre


17 May 2017

GSB Innovation and New Ventures Career Fair

The UCT GSB Career Services is hosting the 2017 Innovation and New Ventures Career Fair on 17th May. The fair is specifically aimed at showcasing the various social enterprise opportunities to students, and is a chance for current and past students to learn more about careers within the social impact sector.

Alumni and businesses who are engaged in the social impact sector are encouraged to attend, as this is a valuable opportunity to collaborate and to bring synergy between great work with/and through partnerships.

When: Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Time: 13:00 – 17:00

Venue: Exhibition Hall, UCT Graduate School of Business, Cape Town

If you would like to get involved, to host your own booth please email Fiona at for more information.

24 May 2017

Social Impact Career Day

Connect with students interested in working in a range of social impact fields and showcase your business, share your career advice, and help to shed light on the changes you see happening in various employment sectors.

The Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the UCT Careers Service would like to invite you to participate at the Social Impact Careers day. Come and meet UCT students who are interested in making a social impact and introduce them to your organisation.

This will be a great way to meet and get to know our students in an informal setting.  Students are briefed that this will not be a traditional recruitment drive, but more an opportunity for companies to extend their brand on campus, and allow students to learn more about your company and industry.

The day will also promote local networking and honest conversations amongst participants and organisations, providing an opportunity to share lessons learned from a range of professionals who have chosen different career paths to social impact.

When: Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Time: 09:30 – 14:30

Venue: Leslie Social Science Mezzanine level, UCT Upper Campus

To book your stand please click here. Registrations close on Wednesday, 26 April 2017.

Please email Katusha de Villiers ( or Dale Choudree ( for more information.

Previous Events


23 March 2017

Bertha Centre Collective #2
Impact Investing: Where do we go from here?

"Impact investing refers to investments made into companies, organisations, and funds with the intention to generate positive social and environmental impact, alongside financial return

Join us at our Collective in March where we will tackle the question ‘Impact Investing: Where do we go from here?’.  In this Collective, we will have speakers presenting their top five trends for impact investing globally and in Africa.  They will engage with you to discuss these trends and what it means for social enterprises, non-profits, investors, foundations, corporate and government.

Speakers will include:

When: Thursday, March 23, 2017

Time: 17:30 – 19:00

Venue: MTN Solution Space, Learning Lab, UCT Graduate School of Business, Cape Town

23 February 2017 

Bertha Centre Collective #1
B Corp SA

How can business in South Africa engage more deeply to be a “force for good?” A growing B Corp Movement may hold some answers.

For our first Collective, please join us as we introduce you to B Lab, a global non-profit B Lab to incubate a B Corporations movement in South Africa.

B Corporations are for-profit companies that use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. Certified by the non-profit B Lab, B Corporations meet higher standards of purpose, accountability, and transparency than traditional companies. Globally there are more than 2000 Certified B Corporations including companies like Patagonia and Ben & Jerry’s. Eleven founding B Corps are now pioneering the B Corp model in South Africa. The ultimate goal of the B Corp movement is to create shared and durable prosperity for all.

Join us for a panel discussion with B Lab SA Executive Director and 3 local B Corps:

 Some of the questions we hope to unpack will include:

  • How does your company live out its B Corp Values?
  • What do you recommend to companies in terms of improving their social and environmental performance that might be earlier in their journeys?
  • What do you think B Corps can do together in South Africa that they can’t do on their own?
  • What will South Africa look like when a B Corp movement is successful in South Africa? What is unique about the B Corp movement in the South African context?

When:   Thursday, February 23, 2017
Time:    17:30 – 19:00
Venue:  MTN Solution Space, Learning Lab, UCT Graduate School of Business, Cape Town

Light refreshments and wine will be served.

About B Corp SA

B Lab SA’s mission is to serve a movement of people using business as a force for good in South Africa. Its vision is that one day all companies compete not only to be the best in the world, but the Best for the World® and as a result society will enjoy a more shared and durable prosperity.  Learn more

You can follow B Labs on their Facebook and Twitter pages.


30 November 2016 Bertha Centre Collective #9
Launch: The first Innovative Finance in Africa Review

Join our Innovative Finance Initiative for the launch of the first Innovative Finance in Africa Review. This review is a showcase of the outstanding models and practices that make up the innovative finance ecosystem across Africa. It also builds on the Centre's two previous Reviews, i.e. the Health Innovator's Review (published in 2014) and the South African Education Innovator's Review (published in 2015.)

As the innovative finance ecosystem has evolved over the past decade, there have been many breakthroughs in the design and implementation of innovative finance. Over the last five years, our Innovative Finance Initiative has worked with social finance experts across the world and partnered with governments, enterprises and investors to research, incubate and test promising innovative finance models and vehicles across Africa.

