The GSB Solution Space Philippi hub in the community of Philippi, Cape Town, was established in a deliberate effort to deepen our roots and relevance as an African business school that is seeking to develop more socially relevant solutions to the challenges of our context.
Spearheaded by the GSB Solution Space, the Philippi hub is the first community hub to be established by University of Cape Town in its 178-year existence. While the university has been active in local communities, with field sites, mobile health services and education programmes for decades, it has not, until now, established a presence with the long-term purpose of getting all students and stakeholders to engage and interact beyond the traditional spaces of the university.
The GSB Solution Space is based at Philippi Village, a mixed use 6 000m2 entrepreneurial development zone at the epicentre of Nyanga, Gugulethu, Mitchell's Plain and Khayelitsha. The development, was initiated more than five years ago with the vision of creating economic opportunity through the active inclusion of those who are excluded from the mainstream of development, and the GSB has been involved in these conversations from the outset. The founding sponsor of the Bertha Centre at the GSB, the Bertha Foundation, is one of two founding partners in the initiative; the other being a Cape Town-based NGO The Business Place.
The Philippi hub offers students, alumni, clients and local entrepreneurs in the community a place to meet and engage. Additionally, the Solution Space supports entrepreneurs to learn and grow, providing them with access to resources, corporate partners, mentors, advisory services, co-working space, speakers and partnerships. All GSB students across most academic programmes are encouraged to take at least one course on the Philippi hub.
Facilities on the hub include several fully-equipped meeting rooms as well as a lecture space. In common with its parent body the Solution Space on the school's Waterfront hub, the Philippi hub seeks to create a third space between academia and industry where business can escape the pressures of today to advance new ideas through piloting cutting-edge concepts with Africa's brightest and most creative minds, and universities can shape research and learning opportunities that are connected to relevant and real world challenges.