East African Creative Music Campus

Tanzania, 17 – 27 February 2020

The East African Creative Music Campus, is a programme offered by the Global Music Academy, and co-funded by EU Erasmus+ and Goethe Institut. There are 10 countries participating from 10 academies (includes Music Crossroads Academies). Countries covered include: Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi, Sudan, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Mozambique.

Previously held in Ethiopia in 2018, this year saw the campus travel to Tanzania, and hosted by local organisation Action Music Academy.

Belle and Co’s director, Belisa Rodrigues, together with Faisal Kiwewa, CEO of Bayimba, an organisation based in Uganda, were co-facilitators for the Business Development Workshop held over 8 days during the campus. The main outcome of the training was for each Music Academy to draw up a fully fledged business plan and cashflow projection for the next 2-3 years.

The intensive training covered topics such as:

  • Developing your Vision, Mission and defining your values
  • What is your unique Value Proposition
  • Who are your customers and what are their needs
  • Market research, market analysis and knowing your competition- where do you position yourself in the market?
  • Risk Analysis and risk mitigation strategies
  • Marketing Mix and Strategic direction, objectives and implementation plans to reach your objectives
  • Financial projections, costing and revenue streams

The training also covered topics such as grant writing and fundraising, advocacy and pitching.

DIVE 3: Social Economy Policy Debate

Belle and co. discusses the South African social economy policy and role of social enterprise from a South African perspective in the second episode of the Dive 3 debates. DIVE is a EU Erasmus+ supported social enterprise programme involving 12 countries around the world.

Live Video below (went live 2 December 2019)

Extract from the Social Economy Policy consultation invitation (30 October 2019): 

The South African government, through the Economic Development Department (EDD) is developing a policy to strengthen and stimulate the social economy so that it can grow and thrive. 

The social economy is a people centred approach to economic development, based on principles of sustainable activity that stimulates socially and environmentally responsible growth through solidarity and social inclusion. Examples of social economy organisations include stokvels, co-operatives, social enterprises and non-profits organisations. 

After several consultation sessions in 2018, a draft Green Paper has been written which frames and makes recommendations on the following themes: 

– Support Framework – Sizing and Scoping the sector: What is the social economy, and how do we define and measure it? 

– Financial Inclusion and resourcing: How do we innovate existing mechanisms to better fund and resource the social economy? 

– Access to markets: Where are the gaps and opportunities in supply chains that can be strengthened to support the social economy? 

– Legal and regulatory: What is the best legal and regulatory environment? Do we need a legal form for social enterprises? 

– New Economies and Innovation: What can we do to position the social economy to be innovative, and respond to future needs? 

DOWNLOAD: DRAFT Green Paper 7 May 2019 with cases 3.


Comments on the policy can be sent to:




Or WhatsAPP: 0663018278 (Kerryn Krige)

MORE INFO: https://www.ilo.org/global/topics/cooperatives/projects/WCMS_501549/lang–en/index.htm


DIVE 3 Social Enterprise and International Frameworks Debate

Belle and Co will be posting weekly Facebook Live Debate episodes exploring the topic of Social Enterprise from a South African perspective, as part of the EU Erasmus+ Supported Programme called “Dive 3: Zero to One > 1 to N”.

EPISODE 1: Social Enterprise as an International Framework or Global Movement, and its relationship to a South African context (released Monday 25th November).

This local series aims to create some discussion around the topic of SE in South Africa in a 5-part weekly series.

The DIVE programme has been running for 3 years together with 12 countries: Macedonia (lead country), Romania, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Greece, Poland, Italy, Portugal, Peru, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and South Africa.

More information on the programme please visit the project website: http://dive.youthalliance.org.mk

Follow the debates online, Belle and Co’s Facebook @belle.co.za and posted below as they arise.




4-6 November 2019


Creative Hubs Academy is a learning programme provided by Nesta, British Council and Hivos. The programme is for leaders of “Creative Hubs”that serve communities and create change in the fields of creative, digital and social innovation. The core of the learning programme is a 3-day capacity building workshop, followed by a period of Learning in Action, and a 2-day Coaching Retreat.


Belle and co. is one of two local trainers for Southern Africa who will go on to deliver future programmes under the connect.hubs programme.

[iPhotomontage – Belisa Rodrigues]





Skopje, Macedonia

24-27 October 2019

For 3 intensive days, youth workers, social entrepreneurs and policy makers convened in Skopje, Macedonia, from 16 different countries, came together to discuss cross-sectoral collaboration in social entrepreneurship.

See conference programme here.

Belle and co.’s director, Belisa Rodrigues, was a panelist on the “Zero Poverty + Social Enterprise” session – see presentation here.

The title of the conference “DIVE 3: Zero to One > 1 to N”, refers to Peter Thiel’s premise, that doing something someone is already doing which takes us from 1 to n, is familiar. However, when you do something new, you go from 0 to 1 – this enables leaders to emerge with unique solutions and businesses to rise above competition. The DIVE 3, refers to the third edition of the EU Erasmus+ programme called “Dive into Social Entrepreneurship” started in 2017.

So the conference played around with this “zero” theme, to extend the conversation further around social innovation in a future “zero” world: zero poverty, zero unemployment and zero carbon emissions.