This review emphasises the outstanding work that is being done across the Innovative Finance space in Africa, it will shine a spotlight on the key drivers in the creation of, innovative financing strategies and new business models.

The review launch will be an opportunity to hear insights from contributors, and attendees will have a chance to mingle and network with the Innovative Finance team and engage with the content while enjoying light refreshments.

Please join us, at our final Collective for 2016
Date: Wednesday, 30 November 2016
Time: 17:30 - 19:00
Venue: MTN Solution Space, UCT Graduate School of Business

Light refreshments will be served.

10 November 2016

A Conversation with Tolulope Ilesanmi of Zenith Cleaning

How to grow a transformative social enterprise

Join Dr. Warren Nilsson, Associate Professor in Social Innovation at the Graduate School of Business in conversation with Tolulope Ilesanmi of Zenith Cleaning where Tolu will share the story of how he founded Zenith Cleaning and grew it into a transformative social enterprise.

Cleaning is the process of removing dirt from any space, surface, object or subject thereby exposing beauty, potential, truth and sacredness. With this inspiring definition to guide them, Tolu and his colleagues are transforming the way the world views cleaning. Their cleaning focuses on the tangible and intangible: “When we clean a school, we are not just cleaning the hallways and the bathrooms but if they permit us, there is a possibility of cleaning their system of education. When we clean a church, our intention is to introduce cleaning as a spiritual practice. When we clean for a real estate developer, we can work with them to use real estate developments to clean an environment and a culture.”

Zenith Cleaning approaches cleaning not simply as a service, but also as a practice that feeds personal, organizational and societal transformation. They run a variety of ‘cleaning as practice’ programs: a leadership development program where executives become temporary cleaners and reflect on how the practice and metaphor of cleaning can be applied to their organizations; workshops with disadvantaged youth exploring how the principles of cleaning can help them navigate difficult circumstances and excel in life; on-site cleaning sessions that feed team cohesion and organizational development; and workshops in schools where students clean the school environs together, under the guidance of the school cleaning staff.

This conversation will draw on the Zenith Cleaning experience as a live case study, exploring the actions and mindsets that contributed to Zenith’s evolution from a provider of cleaning services to a re-imaginer of the very meaning and role of cleaning in the world. The latter half of the conversation will involve the audience, so please come ready to share your thoughts and questions!

We encourage people from organisations of all stripes to join us- social enterprises, NGOs, social movements, businesses, government, etc…and of course cleaners!

When: Thursday, 10 November 2016
Time:   17:30 – 19:00
Venue: MTN Solution Space, Learning Lab, UCT GSB, Cape Town

Light snacks served.

KEEPING THE CONVERSATION GOING…Tolu is in town the following day as well and would love to take the conversation out into the field. So if your organization is interested in hosting him for a morning or afternoon chat or bag lunch let us know. Contact Warren Nilsson at


I am a Nigerian Canadian with a degree in Computer Engineering and a professional background in the Nigerian banking industry. While studying for my MBA at McGill University, my wife and I started Zenith Cleaning, an eco-friendly cleaning company. After graduating, I continued my education by devoting the next 10 years to the study of cleaning, human relations, human behavior and organizational behavior. I did this not through an academic or a consulting lens but from the viewpoint of a cleaner. As David Hawkins so beautifully said, “If we can understand one simple thing in depth, we will have greatly expanded our capacity to comprehend the nature of the universe and of life itself." Together with Zenith Cleaning members and collaborators I bring 'cleaning as practice' into a variety of contexts including education, healthcare, banking, construction, criminal justice, religion, and government. We approach cleaning not simply as a service but as a practice and metaphor that applies to a wide variety of contexts.  I am a regular guest teacher at McGill University and a Visiting Scholar at Columbia University. At heart I am a cleaner, so I endeavor to bring everything beautiful about cleaning into my relationships, my talks and my work with leaders and organizations. My intention is to embody cleaning so that I leave every space better than I met it.

1 November 2016

Bertha Centre Collective #8
Discussing what equitable access to quality higher education in South Africa means

What are the core messages behind #FeesMustFall and the systemic challenges behind these?

As protest action around access to quality higher education in South Africa continues, we at the Bertha Centre have been asking this question – as individuals but also as a Centre dedicated to advancing access to quality education across the spectrum, from early childhood development to higher education.

In order to unpack what we could do to support this social movement we have invited Ramabina Mahapa, from the Tshsimani Centre for Activist Education, who served as the President of the UCT SRC in 2015 and played a influential role in the formation of the Rhodes Must Fall movement to join us for an open and non-ideological discussion.

Some of the questions we hope to unpack will include:

  • What are the core messages behind #FeesMustFall and the systemic challenges behind these?
  • How can we support equitable access to quality higher education?
  • How are we complicit in holding up the structures that necessarily need to be disrupted by #FeesMustFall?

