Building projects and partners in Greece!

Nthakoana Maema, Belle and Co. Associate, reported back on the last few days of the Project-building workshop held in Florina, Greece as part of the third edition of the Erasmus + supported programme Dive into Social Entrepreneurship:

This was the day we were all here for I guess. As much as the team feels like they might have been going around in circles for the previous Dives, I think having participated in Dive 1, this exercise to build new partnerships and create new ideas beyond Dive is a good practical outcome.

So at first we all shared what ideas we would like to work on. The main themes that popped up were:

1. Intergration of economic migrants into society and creating income generating opportunities for them.

2. Boosting sustainability by promoting environmental habits in schools (young children).

3. Creating opportunities for young women in Technology using social enterprise.

4. Boosting the local economies by creating SEs/techincal schools/digitization of traditional jobs that can create jobs for young people.

From this the various teams were organically created with some delicate canvassing.

South Africa ended up tackling Point 4 with Costa Rica, Peru and Macedonia under Key Action 2; with an added ear to Point 1.

Ideation: At first it was a challenge how to step out of Dive thinking and also to ensure that what ever we create has shared meaning and ownership for each partner. Also that now that we have build capacity, how do we get into action (Sink or Swim!) as we have a bank of ideas from the various activities we have done throughout the years no concrete action.

So we started to share some realities of youth in our countries.

It was clear that we had something in common across the continents:

1. Public schooling failing youth on how to prepare them for the future e.g. project management, soft skills like critical thinking, creativity, problem solving, entrepreneurial skills even simple things like job search

2. Young people lack places where they can go and meet together build new ideas, local islands that influence youth unemployment

3. Young entrepreneurs lack guiding from mentors (inaccessible and expensive)

4. Young people do not have many opportunities to broaden their views (transnational social capital) or lack information about exchanges

5. We also have older younger people in corporate spaces who are feeling burned out by lack of meaning in their lives yet they have acquired good experience and skills.

5. Young people not job ready.

There was a lot that came from this. The main feeling was that we need step out of TOT mode and really get into creating new ventures with young people as these ventures could create opportunity for employment and exchanges within the Dive network that has already been built.

So we spoke about different ideas:

– creating a new venture creation e-school
– transnational mentoring and consulting platform
– fellowship within the network and possibly paid for those outside network
– platform to share global job opportunities/internships with trusted SEs in each country and we provide matching and hosting services

What I really like about this Dive 3 session is that we are all pushing to start something out with these ideas. We want to see them come to life and it will be through sharing experiences, tips and funding sources.

 

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Creative Social Enterprise Train-the-trainer

5 March 2019

National Workshop Activity #2  // Dive 3 “Zero to One > 1 to N”

On 5th March 2019, a 7-day programme funded by the Department of Arts and Culture and co-hosted by the Craft Design Institute and Social Enterprise Academy focused on cross-sectoral capacity development of local and governmental facilitators within the creative social enterprise space.

The training took place in Langa Township at the Guga S’thebe Cultural Centre.

Day 5, led by the Social Enterprise Academy tutor (Belisa Rodrigues), took the participants through the Academy’s “Intro to Social Enterprise” module, and focused specifically on the creative and cultural sector, as well as through its unique learning methodology of peer-led exchange.

This short but intense introduction covered:

  • Social Enterprise Spectrum
  • Social Enterprise Definitions
  • Triple Bottom line dilemmas as it relates to the cultural field
  • Business model elements and recognizing at least 5 different revenue models
  • Real case studies of successful creative social enterprises with videos
  • Reflecting on starting or enhancing one’s own creative social enterprise

The participants overwhelmingly stated that they gained more clarity on what a social enterprise is, and were especially enlightened around various revenue models.

The workshop was led by Belisa Rodrigues, and observed by Belinda Guillot of the Social Enterprise Academy.

Debate in Macedonia – What makes your society better?

On the Thursday, 6 December 2018, Belle and co, the South African partner in the Dive Deeper into Social Entrepreneurship programme, was invited to take part in a debate hosted by lead partner in Skopje, Macedonia together with partners from Turkey, Peru, Portugal, and Romania.

The topic of the discussion focused on “What a better society in your country?” with a particular focus on the topic of social entrepreneurship. The event was open to the public and was hosted in a restuaryant called Kantina in the centre of the city of Skopje. The idea was to attract mainly young people to engage with the diverse panel and share challenges and solutions to problems affecting people in their society particularly the youth.

The debate took advantage of the fact that the consortium of partners were in Macedonia for the final evaluation meeting of the Dive programme, and could share their experience with the local community.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cultural Entrepreneurship Bootcamp 2018

The Cultural Entrepreneurship Bootcamp was held over 4 days from 6-9 November 2018 at Hub@Goethe and was facilitated by Belisa Rodrigues of Belle and Co. and Russel Hlongwane.

The Goethe-Institut Johannesburg offers entrepreneurs a space to grow their creative businesses, this space is located within the Goethe Library-Gamebox-Hub complex.  Part of the Hub programme offering is a four-day intensive Cultural Entrepreneurship Bootcamp facilitated by local South African creative and cultural experts. This offer was extended to a select number of entrepreneurs active in the creative and cultural field.

The purpose was to connect fellow start-ups and entrepreneurs, like the ones from Hub@Goethe with others operating within the South African creative and cultural space, in order to share new ideas, solutions and form key industry collaborations.

