SOCIAL ENTERPRISE STUDY TOUR Cape Town

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.

 

SPECIAL INTERNATIONAL COLLABORATION

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.

No photo description available.

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.

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DESIGN THINKING WITH CODERS – LifeChoices Academy

Life Choices Academy: Human-Centred Design Thinking Bootcamp by Belle and Co.

26-27 June; 3-4 July; 10-11 July 2019

Over the course of 3 weeks, 60 coding students of the Lifechoices Academy were exposed to Design-Thinking methodology, which enabled them to get out of the computer room and onto the streets to find out the needs, desires and challenges faced by ordinary people. Using design thinking principles, teams tackled some of the most intractable problems facing society such as Youth Unemployment, Public Transport, Homelessness and Education.

The intensive journey was designed and facilitated by Belisa Rodrigues of Belle and Co, which culminated in teams presenting their final prototype solution to Life Choices staff and students.

Here is a story board visually depicting the processes the teams went through from Inspiration > Ideation > Implementation:

IMPACT Makers and Creators launches in Cape Town

The Impact Makers and Creators Programme kickstarted successfully in Cape Town, with its first intake of 20 creative social entrepreneurs on the 6 May 2019.  More than 700 applications were received for this inaugural programme in South Africa!

Belle and Co.’s Director, Belisa Rodrigues, who is a Social Enterprise Academy (SEA) Tutor, will be the main person responsible for the facilitation of the Cape Town leg of the SEA-delivered modules of the Impact Makers and Creators programme.

Impact Makers and Creators is an ambitious programme, supported by the British Council, that will work with 120 Ideation-and Growth-Stage social and creative entrepreneurs in Cape Town and Johannesburg and support them in building their social and creative businesses, make their impact sustainable and reach wider communities and beneficiaries through their work. The 6-module programme delivery partners are the Social Enterprise Academy (module 1 & 2) and Seed Academy (Module 4,5,6) including one-on-one mentorship sessions. 

Cohort 1, consisting of a broad cross-section of creative social enterprises from across Cape Town (Fashion, Design, Online Galleries, Media Companies, Apparel Company, Artist Management, Edutainment and Artist Collectives), completed Module 1 (How to build your Creative Social Enterprise) and Module 2 (How to build Self-Leadership & Resilience) of the 6-module programme in May and June this year.

The Programme Summary below:

Cohort 1 in Action:

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.

 

Music Crossroads Creative Campus in Malawi

Mchinji, Malawi

20-24 March 2019

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

Music Crossroads International runs a Creative Campus annually in Africa that enables local Music Crossroads Academies across Africa (namely  Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe) to focus on a number of modules including:  train-the-trainer of music teachers on curriculum development, audio-engineering training including live music training, instrument building and repair, as well as cultural management training for musicians, students and managers of the various academies.

Belle and Co, was tasked to co-facilitate the 10-day Cultural Management training component of the Creative Campus, and within this devised a 5-day Cultural Entrepreneurship module focusing on social enterprise development and business modelling using various design-thinking techniques and tools.Teams within the workshop came up with various solutions to some of the challenges faced by Academies which includes : Decreasing donor dependency, mitigation of drop out rates at Academies, influencing the accreditation process at a governmental level as well as the challenge of shifting mindsets when it comes to the value of music in the community. All of these activities, projects and solutions were framed within a social enterprise mindset, ensuring that there is a balance between profit and purpose, money and meaning!

The module was developed based on Belle and Co.’s years of work in the creative and cultural industries, including international exposure garnered through the Erasmus+ supported programme called “Dive in Social Entrepreneurship programme” which has been running for the last 2 years with over 12 countries.

 

 

 

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.

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.

 

 

Activating Ecosystem Change!

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.

Belisa Rodrigues, Director of Belle and Co., gets ready to present at #SwitchSeminar.

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.)

 

 

 

 

Crowd-funding for your non-profit

Crowdfunding (CF) presentation, Thu 30 Aug 2018, AORTIC Secretariat (Mowbray, Cape Town)

On Thursday 30 August 2018, Belle & Co. Associate Alexandre Rodrigues presented a lecture on non-profit financing in South Africa, with a focus on crowdfunding.  Alex is a CAIA (Certified Alternative Investment Analyst) charter holder, and works as an investment principal at Edge Growth, an SME growth specialist and impact investor.

The presentation delivered by Alex covered the following topics:

  • What is crowdfunding?
  • How does crowdfunding work?
  • How do you put a campaign together?
  • What resources do you need?
  • What platforms can you use?
  • Q&A

The presentation lasted an hour and participants in attendance were mostly from cancer non-profit companies (NPCs) AORTIC and CANSA.  Only a few participants had had some exposure to crowdfunding, with one having run an entire campaign on rewards-based international CF platform Indiegogo (to raise funding for a music concert), another having used GivenGain (also a global CF platform, but charity-based) for on-going small donations (for their cancer related NPC) whilst the last person had mostly only heard of CF (in a corporate model run by a financial services firm, OUTvest by Outsurance – a way to crowdfund one’s investing goals).

