Crowdfunding in Portugal

Barcelos, Portugal: June 2018

The Dive Deeper into Social Entrepreneurship Programme, run by a consortium of 9 partner countries, concluded its fourth and final training on “Crowd Funding for Social Enterprises” between 22 -27 June 2018. The Intercultural Association for All, based in Barcelos (home of the Rooster), Portugual, successfully hosted this 5-day workshop which included facilitated sessions, expert guest speakers (one of whom was Alexandre Rodrigues, Belle and Co. Associate, speaking on Investment for SMMEs in South Africa), University panel discussions and cultural city tours and exchanges among participants. The workshop ended with participants designing real crowd funding campaigns which they will “go live” with back in their home countries.

The 9 partner and participating countries were: Macedonia (lead partner), Romania, Bulgaria, Portugal (host), Greece, Turkey, Costa Rica, Peru and South Africa (through Belle and Company).

Read FULL Report Here: Dive Deeper Report – Barcelos Portugal


Belle and Co. 24HR Challenge Judge

Belisa Rodrigues, Belle and Co. Director, is one of the judges for the 24 HR Pitch Competition

In 2017, the Switch Social Entrepreneurship Programme (SSEP) partnered up with Startup Safari and gave one lucky Switcher the opportunity to travel to India and participate in Startup Safari. Through creating exposure on an international platform, Startup Safari seeks to grow social entrepreneurs by ‘redefining learning models and  reimagining career paths’. The partnership with Startup Safari strengthens the objectives of the Switch Programme in supporting and developing social entrepreneurs who are in various growth phases of their business, to deepen the impact of their social enterprise in their community.

Due to the success and impact of our partnership in 2017, Switch will be sending two deserving participants to India for a 10 day Eco-System Immersion Programme, where they will be exposed to global networks, innovation frameworks, and mentoring sessions, while experiencing the rich culture of India.

On the 6th of June, Switch participants will be competing in a 24 HR Challenge where they will be developing a sustainable and viable business solution to a relevant problem in South Africa. Contestants will submit a Social Business Model Canvas and a 4 minute video pitch that presents their solution to the problem. Our external panel of judges will be scoring submissions and the two winners will be announced on the 11th of June. Those winners will take off to India from 3-10 July – stay tuned as we watch their journey’s unfold!

Read about the winners here.

Dive Deeper into SE: Youth Policy presentation in Bulgaria

Sofia, Bulgaria: May, 2018

Belle and Co. Associate Phokeng Setai and Director Belisa Rodrigues, participated in the Dive Deeper Programme focused on Youth Policy and Social Entrepreneurship. Belle and Co. presented an overview of South African youth policy, and learnt about youth policy initiatives in 8 other countries (Macedonia, Romania, Bulgaria, Portugal, Turkey, Greece, Costa Rica and Peru).

Training course focused on increasing the understanding of the participants on the importance of cooperation in youth sector and developing quality youth strategies, the participants developed their skills needed to prepare quality youth strategy, to network with various bodies representing youth, to effectively use manuals, guidelines on social entrepreneurship in youth field, to adjust tools, methods etc.

Belle and Co. participates in Creative Activism Workshop

Tshisimani Activist Centre, Mowbray, Cape Town: March 2018

We were exposed to various forms of creative and cultural activism, read case studies, had a guest speaker from SWEAT sharing live campaigns, and we formed teams to pitch our activist campaign to others.

Our project centered around “community safety and security” where we came up with an innovative idea on how to utilise public spaces (especially street corners) to claim back or occupy the streets into productive community spaces.

We called it “The Triangle Project”. See video here.

Dive Deeper into SE: Social Enterprise Legal Training in Romania

Iasi, Romania: March, 2018

Belle and Co. Associates, Sicelo Mbonani and Adelaide Cupido, represented South Africa at the Dive Deeper into Social Entrepreneurship Programme focused on Legal Forms for Social Enterprise. Belle and Co. presented a comprehensive overview of legal forms in South Africa.

