The Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship is a catalyst for social impact and for dialogue that promotes and emboldens social and environmental change agents finding new solutions for emerging markets in Africa.
The Centre invests in the next generation of social innovators through scholarships; practical, rigorous teaching, exposure and debate; and a focus on applying leading research to responding to challenges that are immediate and critical to the fabric of Africa’s social and economic future – many of which sit on its geographic doorstep.
The Bertha Centre was established in late 2011 in partnership with the Bertha Foundation
Social Innovation Lab
The SI Lab is an experiential, action learning stream where students tackle a pressing societal and/or environmental challenge in and around Cape Town using an innovative and sustainable approach.
Driven by collaborative thinking, learner customization, and in depth engagement in an emerging market context, the SI Lab offers an integrated platform that threads together course work, field work, innovation sessions and group work. Throughout the process, students learning and development is supported by practitioner and community symposiums and small group tutorials with faculty at the GSB.
The SI Lab runs over in second half of the MBA in terms 3 and 4, following the core courses which run in the first half of the year. In addition, students must take four elective courses over the year (one per term) that have been identified as having relevant content to support their learning in the SI Lab.
The Social Innovation Lab is open to any student enrolled in the MBA programme of UCT GSB. More information on the specific components of the Social Innovation Lab can be found in the MBA curriculum.
Bertha Centre MBA Scholarship
The Bertha MBA Scholarships were created to nurture a new generation of social innovators, and to explore entrepreneurial solutions to help solve some of the urgent social and environmental problems of our time. The combination of scholarship, geographic location and leading MBA content in emerging markets provides a unique opportunity for the most talented and innovative students.
The Bertha Scholars are Africa based social innovators with a commitment and track record to creating positive change. The MBA provides the strong business skills and networks that will accelerate their impact.
The deadline for 2013 Bertha Scholarships is 31 October 2012.
Bertha Centre PhD scholarship
The Bertha Centre and GSB research office is developing a consortium of local and internationally recognised researchers to focus on the areas of social entrepreneurship and informal sector entrepreneurship. The Centre has recently closed applications for PhD scholarships to enable promising researchers to participate in this consortium.
Applicants will become part of the research consortium and will be jointly supervised by GSB faculty and partner faculty from an international University.
Bertha Centre runs a Social Innovation Speaker Series of debates and discussions in areas critical to emerging fields and important ideas in the areas of social innovation and entrepreneurships. The inaugural speaker was Professor Henry Mintzberg, Cleghorn Professor of Management Studies, McGill University, Montreal promoting the need to "rebalance" society.
The most recent Social Innovation speaker was John Elkington, sustainability pioneer on his latest book “The Zeronauts: Breaking the Sustainability Barrier”, addressing the multiple challenges of “Population Growth, Pandemics, Poverty, Pollution, and Proliferation”.
Inside|Out is a quarterly newspaper, both online and in print. It explores social innovation in a new and different way - from Africa to the world, from people to institutions, from communities to stakeholders and most of all from the inside out. It's a resource, a news source, a primer, a connector. It reflects the interests of the GSB's Bertha Centre by looking beyond an academic focus on social innovation and entrepreneurship to the many different people, organisations and ideas at work creating and achieving positive social change.
We want this paper to make people think and do things differently to create change. And we want to tell their stories along the way. Start sending us those stories now, as well as your projects, plans, comments, insights and thoughts. Or just send us your details to subscribe. It starts here. Click the image to read the first edition. Email: email@example.com
In 2012 the inaugural six Bertha Scholars started their journey and are part of the current MBA community. Once selected these students are known as Bertha Scholars.
Bertha Social Innovator Network
Once the Bertha Scholars have completed their MBA, they join a network of alumni that retain a strong connection to the Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship and this network will be a launch pad that will to continue to develop and encourage these future leaders and their ventures.
Dr Francois Bonnici, Director
Francois started his journey as a doctor in the South African health care system, seeking creative solutions for systemic problems and effective approaches to improving care and management. Social innovation and entrepreneurship are not merely theories for him.
Working in paediatric medicine, Francois ran public health and development programs, built and worked on global and national public-private partnerships with UN institutions, country governments, for-profit social businesses, and non-profit social ventures. He has published in social innovation, health and development and was the contributing editor to the MIT journal’s special edition on "Social Innovation in a Post Crisis World", launched in Davos.
Leading on from these experiences, Francois co-founded the African Social Entrepreneurs Network and with colleagues developed an award-winning social enterprise building low-cost medical devices for tough conditions in low-resource settings.
Following his degree in Medicine, Francois read for a Masters degree in Public Health (London) and a MBA (Oxford) as a Rhodes Scholar. He is also a Global Leadership Fellow of the World Economic Forum.
Office Telephone: +27 (0) 21 406 1470
Office Fax: +27 (0) 21 406 1456
Eliada W. Griffin-El, Senior Lecturer
Dr Eliada Griifin-EL, Senior Lecturer in Social Entrepreneurship joined the GSB in November 2010 and has led the initial research and teaching on social entrepreneurship at the GSB. Her research particularly looks at the social embeddedness of entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs and how they use their social networks and social capital in the creation, growth and social impact of their ventures.
Tel: +27 (0) 21 406 1526
Fax: +27 (0) 21 406 1126
Nicolette Laubscher, Bertha Centre and Scholarship Manager
Please contact Nicolette for general queries and those regarding the Bertha Scholarship, Bertha Scholars and Bertha Alumni.
Office Telephone: +27 21 406 1470
Office Fax: +27 21 406 1456
Social Innovation Lab Faculty:
Professor Walter Baets, Director of GSB (systems thinking, complexity)
Professor Ralph Hamann, Director of Research (sustainability, cross sector collaborations)
Dr Stephanie Giamporcaro, Senior Lecturer (applied sustainable responsible investment)
Dr Warren Nilsson, Senior Lecturer (social innovation)