Student Seed Fund

Take your social enterprise to the next level


R20 000

Test Funding Available

30 April

Applications close

R100 000

Seed Funding Available


The  Bertha Centre for Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship and the SAB Foundation (SABF) have partnered to offer the Student Seed Fund to social innovators and entrepreneurs as part of their joint missions to catalyse and invest in change makers. 

The Student Seed Fund (SSF) is open to all UCT, UCT GSB and RAA students, and entrepreneurs that have gone through UCT programmes such as the Impact venture Incubation Programme (IVIP). The Fund supports entrepreneurs with innovative ideas for tackling social or environmental problems in low-income communities, with access to seed capital at the business model discovery (or pre- startup) phase and the startup phase. The Student Seed Fund will support innovative ideas with test funding of up to R20 000 and social enterprise startups with seed funding of up to R100 000.


Pre-Startup: The student/entrepreneur has identified a specific issue, which he/she is passionate about. The problem and product market  need validation and the business model could still be unclear. At this phase, activities typically concentrate on the development of a feasibility plan, pitching deck, prototypes and early market testing. The overall goal is to develop a tested blue print for a startup.

Startup: The business model is clear, repeatable and scalable. The product development is finalised and initial marketing has taken place. At this phase, activities typically concentrate on the first commercial sales, the establishment of the organisation and a final business plan. The overall goal is to test and conduct market validation for an early stage venture.



The test funding supports current students who have developed and researched an innovative idea and require cash funding for further development and pilot to refine their business model. The test funding is up to R20 000.

Eligibility Criteria

1. Applicants currently enrolled as  University of Cape Town, UCT Graduate School of Business (UCT GSB) students including RAA students, and IVIP.

2. Student has developed and researched a social innovative idea.

3. Requires cash funding for further development and pilot to refine business model.


The seed capital supports current and recent students who have made significant steps towards product development and require cash funding for market validation and enterprise sustainability. The seed funding is up to R100 000. 

Eligibility Criteria

1. are either recent graduates (two years) of UCT or current students who intend to graduate the following year from their UCT programmes, again including RAA.

2. Student has made significant steps towards product development, and can demonstrate progress made since initial seed funding (if applicable).

3. Requires cash funding for market validation and enterprise sustainability.


The evaluation criteria for test and start-up funding will relate to the impact potential, overall sustainability of the business model, as well as team capabilities (or "delivery potential"). 

 Potential for Impact 

1. The idea or enterprise addresses a particular social need in an innovative manner (preference will be given to high-impact models). 

 2. Evidence that the targeted community/end-users will engage with the idea or enterprise.  


 1. The idea or enterprise has a viable and potentially financially sustainable business model.  

 2. Budget estimations are realistic. 

 Team Capabilities 

 1. The individual or team has the relevant experience and expertise. 

 2. The individual or team has demonstrated commitment and passion for the enterprise.   


Applications are now open. Applications close on 30 April 2019


For more information or inquiries, please contact or on 021 406 1315. 


Student Seed Fund

Access seed capital for your innovative business idea/startup.

Application Deadline: 30 April 2019

Pitch Template

Download our useful Powerpoint Pitch Template

Pitch and Coach

By Joel van der Schyff

Pitch & Coach is aimed to assist startups and aspiring business owners to create a pitch that clearly articulates and explains their ideas.

Disrupt Africa article

UCT's Bertha Centre dishes out $50k startup grant funding

Established in 2011, the Bertha Centre has integrated social innovation into the GSB curriculum, established a wide community of practitioners and awarded over ZAR7 million (US$556,000) in scholarships to students from across Africa.




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