DIVE 3: ZERO TO ONE >1 TO N, is capacity development programme supported by EU Erasmus+, focused on tackling youth unemployment through social entrepreneurship education involving 12 partner countries (Macedonia, Slovenia, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Poland, Italy, Portugal, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Peru and South Africa). It has been running for 3 years, and Belle and Co. has been a partner since its inception.

This year, the programme came to South Africa!

Belle and Co. was proud to be host to 12 countries (North Macedonia, Romania, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Poland, Greece, Portugal, Italy, Costa Rica, Peru, Nicaragua, South Africa) for a 5-day Social Enterprise Study Visit in Cape Town. The visits were curated to give a cross-sectoral look into the Social Enterprise ecosystem in Cape Town (public, private and third sector).

Day One saw us visiting the Industrial Development Corporation; Brownies & Downies; Spier Arts Academy, Scalabrini Refugee Centre; & One of Each (a creative social enterprise). We began to dive deeper into different business & impact models relating to a variety of social issues.

Day Two of the study visit brought us deeper insights on the working of Life Choices, youth development organisation assisting youth services on Family Stability; Health; Education and Leadership skills, to Innovation Edge, an innovation catalyst and social impact investor to affect meaningful change for young children; The Gangster Cafe a business with purpose for offering a positive alternative of turning ex-offenders lives around; to meeting with Social Enterprise Academy representative, a learning and development academy supporting personal and organisational learning to social entrepreneurs; to Our Workshop an open creative space for young artists in Langa, with professional development; and ended the day with participation at the Local meeting of Good Hope Subcouncil 16 of the Head of Local Councillors of City of Cape Town and Ward Committee members.

Day 3 saw us spend our time in Khayelitsha with a number of Social enterprises. We started off at Bandwidth Barn at Look Out Hill where we engaged with Wandisile and Cya, co-founders of 18 Gangster Museum and what drove them to pursue building this business; we met with Megan, cofounder of Early Bird Educare Social Enterprise; and headed off to Spinach King for some healthy lunch and smoothies; thereafter we met with the bubbly Zikhona founder of Street Side Bakeries making lactose free products; and then Ikofu Cafe hosted us for our bread-making workshop called Theatre of Crumbs, a methodology designed by Breadhouses Network Bulgaria. We were lucky to have the opportunity to bring two bakers from two continents together and to invite 11 other countries to share how to change the world for positive impact using bread as metaphor. And after a long and emotional immersive experience we spent the last 2 hours of our evening reflecting on our individual and shared experiences


Day 4 saw us visit our last site, this time we were invited by the leadership of the Occupied Woodstock Hospital aka Cissy Gool community. We were taken through a practical human solution as response to the lack of adequate affordable social housing in inner city of Cape Town. With some 1000 people in this space, a commons regulated by the commoners has emerged. What alternative models can we build in a post-Apartheid South Africa? How can people build their own solutions outside of the state machine? Cissy Gool house has done it.



The below image was created at the Bread Therapy Workshop which we held at Ikofu in Khayelitsha this week as part of the Social Enterprise Study Visit. Belle and co. forged a powerful collaboration between local social enterprise Streetside Bakery based in Khayelitsha and International Breadhouse Network (Social Bakery Bulgaria). This collaboration saw a group of 12 countries making and breaking bread together … literally and through the “Theatre of Crumbs” methodology, enabled us to imagine a more positive world.

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The Study Tour ended on a high note, where we had our final dinner at Africa Cafe and enjoyed the cultural experience of music, food and dance to end off the intense experience from the week.

Thank you goes to the Belle and Co. Associates who made this study tour programme possible through design and support on the ground. Special mention goes to Nthakoana Maema and Tauriq Jenkins who gave their time voluntarily to this endeavour.

Thank you also goes to the Youth Alliance Krusevo, the lead partner of the project consortium for their support in the logistics, preparations and administration of the study tour.

And thanks goes to EU Erasmus Plus Programme for the financial support to allow the participants the experience of exchange and learning.

Finally thank you to all the participants “Divers” who participated wholeheartedly with empathy and curiosity.