We invite you to submit questions to us as well, before the event and/or as you arrive on Tuesday. Questions can be emailed to with Collective #8 – Question Submission in the subject line. We will try to work through some of them at our dialogue.

The discussion will be followed by an introduction and overview of the Bertha Centre’s work on higher education (especially around our work with NSFAS) and youth development.

Please join us.

When: Tuesday, November 1, 2016
Time: 5h30pm – 7h30pm
Venue: MTN Solution Space, Learning Lab, UCT Graduate School of Business, Cape Town

Light refreshments will be served.

You may also be interested in attending the UCT Graduate School of Business's round table November 11 on: Tackling the funding crisis in higher education: Exploring financing options for universities in South Africa. For more information, please visit their event page here. The round table will be facilitated by the newly appointed and announced Director of the UCT GSB Associate Professor Mills Soko.

Ramabina Mahapa served as the President of the UCT SRC in 2015 and played a influential role in the formation of the Rhodes Must Fall movement. In 2014 he served concurrently as the branch Secretary of the UCT South African Student’s Congress (SASCO) and as the Labour & Services Coordinator of the Students’ Representative Council (SRC). Ramabina recently completed the requirements for a B. Social Science degree majoring in Psychology and Philosophy. He is a avid reader and writer and has written on many topics including transformation in higher education, Africa’s development and the politics of representation. He is currently a Fellow at the Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education, funded by the Bertha Foundation.

October / November 2016

Hair, Implicit Bias and how Cultural Intelligence can heal our schools.

Shikaya and the Bertha Centre for Social Innovation present: A Day of Reflection and Learning for School Principals, Management Teams and Governing Bodies.

Recent protests in schools across South Africa have called on principals, management teams, teachers, learners and governing bodies to begin an honest reflection on the environments we have created for young people in which to learn.

The ReflectAction is an interactive day of reflection and learning together and from each other. This day will be focused on exploring solutions so that we leave with actions that can be meaningfully implemented. The overall aim is to help Principals, Management Teams and Governing Bodies to see the current school protests as potentially transformative moments in which truly inclusive, emotionally literate and culturally intelligent learning environments can be created.

The key focus:

  • exploring the impact that Implicit Bias has on schools and how this is reflected in the current protests
  • learning how Cultural Intelligence skills and attributes can help schools transform and prepare their learners for a culturally diverse world


Date:      Thursday, 20 October 2016
Venue:   Durban High School / 255 St Thomas Rd, Musgrave, Durban
Time:     09h00-16h00
RSVP:    Caroline Harrison /  |  031 277 1500


The ReflectActions will be hosted in two venues in Cape Town.


Date:      Thursday, 27 October 2016
Venue:   Solution Space Philippi Village / 1 Cwangco Crescent, Philippi
Time:     09h00-16h00
RSVP:    Louise Albertyn/  |  021 406 1258



Date:     Friday, 28 October 2016
Venue:  Rondebosch Boys’ High School / Canigou Avenue, Rondebosch
Time:    09h00-16h00
RSVP:   Alison van Rensburg /  |  021 686 3987


Date:    Tuesday, 1 November 2016
Venue: Pretoria Boys High School / 251 Roper Street, Brooklyn
Time:   09h00-16h00 (Registration and Tea served from 8:15am)


Date:    Wednesday, 2 November 2016
Venue: St Stithians College, Higher Ground Conference Room, 40 Peter Place, Sandton
Time:   09h00-16h00 (Registration and Tea served from 8:15am)

Cost: R1 000  includes resources, lunch and tea.

Limited scholarships are available for schools that cannot afford the fee.

For scholarship enquiries please contact:
Louise Albertyn  |  |  021 406 1258

For general enquiries please contact:
Dylan Wray  |  |  083 391 3709
Roy Hellenberg  |  |  082 788 0220


Payments will be accepted on the day of the ReflectAction or in advance via EFT:

First National Bank Rondebosch
Non-Profit Cheque Account: 62085631375
Branch code: 201509
Reference: Reflectaction

In partnership with:

28 September 2016

Bertha Centre Collective #7
Launch: Switching on Finance for Off-Grid Energy Report

Join our Innovative Finance Initiative for the launch of Switching on Finance for Off-Grid Energy, a state of the market report on the financing of off-grid energy provision in Eastern and Southern Africa.

More than 600 million people in Africa lack access to clean, safe and affordable energy, which is half of the global population without access. This lack of access means that the off-grid population in Sub-Saharan African spends over USD 15 billion annually on lighting and mobile charging with candles, kerosene, battery torches or other fossil-fuel powered stopgap technologies (Bloomberg New Energy Finance, 2016). However, innovations in solar technology, mobile payments and distribution models have enabled greater levels of affordable access to energy.

