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Bertha Centre

Bertha Centre for Social Innovation


Bertha Centre


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

Today it’s an innovative and multi-dimensional solution space with priority areas including:

We have integrated social innovation into the School’s curriculum, awarded over R3 million in scholarships to African students, and – together with our partners – begun testing solutions ranging from social impact bonds, social franchising, and healthcare innovation hubs.

The Bertha Centre was established in partnership with the Bertha Foundation, a family foundation that works with inspiring leaders who are catalysts for social and economic change.

To truly achieve transformative change and innovation it is critical to reimagine systems and solutions and collaborate to make a new future happen now. This is reflected in our four-pronged impact model.

We invite individuals, organisations, and systems to join our journey towards an equitable and just Africa, and are excited with the promise of what lies ahead.

You can download and view our latest brochure here, for more information on our work and core initiatives.

You can also join our journey here:

Bertha Centre Blog @BerthaCentre  Facebook Linkedin YouTube

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.