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Bertha Centre

Bertha Centre for Social Innovation


Bertha Centre

Established in 2011 - in partnership with the Bertha Foundation - at the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business, the Bertha Centre is the first academic Centre in Africa dedicated to advancing social innovation and entrepreneurship.


We work to uncover, connect, pioneer and advance social innovators and entrepreneurs who share our passion for generating inclusive opportunities and achieving social justice in Africa.

Today the Centre is a dynamic space, with three key initiative areas:

The Centre also works with the specialised unit, the Raymond Ackerman Academy of Entrepreneurial Development, which is also hosted at the UCT GSB.

Some of the Centre’s highlights include:

  • The integration of social innovation into the GSB’s curriculum;
  • That it has awarded over R3 million in scholarships to African students;
  • And – together with its partners – it has begun testing solutions ranging from social impact bonds, social franchising, to healthcare innovation hubs.
Our four-pronged impact model, and mission explained here:

We invite you to join our social innovation and entrepreneurship journey, and work with us to advance new (business) models and solutions on the continent.

For more information on our work and core initiatives, please join or follow our online and social media platforms:

Bertha Centre Blog @BerthaCentre  Facebook Linkedin YouTube

About the Bertha Foundation

The Bertha Foundation is a family foundation that works with inspiring leaders who are catalysts for social and economic change.

Curriculum and Scholarships
  • Bertha Scholarships: The Bertha Scholarship covers full or partial costs of the MBA programme at the UCT GSB for candidates committed to social innovation and entrepreneurship.
  • MBA Social Innovation Lab: The SI Lab is an experiential, action-learning stream where students tackle pressing social and/or environmental challenges.
  • Inclusive Innovation Studies: The programme creates an environment for multidisciplinary teams to find new and future-focused practical solutions for market or social challenges in Africa.
  • Student Social Venture Programme: The SSVP aims to improve the participation and performance of student teams in international social business plan competitions.
Initiatives and Research
  • Education Innovation: The Centre for Education Innovations (CEI) aims to increase access to quality education for people from disadvantaged communities by identifying, analysing, and connecting non-state education innovations.
  • Online Learning: Free for All is an online learning platform with a programme in entrepreneurial development for individuals wanting to complement work experience with an academic qualification.
  • Healthcare Innovation: The Inclusive Healthcare Innovation Initiative (IHII) serves as a trans-disciplinary and cross-sectoral platform for thought leadership, capability building, research and development of inclusive, effective, and affordable health innovations.
  • Innovative Financing: The Bertha Centre is currently working on developing Impact Bonds and other innovative financing mechanisms for South Africa. In addition, the Investing for Impact Barometer is a new annual survey and publication aiming to provide a snapshot of the nascent South African market and aims to expand coverage to the rest of Africa.
Publications, News and Events
  • Publications: Latest and archived papers, research and case studies.
  • Press: Press releases and coverage of the Bertha Centre’s initiatives in the news.
  • Events: Information on upcoming and previous conferences, speaker series and workshops.