Although the amount of financing is increasing - public commitments focused on Africa for access to energy from private and public funders total over USD 30 billion over the next five years - accessing finance remains a major restriction to scale, according to energy access enterprises. These enterprises report that the types of capital and investment terms often do not match their needs and capabilities. In other words, if available capital is not always the issue, deploying it effectively might be. The report explores these challenges and highlights innovative and effective funding mechanisms which have started to emerge in the industry.

"We are at a historic moment when the technology now exists to leap frog fossil fuel development for parts of the world historically denied access. Wallace Global Fund is committed to investing in our assets in funds that will help scale safe, clean and affordable energy solutions," said Ellen Dorsey, Executive Director of the Wallace Global Fund. "We are pleased to support the research conducted by the Bertha Centre and WWF-SA and believe it will be a vital tool for identifying opportunities and barriers for impact investments in energy access in Africa."

Download the report
The report launch will be an opportunity to hear insights from the report and engage with industry stakeholders on innovative and effective funding mechanisms for off-grid energy in East and Southern Africa.
5:30pm - 5:45pm: Welcome and opening remarks by Anton Eberhard, Director Management Programme in Infrastructure Reform & Regulation, University Of Cape Town Graduate School of Business.
5:45pm - 6:00pm: Presentation of findings from the Switching on Finance for Off-Grid Finance Report: Tine Fisker Henriksen, Impact Investing Project Manager, Bertha Centre.

6:00pm - 6:30pm: Panel discussion on gaps and opportunities in the off-grid energy value chain.

6:30pm onwards: Networking

Experts on the panel include:

  • Louise Scholtz, Manager of Special Projects: Policy & Futures Unit WWF SA
  • Henning Brand, Project Manager South Africa: Solarus
  • Altesh Baijoo, Chief Marketing Officer, Rainfin

30 August 2016

Bertha Centre Collective #6

Uncovering, Pioneering, Connecting & Advancing: The Bertha Centre Scholars Live

This month at our Bertha Centre Collective, the 2016 cohort of Bertha Centre scholars will focus on connecting the Bertha Centre’s impact model to their work as scholars. The Collective will be structured Pecha Kucha style with short picture slide presentations. The Bertha Centre scholars who will be presenting include:

  • Zebedia Ntini, RAA Bertha scholar 2016
  • Shamillah Wilson, MPhil Bertha Scholar 2016
  • Zamandlovu Ndlovu, MPhil Bertha Scholar 2016
  • Sherri Le Motte, MPhil Bertha Scholar 2016
  • Clint Maggot, MBA Bertha scholar 2016
  • Lulamile Makaula, MPhil Bertha Scholar 2016
  • Fergus Turner, MPhil Bertha Scholar 2015
  • Ella Scheepers, MBA Bertha scholar 2015

The idea is to showcase the work the Bertha Centre scholars are doing (in research and in the world) giving life to the Bertha Centre’s mission to ‘uncover, pioneer, connect innovators and entrepreneurs to generate inclusive opportunities and advance social justice in Africa.’

The Bertha Centre Collective will be followed by a Twitter Townhall, in which any questions about the Bertha Centre’s Scholarships will be answered. You can follow the conversation and engage with us by using the hashtag #BCScholarships.

When: Tuesday, 30 August 2016
Time:   17:00 – 18:30
Venue: MTN Solution Space, Learning Lab, UCT GSB, Cape Town

Light snacks served.

18 August 2016

Lunch time talk with Ndidi Okonkwo Nwuneli

Join us for a lunchtime talk with the Founder of LEAP Africa and also the co-founder of AACE Foods., where she will talk about her book titled Social Innovation in Africa, and will touch on her Africa-wide research conducted for the book.

When: Thursday, 18th August, 2016
Time: 13h00 – 14h00
Venue: MTN Solution Space, Learning Lab, UCT Graduate School of Business, Cape Town


About the book:

Encouraged by the emergence and early impact of social innovators on the African continent, but frustrated by the slow pace of large scale change, this book is for those tackling Africa’s serious social problems. Read more here.

17 August 2016

Net Impact Discussion on Innovative Finance

Net Impact will be hosting a discussion focused on Innovative Finance: How is grant funding and impact investing shifting?

Guest Speakers will include Jillian Reilly (Co-founder Troublemakers), Selma Seedat (Managing Director: GreaterCapital & GGSA trust) as well as Tsakane Ngoepe (Impact Analyst at the Bertha Centre.)
Date:  Wednesday, 17 August
Time: 17h30
Venue: MTN Solution Space

14 June 2016

Lunch time research seminar with
UCT's Poverty & Inequality Initiative on youth development

Join us at our lunch-time seminar where our Education Innovation Initiative has invited University of Cape Town Poverty & Inequality Initiative - PII, Dr Ariane De Lannoy, a sociologist and senior researcher, to help explore the idea that our country currently lacks a thorough analysis of youth-specific poverty data – including data that shows the extent to which poverty varies from one small, local area to another, or that can track possible progress over time. This kind of information is key to the development of these efforts.