The conference programme was divided into morning sessions focusing on the local Macedonian context; and then the early afternoon sessions focused on international contexts; with the late afternoon/evening sessions focused on group work and policy recommendations borne out of the inspiring sessions that day.

Watch this space for the full report and outcomes of the conference.





IMPACT MAKERS & CREATORS | Belisa Rodrigues, Director of Belle and Co. and Facilitator for the Social Enterprise Academy, led the last module of the Impact Makers and Creators Programme for 2019 in Langa yesterday.

The programme, launched in April 2019, is a fully-funded, three-month business accelerator for ideation-and-growth-stage social and creative entrepreneurs. The programme will support entrepreneurs to build their businesses, make their impact sustainable and reach wider communities and beneficiaries through their work.

120 creative social enterprises (6 cohorts) completed the programme during the period April – October, in both Cape Town and Johannesburg.

Yesterday was the last session for the last cohort in Cape Town.

Alumni of the programme from Joberg and Cape Town will meet up for the first time altogether on the 28th November, and stand a chance to pitch their projects to an audience of investors and friends. #ImpactMakersAndCreators #DICE #SEA #Belleandco

Strengthening Citizens of Sudan

16-22 September, Addis Ababa

Belle and co. co-facilitated a 4-day Human-Centred Design (HCD) Thinking bootcamp with 22 Sudanese Creative Entrepreneurs for the “Strengthening Citizens of Sudan Creative Campus Programme”. A 2-day train-the-trainer was also conducted. Both workshops took place in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia from 16 -22 September 2019.

Participants of the Creative Campus represented a range of creative (social) enterprises such as art spaces, music studios, graphic design companies, documentary film makers, fashion designers, media companies, and creative agencies.

The HCD Bootcamp was based on Ideo.org materials and enabled participants to move from their challenge/problem statement, interact with real users and build a solution in the form of a prototype.

More about the programme and client:

Friedrich Ebert Stiftung ‘FES’ in partnership with the Goethe-Institut Sudan implements on behalf of the Dutch government the programme Strengthening Citizens in Sudan ‘SCS’. The programme’s capacity building measures target newly-established Community-based Organisation ‘CBOs’ and Civil Society Organisations ‘CSOs’ in the field of transparency as well as young creatives and cultural actors in the field of cultural entrepreneurship. Programmatically SCS includes trainings on leadership (human resource management, decision making approaches, team building and management) as well as project management and organizational development skills. In addition, SCS creates a space for its beneficiaries to participate in the current public and socio-political discourses of Sudan.


SMITHSONIAN Research Mission

USA, 25-30 August 2019

Belle and Co. spent 5 days in the USA, on a research mission to discover some best practices in the museum world under the auspices of the African Union’s Great Museum of Africa project. We interviewed over 14 respondents (directors, curators, fundraisers, exhibition designers, 3D specialists, digital directors, librarians, garden directors etc); toured numerous museums, libraries and back-office admin and storage buildings; as well as collected A LOT of physical materials.

The highlight of the mission was getting to deeply experience and understand what went into the making of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. A museum built on participatory collection practices, deeply connected to community and used as a space for social justice, healing and restorative justice – “A museum to make the ancestors smile”, Lonnie Bunch III, Museum Founding Director.



19-20 August 2019

Belle and co. attended a refresher course on Fundamentals of Design Thinking at the Design Thinkers Academy in Wynberg this month.

The course covered the theory and practice of Design Thinking, and exposed the group to the following tools:

Stakeholder Mapping provides you with an overview of the ‘eco-system’ that you are exploring. Stakeholders are people, teams or organizations that directly or indirectly exchange ‘value’. The exchange of value is used as the basis to explore the underlying services provided by the stakeholders

Value Network Mapping creates insight in the exact values that are being exchanged between stakeholders. Using this tool, you already will get a more detailed insight into the services being provided by the stakeholders

Personas are used as the basis for Customer Journey Mapping. Finding out about the objectives, behavior, attitudes of people is very important for developing improvements or innovations of the services provided.

Customer Journey Mapping allows us to further step into the customer shoes. It shows us the customer’s perceptions and the larger context in which we play a part at the different stages of their journeys. It lets us be emerged in their world, their reality. Get a deeper insight into customer needs, objectives, experience and desired outcomes. It will answer questions like: What are people really trying to achieve? How are they trying to achieve this? What do they use and in what order? Why do they make a choice? What are they experiencing, feeling, while trying to reach the desired outcome?

A customer journey map is built up layer by layer. We start ‘above water’, with the customer and slowly dive deeper and deeper into the organisational structures and context. The tool can be used with customers or management, employees and other stakeholder.

This qualitative design research tool will provide you with customer insights to improve the customer’s experience. The toolkit will be handed out after the training so you can start applying the tool immediately in your context.

Service Scenarios are used to visualize how a (newly designed) service is being experienced from a customer point of view. Simple visualization techniques are being introduced.

Prototyping is done to be able to test a service concept in a ‘low tech’ environment with relevant stakeholders. Prototyping can be done by building artifacts from cardboard or paper or by using Lego. Also, role play is a powerful way of prototyping.


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.

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.