“Deep gratitude for #divedeeper South African consortium project partner @Belle & Co . for generating this opportunity to share learning and connect with 9 countries, 3 Continents. Ready to come back and multiply the impact through the public sessions we discussed. Awesome connecting with Sicelo as well and looking forward to collaborating with the team on SAcan soil. #we shared #we learned #we played #we grew” – Adelaide Cupido, Belle and Co Associate.


Belle and Design-thinking Coach in Germany

Munich, Germany: March, 2018

The International Academic Programme for Entrepreneurship (APE) Bootcamp is run by the Strascheg Center for Entrepreneurship (SCE) at the Munich University of Applied Sciences. This Bootcamp is about doing, not about listening to lectures. This is why participants will spend most of their time working on a real-life business idea in
teams. In addition an experienced team of coaches and mentors will be present to guide the learners through the process.

Belle and co. has been invited to be one of the Coaches on the APE Bootcamp, mentoring 65 students from about 10 different countries. At the end of 10 days working through the Human-Centred Design Thinking Innovation Process, the teams are expected to pitch their prototype to a panel of judges.

View the APE Programme Info here: APE-Bootcamp-2018

Here are some of the method cards and tools used during the Bootcamp: Methodcards APE Bootcamp

Mowbray Town Hall Talks II: Post-prison rehabilitative business

WEDNESDAY, 20TH DECEMBER 12:00 -15:00. Mowbray Town Hall Talks II, the second in a local talk series, was co-hosted by Ward 57 Representative from Mowbray (Ms Belisa Rodrigues) to convene a needed discussion about post-prison rehabilitative businesses that strive to change the narrative and stigma facing formerly incarcerated individuals.

This talk topic was inspired by a new local Mowbray-based cultural business called Mess Café under the banner of the Messenger Trust South Africa, which runs a coffee shop out of the Protestant Book Shop on Main Road. They use an innovative ‘employment-based model’ and only employ formerly incarcerated individuals to run various business initiatives and to change societal behavior.


60 locals from in and around Mowbray, Rosebank, Rondebosch, Observatory and beyond came together to meet the various entrepreneurs who are daring to challenge the status quo, to push South African society forward by building a more sustainable and healthy community through socially-conscious enterprise initiatives. Some attendees were former gang members curious to know how these businesses are facilitating understanding in this area.

Local entrepreneur speakers included:

  • WANDISILE NQEKETHO – 18 Gangster Museum (Khayelithsha)
  • MTHETHELELI NGXEKE – Gangstar Gear/Mess Cafe (Mowbray)
  • TAURIQ JENKINS – Shakespeare in Prison (Observatory)

 **And a special Shakespeare Performance was conducted over lunch**

The community issues tackled on the panel included:

  • Society’s responsibility with regards to reintegration of former convicts in the frame of the White Paper on Corrections in South Africa, Chapter 3 which states that “Correction is a societal responsibility” And 13.2 states clearly that “The Relationship between DCS and the community, community based organisations, NGOs and faith-based organisations are inherent to the successful achievement of the rehabilitation and reintegration of offenders” ;
  • Reimagining a new narrative for South Africa through business: ways of building business whilst tackling societal issues;
  • Touching on issues of ‘commodification of pain’ and empathy as well as mental health.

Deeply stimulating, provoking and captivated the audience for a 3 hour event during peak Christmas period was stunning!

About the Mowbray Town Hall Talk Series


A celebrated, culturally diverse, sustainable and safe community of Mowbray.


The Mowbray Town Hall Talk series aims to revitalise the community of Mowbray (enhance community safety, engage in critical discourse on community issues and foster a sense of togetherness) as well as encourage the use of its public facilities (Mowbray Town Hall, Mowbray Library, Parks, Rivers etc).

**Community events have proven effectiveness as described by “Broken Window Theory” of ensuring that a community that cares and knows one another is safer and better enabled to sustain themselves.


This series is supported by local and international institutions notably with financial contribution from the Cultural Entrepreneurship Hub programme supported by Goethe Institute and German Foreign Affairs Ministry; catering contribution from Shoprite; audio and visual equipment support from the Messenger Trust; various volunteers and community members of Mowbray.