This lunch-time seminar will explore ways in which the research community, and other stakeholders invested in youth empowerment, can contribute to the development of effective policies and interventions.

When: Tuesday, 14 June 2016
Time:   13:00 – 14:00
Venue: MTN Solution Space, Learning Lab, UCT Graduate School of Business, Cape Town

About the researcher:

Dr Ariane De Lannoy is a sociologist and senior researcher, coordinating the work programme on youth within the Poverty and Inequality Initiative. Ariane holds Masters degrees in languages and international politics from the Universities of Ghent and Antwerp (Belgium) and a PhD in Sociology from the University of Cape Town (South Africa). Her research focuses on youth in rapidly changing urban environments. She is especially interested in youth transitions and decision-making in the complex context of post-apartheid South Africa. In 2015, De Lannoy was the lead editor of the multidisciplinary Child Gauge, which focused on Youth and the Intergenerational Transmission of Poverty.

23 May 2016

Financial inclusion is not about money – it’s about livelihoods. “Many of our people still do not have savings accounts, do not receive credit from formal credit providers, and do not have any type of insurance and rarely make or receive payments through formal financial institutions, thereby increasing their financial vulnerability” - Nhlanhla Nene, 2015, Former Minister of Finance, SA.

Join us at our Collective this month, as we zoom in on financial inclusion - what it means to be financially excluded and the exciting disruptive technologies that are rapidly changing this sector.

Earlier this month, in partnership with Barclays Rise we co-hosted a financial inclusion hackathon where tech developers, bankers, and community members came together to ideate and build prototypes from products, to concepts, and apps with the goal of connecting the unbanked and underserved to financial services.

One of the key questions, we asked was: how might we build bridges between the formal and informal sectors for mutual benefit? The winning idea was a market place for health care insurance products that leverages the social capital of stokvels in Ghana, something that could be replicated in globally.

Paul Nel, Head of open innovation for the Barclays Africa Group, Chantel Lindeman, Bertha Centre Scholar , with over 15 years’ experience in the telecommunications and financial sectors, and Leif Petersen, Director of Sustainable Livelihoods Foundation will help us revisit why banks are interested in financial inclusion, the rise of informal ‘banking’, the disruptive technology and product innovations connecting the formal and informal sectors- for mutual benefit.

Time: 17:30 – 19:00
Venue: MTN Solution Space, Learning Lab, UCT GSB, Cape Town Bertha Centre Collective #4

Tapping into the financially excluded

Light snacks will also be served


25 April 2016

Bertha Centre Collective #3
Inclusive Innovation

What does inclusive innovation mean? How can it be implemented? What are the questions aspiring inclusive innovators need to ask themselves? What are the benefits to innovate inclusively?

Join us at our Collective this month as we tackle some of these questions.

‘Inclusive innovation and opportunities towards social justice on the African continent,’ is foundational in our work. At this Collective we will explore and discuss some of our inclusive innovation efforts.

We’ve also pulled together an inspiring panel, which includes Lillian Masebenza (Mhani Gingi), Riad Masoet (Standing Tall) and our Bertha Centre MPhil in Inclusive Innovation scholar, Zamandlovu Ndlovu (Livity Africa).  They will help us unpack this term by looking at it from their experienced perspectives, which respectively includes working with women, differently-abled persons and the youth.

When: Monday, April 25
Time: 17:30 – 19:00
Venue: MTN Solution Space, Learning Lab, UCT GSB, Cape Town

21 April 2016

What is the role of business in the creation of social change?

Businesses have traditionally been viewed as being concerned only with making profits and advancing their own-self interests. The extent to which such perceptions are true is, however, questionable. Is the sole purpose of a business to generate money?

Please join Tsakane Ngoepe and Stephanie Craig from our Innovative Finance team for the second edition of THINK.Thursday where they will be leading this month’s conversation.

THINK.Thursday is a bi-monthly meeting on the 3rd Thursday of the month of like-minded activators, to have energised conversations around positive change. Hosted by a young thought leader in topics in relation to environmental, social, economic or behavioural change– it is a chance to meet individuals to exchange and challenge ideas, and collaborate.

When:  Thursday 21 April
Time:   18:30 – 20:30
Venue: 75 Harrington Street, Cape Town

Innovative Finance Master Class

Learning about innovative finance, impact investing or social enterprise?

The Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship is offering students an Innovative Finance Master Class.