Alex began the presentation by highlighting the main sectors that use crowdfunding (social causes at 30% followed by small businesses/ entrepreneurs at 17%, with creative industries in third place at 12%).  The various types of CF models were then briefly discussed (equity, rewards, charity and peer-to-peer/P2P lending) before the global stats on the quantum of financing raised via this mechanism were shown (over $50bn worldwide in 2016, with most devoted to P2P lending at over 75%).  SA examples of platforms offering the various CF models were presented (rewards-based: Thundafund, equity: UpRise.Africa, charity: Back-a-buddy and P2P: PeerFin/ Rainfin).

The presentation went on to describe the elements of successful campaigns (e.g. use of rich media like videos, short but punchy copy, tools to share the campaign on social media, deadlines on fundraising plus realistic targets, reaching the “tipping point” within the first 2/3 weeks etc), with a focus on South African rewards-based CF examples (mostly taken from SA CF platform Thundafund), including: Land for Lions, Siki’s Coffee Revolution and “Know Your Water”.

Alex then explained what factors to consider when choosing a CF platform for one’s campaign (fees, type of funding: all-or-nothing or keep what you raise, ability to use/ incorporate multimedia, social media sharing tools etc), before delving into the importance of defining what you need the funds for and why (clarity of purpose to engage your supporters).

The presenter then stressed the importance of having a (realistic) fundraising goal and ensuring that the campaign length is optimal (SA data on rewards-based CF campaigns show that the average successful campaign raises ~R25k over 9 weeks).

Alex then went on to explain how campaigns run by dynamic teams rather than just an individual generally outperform (mix of skills and broader networks), and how maintaining a budget for the project and campaign is key to avoid running out of cash during fundraising and execution of the project.

Towards the end of the presentation, Alex explained the significance of planning, especially during the critical times of one month prior to launch (ensuring the content is ready – rich media like photos and videos, plus copy for the story, milestones to report back to community on progress, thank you letters to donors/ supporters etc) as well as on the day (stressing the importance of being able to “launch in a day”, i.e. go all out during the 24 hours after the campaign goes live, sending links to the campaign via social media, emails and even considering a launch party to drum up excitement for the project).

Alex explained the significance of feeding back to the community throughout the campaign as an essential way to keep interest and momentum, i.e. maintaining the campaign, especially given the fact that up to 65% of the funds raised are done so in the first 2 and last 2 weeks (i.e. the importance of starting and ending strong) of a campaign.  It was noted that campaigns that didn’t get past the 30-40% fundraising mark in the first 2-3 weeks were unlikely to reach their goal by the end of the campaign.

Lastly, Alex walked the crowd through his experiences running his own charity-based CF campaign 5 years ago (in 2013) and what he did well (short, punchy copy; a thank you to donors) versus what he did poorly (lack of rich media, no updates to supporters etc).  The presentation ended with some general Q&A, during which participants asked questions such as: “what the best platform to raise charitable funding in SA was” (local platform vs international; answer: depends on if campaign could have global appeal or not, i.e. for cancer-related causes, either one could work), and “what a cancer NPC could use CF to raise funding for” (e.g. sending an underprivileged scientist to an international cancer conference; to pay for the publication/ printing of a cancer directory etc).

The group then broke for refreshments and general socializing, with catering provided for by AORTIC.

 

 

 

 

 

Young leaders at UCT learn about social entrepreneurship

Mowbray, Cape Town: August 2018

The University of Cape Town (UCT) Department of Student Affairs (DSA) runs an annual Student Leadership Programme (SLP) which is a co-curricular programme designed to create meaningful purpose-driven leaders, who are compassionate, critical thinkers and embrace difference specifically aimed at those students who are not currently in leadership positions. The programme is financially supported by the Klaus-Jürgen Bathe Leadership Programme, which is a scholarship programme supporting young leaders at the UCT.

This year 140 students and 21 peer mentors joined the programme.

Belle and Co. was asked to facilitate one of the evening sessions on “Social Entrepreneurship” using a mixture of workshop and lecture style facilitation.

The evening consisted of critical thinking exercises which required the groups to take a position [strongly agree,  agree, strongly disagree, disagree]  vis-a-vis a particular statement eg. Social Entrepreneurship is a contradiction, you cannot be socially minded and focused on profits. In groups, learners were also required to read up on a number of locally-based social enterprises [pre-reading] and in groups agree on where to place each organisation in relation to one another along a spectrum which ranged from 1-8 [1 =traditional charities to 8= traditional businesses]. Learners also explored the legal structures available to social enterprises in South Africa as well as the 9 business models one can choose from when deciding on building a business for good. In-depth discussions ensued looking sharply at the fundamental, operational and political values that drive a social entrepreneur as well as the mindset needed to start a social business. The session ended with a video of the 18 Gangster Museum, a local cultural social enterprise that aims to eradicate gangsterism in communities using storytelling, museum culture  and re-constructed prisons in the heart of communities.

The SLP programme runs every Wednesday evening and on Saturdays.