Belle and Co. was invited as guest speaker and facilitator to open the #SwitchSeminar in Johannesburg over the weekend of the 13th October as part of the Switch Social Entrepreneurship Programme (SSEP). The seventy (70) participants included both current as well as alumni “Switchers” from all over South Africa. The seminar took place at Workshop 17 in Maboneng district, Johannesburg over two days.
The #SwitchSeminar topic “Social Entrepreneurship Ecosystem in South Africa”, was also the topic of Belle and Co.’s 2-part session. The first session was an interactive presentation looking at what makes up an ecosystem including elements such as funding and finance, infrastructure, policy, regulation, networking, incubators, training, media, academic, consultants. And then it was time for the switchers to build their own ecosystems using creative means such as the Solar System or the the Human Body.
In groups, switchers had to visualise their own ecosystems, the stakeholders, gaps and how they fit into the puzzle. At the end of the seminar, during reflection time, one Switcher said that this exercise inspired and made him rethink his entire business model and internal ecosystem.
(SSEP is run by Activate Change Drivers and is part of a larger 11-month course for carefully-selected aspiring social entrepreneurs.The SSE programme helps participants nurture the development of strong social businesses, helping them to proceed from an idea to business incubation or the start-up of their initiative. See more here.)