The course will introduce you to innovative ways in which finance and inclusive business models are being used to tackle social or environmental issues. The course, which will run every Tuesday in April, also explores innovative finance career paths.

Dates: April - 5, 12, 19 & 26
Time: 15:30 - 17:30
Venue: UCT Upper Campus, James Day LT 2
Refreshments will be served

Module 1:

What is Innovative Finance?
An introduction of the innovative finance and investment themes
Module 2:
Innovative Finance Vehicles
An exploration of various innovative financial vehicles and applications across Africa
Module 3:
SIBs & Impact Measurements
An introduction to Social Impact Bonds and the challenges involved in measuring impact.
Module 4:
Careers in Innovative Finance
Exploring pathways to different careers in the innovative finance field

To be selected as a participant for this sponsored program, participants sent a 2 page CV and a 1 page motivational letter on why they were interested in attending this course.

The course was open to students from all faculties.

Participants received a certificate of participation on completion of the program.

17 March 2016

Bertha Centre Collective #2
Introducing our Pathways to Sustainability workshops

The funding landscape in South Africa for Non-Profit Organisation’s (NPO) is competitive. In order to support non-profits to create impactful, sustainable enterprises, the Bertha Centre and the Social Enterprise Academy are launching a series of "Pathways to Sustainability" workshops across South Africa.

Join us at this collective as we introduce the Pathways to Sustainability workshop series.

We will host a short panel discussion on NPO sustainability. Then the Bertha Centre’s Tine Fisker Henriksen and Tsakane Ngoepe will give a sneak peek of what to expect at the workshops, followed by an interactive session on the workshops modules.

If you are a director, finance manager of an NPO or are simply interested in the social enterprise space, join us at the Collective.
When:  Thursday 17 March
Time:   17:30 – 19:00
Venue: MTN Solution Space, Learning Lab, UCT GSB, Cape Town

RSVP here.


2 March - Pretoria
3 March - Cape Town

Access to Energy Roundtable

We are exploring how to move the needle on large-scale funding for access to energy in East and Southern Africa.

In order to gather as much knowledge as possible, we will be hosting round-tables with green investors, entrepreneurs and intermediaries on the following dates and at the following venues:

Pretoria 2 March 2016:  08:00 - 10:00
British High Commission, Arcadia, Pretoria.

Cape Town 3 March 2016: 14:30 - 16:00
at the MTN Solution Space, at the UCT Graduate School of Business.

These round-tables will be held alongside the Global Impact Investing Network's launch of their impact investing reports on East, West and Southern Africa.

18 February 2016

Bertha Centre Collective #1

This year we will be continuing with our successful Bertha Centre Collectives. These are held more or less once a month, and serve as an opportunity for you to connect with us in order to hear more about our work and connect with like-minded people in the social innovation and impact space.
The Collectives take place the second last Thursday of every month from 5:30 pm to 7 pm.

For our first Collective, please join us as we introduce our new cohort of Bertha Centre Scholars and we'll take the opportunity to update you on our plans for 2016.

Date: Thursday, 18 February 2016
Time: 5:30 pm – 7 pm
Venue: GSB, MTN Solution Space, Learning Lab

Refreshments will be served.

9 February 2016

Legal Structures Workshop

A good legal structure for a social enterprise is generally one that allows it to combine multiple sources of capital in order to advance and scale the impact of the enterprise.

While South Africa does not have a dedicated legal structure for social enterprises, current structures allow for significant flexibility.

We recently launched ‘A Guide to Legal Forms for Social Enterprises in South Africa’ which enables social entrepreneurs to leverage this flexibility and choose the best legal form based on their business model, funding needs, and governance structure.

Join us for this workshop as we unpack our findings.

For the online copy of the guide, please click here.


9 December 2015

Join our Innovative Finance initiative for

A look back at 2015, and a sneak peek into 2016

It has been a big year for the Bertha Centre’s Innovative Finance initiative.

We have quintupled in size, released seven major reports, held over 20 workshops and training sessions - reaching thousands of South Africans. The team have published pieces in dozens of local and international news outlets, and much, much more.

Join us on Wednesday, 9 December from 17:00 for drinks and snacks as we celebrate this year and fill you in on next year's plans.

RSVP here

23 November 2015

Lunchtime Chat with Spark Health


Join in the conversation with Chipo Mupure, Deputy Director at SPARK Health and Dr Richard Chivaka, Founding Director of SPARK Health as they discuss “Igniting a new way of thinking for public sector health managers”.

Click here for more details and RSVP

10 November 2015

Bertha Centre Collective #8

Launch of the 2015 African Investing for Impact Barometer

Join our Innovative Finance initiative and the UCT Graduate School of Business’s Research office for the launch of the 2015 African Investing for Impact Barometer.