The facilitators took the 20 participants through a design thinking process, where teams had to work on real ideas and challenges. The below 4 challenges were eventually elected and worked on:

HMW connect small holder farmers to global markets?; ✅ HMW build copyright into Indigenous Knowledge forms?; ✅HMW enabling emerging visual artists to access markets?; ✅ HMW build an alternative free ISP using “expired data”?

Some elements covered included:

  • Synthesizing business ideas after finding out more about customer needs
  • Defining your offering, your market and the resources you need
  • Refining your Value Proposition for your audiences and customers
  • Prototyping your product or service
  • Financing models in the creative & cultural sectors in South Africa
  • Practicing to pitch and present your findings

Besides learning about 11 different business models and using role play to demonstrate these, the most important part of the programme was pitching and prototyping presented on the last day. There was huge relief and disbelief from the groups on how much can be achieved in 4 days after intense focused energy and team work!

Prototypes ranged from giant cellphone application to service role play to web platform and even an online gallery. Critical peer feedback on pitch delivery, style and storytelling was also shared.

Below a few key moments. Thank you to everyone who brought their entire person into the process. We hope you have your exit strategy sorted 😉

 

Thank you to Goethe-Institut JohannesburgBelle & Co. and @Russel Hlongwane for the time, effort and support in holding space, facilitating process and providing guidance and at times input.

See full programme attached.

 

 

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.

Belle and Co.as 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.

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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

 Vision

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

 Mission

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.

Support

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.

Mowbray Town Hall Talk I: Collaborative Entrepreneurship

Mowbray, Cape Town: October 2017

MOWBRAY TOWN HALL TALK SERIES

TOPIC: COLLABORATIVE ENTREPRENEURSHIP

MONDAY 30 OCTOBER 2017

17.30 -19.30

The Mowbray Townhall Talk Series aims to create a vibrant community hub of sharing, learning and interacting.

This month’s session will see prominent business people from the Somali Association, Jewish and Muslim communities among others, sharing best practice on entrepreneurship. How do you use your cultural capital to build your business whilst building your community?

Join us if you are a curious local entrepreneur!

ENQUIRIES: belisa@belleandco.co.za

This event is run by the Cape Town Chapter of Junior Chamber Initiative in partnership with Cultural Entrepreneurship Hub Cape Town, Belle and Co, Ward 57, Old Mowbray Cottages, RMCA, GSCID, Mowbray Library and community members.

“Collaborative Entrepreneurship” from a multi-cultural perspective.

ABOUT OUR SPEAKERS

*Siyabulela Sophi

Siyabulela Sophi is a visionary that overcame many obstacles to start a business that is a catalyst for change. Award winning Social Entrepreneur, originally from the Eastern Cape, Mr Sophi founded Makhaza Lifestyle Pty Ltd in 2013, a social enterprise specializing in project Mmnagement and clothing Mmnufacturing.

Sophi is one of the pioneers who founded the 1st Friday Conversations in Khayelitsha which aims to engage youth on a monthly basis on topics of interest to inspire, empower and encourage, among other things, youth entrepreneurship.

*Scott Roberts

Mr Roberts is the co-founder of Eden, a startup NGO which aims to increase young South African Entrepreneurs’ access to establish business networks by leveraging the Jewish Business community from within. He is past deputy Chairperson of the South African Union of Jewish Students UCT and has just retired from a long career in Habonim Dror, a progressive Jewish Youth Movement. He is passionate about finding new and inclusive avenues towards economic growth.

*Abdikadir Mohamed

Mr Mohamed, was born in Somalia, in a small town called Kismayo (a port city) and came to South Africa in 2002. He started operating small businesses in different townships across four provinces of South Africa. He joined the Somali Association of South Africa (SASA) in 2011 and held different positions, eventually becoming the Director of Western Cape. Most recently (2016), he was awarded a national award from the Department of Home Affairs in the field of Civil Society/NGO category called the “Mkhaya Migrants Award” which recognises outstanding achievements of foreigners toward the development of South Africa.

The SASA currently runs a programme called Business Skills Sharing Workshop where local business owners and potential entrepreneurs discuss issues related to business.

Somali Association of South Africa (SASA) and it is mission and vision are as follows:

Mission: promote the ethos of self-reliance and local integration.
Vision: Build unity among locals and refugees based on peace and tolerance.

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Thank you to those who came to support our first Mowbray Town Hall Talk series “Collaborative Entrepreneurship”. Insights garnered from the Somali and Jewish communities were invaluable and inspired some to start thinking about their own self reliance and resilience. Thank you to all our local and international supporters.

 

Dive into SE: Cape Town Social Enterprise Study Tour

Cape Town, South Africa: September, 2017

A 5-day intensive Job Shadow/Study Tour in Cape Town, South Africa, as part of the Erasmus + supported programme “Dive in Social Entrepreneurship” was arranged by Belle and Co.

Belle and Co hosted 2 of its partners (Turkey and Bulgaria) to meet local government, entrepreneurs and academics working in the social entrepreneurship space in Cape Town.

Visits included: Local Ward 57 Councillor; Observatory Community Improvement District; Mess Cafe Social Enterprise; Gangstar Gear Social Enterprise; Spinach King Social Enterprise; 18 Gangster Museum Social Enterprise; PASSOP Refugee NPO; Know Thy Farmer Social Enterprise; UWC Entrepreneurship Centre; visits with local entrepreneurs and students as well as exposure to a range of local heritage day (27 September) activities.

Read Report here: SE Job Shadow Report