The third edition of the Barometer has expanded to include Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa and now has a scoring system to measure the quality of investing for impact strategies. Over 1400 funds were analysed across the three countries. Join us for what should be an enlightening discussion on what we uncovered. This will be followed by a short practitioners panel discussion.

22 September 2015

Launch of first SA Education Innovator’s Review

Our Education Innovations initiative launched the first South African Education Innovators Review.

14 September 2015

Distinguished Speaker Programme, with Arun Gore

Topic: The Opportunity to Develop Africa through Impact Investment

Arun’s work as President & CEO of Gray Ghost Ventures (GGV), a social impact investment fund which has distributed over $100MM to start-ups around the world, is symbolic of the type of investment that the Bertha Centre’s Innovative Finance (IF) initiative believes can dramatically change the landscape of Africa.

As Aunnie Patton, the IF initiative lead wrote in a recent Business Day piece, titled The Rapid Rise of Impact Investing "The time is ripe for fund managers, asset managers, financial portfolio managers and foundation management to educate themselves about the impact investment market and how they can participate not only in creating wealth for a few, but creating opportunities for millions of Africans as well.”

About Arun Gore

Arun comes to social venture capital after executive leadership roles in finance and operations in the telecommunications industry. Arun brings his general management experience to lead the management of the organization, investment team and Fund investment activities. Over the last seven years, he has been involved in developing the Impact Ventures portfolios under management and promoting financial and social value creation.

Prior to his current role, Arun founded a management and operations consulting practice focused on international operations and support to the wireless industry. Previously, he was a member of the executive team with T-Mobile USA, serving as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Cook Inlet T-Mobile. As CFO, he spearheaded mergers and acquisitions and the development of business strategies that included managing joint ventures for T- Mobile. During his career, he has been responsible for managing market operations, budgeting, vendor financing and special projects, as well as streamlining operations and restructuring departments and business centers to improve financial and operational efficiency.
In addition to Arun’s aforementioned experienced, he owned and operated an international supplies company, which focused on providing supply chain and logistical support to the oil industry across 13 countries. The business primarily operated in Southeast Asia and the Middle East, and included establishing operations for US-based firms in developing countries as well as promoting start-ups.

Arun is a native of Chennai, India. He holds a BSc in the Sciences and a BS in Accounting. Arun also holds an MBA in Finance and is proficient in Tamil, Hindi, Marathi and Telugu.

10 - 11 September 2015

Pathways to Finance Do-ference

Join us at our inaugural Pathways to Funding “Do-ference” for (social) entrepreneurs.

The do-ference consists of two-days of workshops, one-on-one meetings and talks by successful entrepreneurs around raising early-stage finance. At the end of the do-ference, entrepreneurs should have a better understanding of the types of financing they can acquire and how to access it.

Pathways to Funding, is for entrepreneurs and young enterprises. It is for enterprises purely driven by profit and for those that also try to achieve social impact.

Entrepreneurs will be able to put their own agenda/programme together, and will be able to choose from small interactive workshops, ted-style talks and one-on-ones with lawyers, consultants, investors, etc.

We have over 30 speakers, who will help entrepreneurs answer questions such as:

When is my business ready for different types of financing? How does it become ready? (Investment readiness sessions with Impact Amplifier)

  • How to build my business for scale? (How to structure finance with the Awethu Project and how to build the business model with Finnovators)
  • How do I “speak” finance? Become savy at talking to investors. (Financial literacy session with Alison Anderson)
  • What is available to me: from crowdfunding to early-stage equity? (Early stage donation-based crowd funding with Thundafund to early-stage equity session with Knife Capital)
  • Business models and funding; what does your legal structures mean for your financing options? (Session with Werksmans Attorneys on legal structures for social enterprises in lieu of changing funding landscape)

Ticket prices are either R300 per day R500 for the two days (the ticket price includes lunch.) We are offering discounts, as well as sponsored tickets. We will also cover the transportation costs for those entrepreneurs who sign up and need to join us via public transport.

If you would like to enquire about a scholarship or discounted ticket, or group discounts please email:


2 September 2015

Social Franchise Accelerator Workshop – Cape Town

Join us in Cape Town for one of our Social Franchising Accelerator workshops. These will be held across South Africa to give social enterprises, funders and practitioners insights into what it takes to extend their impact and reach through social franchising.

25 August 2015

Social Franchise Accelerator Workshop – Durban

Join us in Durban for one of our Social Franchising Accelerator workshops. These will be held across South Africa to give social enterprises, funders and practitioners insights into what it takes to extend their impact and reach through social franchising.

Please RSVP here.

26 August 2015

Social Franchise Accelerator Workshop – Johannesburg

Join us in Johannesburg for one of our Social Franchising Accelerator workshops. These will be held across South Africa to give social enterprises, funders and practitioners insights into what it takes to extend their impact and reach through social franchising.

Please RSVP here

15 August 2015

iHI Health Hackathon

Our Inclusive Healthcare Innovation (iHI) initiative will be hosting a health hackathon to build innovative mobile and web-based solutions to address pressing healthcare challenges. If you are a health worker, student, software developer, engineer, entrepreneur or designer, this event is for you.

30 July 2015

Impact Bonds: South African Perspectives and Progress Update

Join our Innovative Finance Initiative at an interactive session on the progress of Impact Bond projects in South Africa. The session will include a series of short presentations by the Bertha Centre Innovative Finance team on Impact Bonds at the National, Provincial and Local government level followed by a panel discussion.

On the panel we have Najwah Edries (Jobs Fund), Solange Rosa (Western Cape Government) and Enrico Girolo (City of Cape Town) joining us, with Andrew Canter (Futuregrowth Asset Management) opening the session.

The event is at full capacity, but please do join us via livestream. You can register here.

24 July 2015

Building Inclusive Markets - A South to South Conversation with Harvey Koh

The role that “market based solutions” can play in addressing societal needs has been a hotly debated topic.

On Friday, July 24th, Harvey Koh, co-author of globally recognised reports such as From Blueprint to Scale (2012) and Beyond the Pioneer (2014) will join us from India for an informal “market building conversation”. In conversation with education practitioners, our speakers will address questions such as:

  • What role can market-based solutions play in advancing education success?
  •  When are market-based solutions not appropriate?
  • What does it mean to build markets rather than individual “impact organisations” or firms?
  • How do these two emerging markets, India and South Africa, compare? What can we learn from each other?

About Harvey Koh: 

Harvey Koh is Managing Director at FSG, and previously co-leader of Monitor Inclusive Markets (MIM), a social action unit of Monitor Deloitte. There he co-authored reports such as From Blueprint to Scale (2012), which identified the Pioneer Gap phenomenon through a review of the Acumen Fund’s portfolio, and Beyond the Pioneer (2014). Prior to MIM, Harvey was the founding head of investment at Private Equity Foundation (now Impetus-PEF), a London-based venture philanthropy fund established by leading PE firms. He has also worked with The One Foundation and New Philanthropy Capital. Previously, Harvey was a consultant at Monitor Group where he led competitive and growth strategy for multinational clients across industries including airlines, banking, consumer goods, hospitality, and life sciences.

25 June 2015

Bertha Centre Collective #5 hosted by our Inclusive Healthcare Initiative

How can innovation improve the lives of people affected by infectious diseases of poverty?

Join us at our fifth Bertha Centre Collective as our Inclusive Healthcare Innovation initiative casts a lens on remarkable grassroots innovations from the global south, which is improving the lives of thousands of people.

This Collective will celebrate the recent announcement of the 25 finalists of the Social Innovation in Health Initiative project, which the Health initiative is pioneering in partnership with the World Health Organization, and the Skoll Centre. Over the course of the coming four months, the team will be visiting each of the 25 innovators from across 17 countries in Africa, Asia and South America. Dr. Lindi van Niekerk and Rachel Chater will be sharing more about this work.

It is a privilege to have, Michele Youngelson, the scientific adviser and associate producer of the Lifelines Al Jazeera documentary series, and Clifford Bestall, series director, also join this Collective. Their eight-part series highlights the work of African frontline workers who are tackling nine neglected tropical diseases and conditions impacting the poor. They will be screening a selection of film clips from this series to highlight specific challenges, innovations and systems approaches.

Following the screening, there will be a Q&A with the filmmakers and the Bertha Centre Health team to discuss their experiences and to celebrate these innovative solutions.

27 May 2015

Bertha Centre Collective #4 on student social ventures

We'll be chatting to three student social entrepreneurs about the where, what, why and how to launch an impactful startup and will update you on UCT Upstarts, the Vice Chancellors Social Innovation challenge.

Speakers include: Nokwethu Khojane, co-founder of Lakheni a mobile group buying application which will harness the aggregated buying power of communities in order to give them access to discounted staple foods; Francois Petousis, a Director of Lumkani a proactive early-warning heat detection system and Sizwe Nzima, founder of Iyeza Express, a business that collects chronic medication from public health facilities and delivers it, by bicycle, to the doorsteps of clients.

17 March 2015

This month our Scale Initiative will host our third Bertha Centre Collective.

They will present on the latest research and thinking around scaling social innovation. The dialogue will highlight key themes and perspectives emerging from thought-leaders in the academic and practitioner world, and discuss how these should be considered when working to successfully scale social innovation. The evening will be facilitated by Dr. Warren Nilsson