Projects To Date

Fak’ugesi Pitch Training

Belle and Co. designed and hosted this training programme (Mon, 18 -Th 21 October) on Discord from 18-20 Oct and on Zoom on 21 Oct. Same time daily:

13:00PM – 15:00PM (KE – EAT)

12:00PM – 14:00PM (SA – CAT)

10:00PM – 12:00PM (SN – UCT)

Overall Objective: 

  • Develop your Fak’ugesi Digi Intermediary pitch for 22 October 2021

Learning Objectives:

  • LO1: Aligning your concept with reality
  • LO2: Developing a convincing pitch
  • LO3: Enhance confidence in pitching in front of a regional and international audience 

Over 4 days, AR, VR and Immersive Media Intermediaries were taken through a series of activities to enhance their pitching skills in preparation for a pitching session in front of investors and funders to be held on Zoom on the 22 October 2022.

“A stellar list of investors in the digital innovation & creativity sector form the judging panel for a  funding pitch, specifically for Intermediary work to support the Digital Games & Immersive Media Sectors in Africa.  A focus on work in South Africa, Senegal & Kenya, with one funding grant to be awarded to participants in each country through Fak’ugesi Festival supported by the GIZ”.

The Funders include those from Vodacom, Plug and Play, DER (Senegal’s state delegation in charge of financing, coaching entrepreneurs throughout the country), Foschini Group, E-Commerce at Standard Bank South Africa as well as MasterCard.

The training took place within the Discord Environment, which allowed a central point of information gathering, discussion and learning to take place. And was facilitated by Belisa Rodrigues of Belle and Company.

Some activities included covering storytelling techniques, pitch deck development and included a guest speaker, Madiba Olivier of Ki’iro Games from Cameroon sharing his pitch journey of failures and successes.

Olivier Madiba of Kiro’o Games, and Guest Speaker at Fak’Ugesi Pitch Training

Finally the day arrived for each participant to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges. Here is the full zoom recording of the pitches:

Live Streamed Pitching event on 22 October 2022 as part of the Fak’Ugesi Festival

Congratulations to the three winners: Smilo Gosa (South Africa), Mukui Mbindyo (Kenya) and Julien and Maeva of Kayfo Game Studio (Senegal).

Mental Health Prep: Commonwealth Scholarships

26 August 2021

The British Council commissioned Belle and Co. to design an important pre-award session for newly selected Commonwealth Scholarship holders, in preparation for their study journey overseas.

The day was opened by Meekness Lunga, British Council Programme Manager, followed by two opening keynote addresses by Adam Bye, Deputy High Commissioner, Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office as well as a congratulatory message by Ms. Kealeboga Letlhaku, Deputy Director: Scholarships Management, Department of Higher Education and Training.

13 Commonwealth Scholarships scholars were competitively selected from a pool of 200 applicants.

The pre-departure briefing included invited Commonwealth Scholar alumni and scholars together, on behalf of Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the UK to participate in a workshop session about “The Impact of Covid-19 on mental health and well-being”.

A number of alumni speakers were invited to share their stories of achievements, the impact of the award and sage advice on how to best prepare for this life changing milestone. The session’s discussions centred on a key aspect of preparation, namely mental health and wellbeing given the Covid-19 pandemic situation. The speakers included:

Alumni panelists: Siphiwo Ngeni; Jean Pelser; Mbali Pewa & Bronwyn Sheriff

The session harnessed the expertise of scholars with backgrounds in psychology and education, coupled with real life struggles of mental health. The space created, allowed for the current scholars to express their fears, share their own stories and ask questions openly. Jean Pelser shared an interesting pocket guide on how to manage mental health through 10 easy steps:

The session was rounded off with invited guest and Belle and Co. Associate, Mutsa Samuel, who spoke on becoming trauma-informed.

Belisa Rodrigues concluded the session with facilitated feedback and story telling from the floor. The feedback after the session called for more such spaces of vulnerability.

Belisa Rodrigues and Mutsa Samuel

Solving the Worlds Problems

July/Aug 2021

Over a 5 week period, Belle and Co. facilitated a hybrid design thinking workshop with two cohorts of Life Choices Coding Academy students in Cape Town. Problems being tackled included among others: Environmental Pollution, Youth Unemployment, Lack of Ubuntu, Crime, Gangsterism, Developing SMMEs, and Service Delivery.


Each group broke down their problem using a problem tree, and gained a deeper understanding of the key issues but speaking to experts, the public at large and others.


After understanding the problem a little better, each group had to come up with a key insight that got turned into their key question they were looking to solve. After which each group was encouraged through various brainstorming techniques and inspiration, to come up with 50 new ideas.


On the last day, groups were given a few hours to come up with their key idea and to create a prototype for presentation to the rest of the class including invited guests from outside.


Prototypes ranged from Interactive Art Exhibition to immerse yourself in the lives of others; A rehabilitation and education centred called Aqua Cure for marine animals; An eco-fashion line using everyday waste; An Entrepreneurship school for ex-offenders; A mobile app for predicting public transport issues; A mobile app to connect unemployed youth to job opportunities and internships (locally and abroad); A community clean up co-operative; educational campaign on civic rights; a centre for GBV; and a financial literacy game modelled on Monopoly.

Creators Hubs Sudan 2021

5 June 2021

The second online “Running Creative Hubs Programme” 2021, was launched earlier this month (5 June 2021) as part of the New Spaces capacity development offered to 4 Creators Hubs in Sudan (Music Hub, ArtTech Hubs, Womens Hub) supported by the Goethe Institut. See intro video below on the New Spaces Programme:

Goethe New Spaces Project Co-ordinator

Programme facilitators:

  • Belle and co Associate, Mutsa Samuel, based in Zimbabwe, is the Founder of UbuntuLab, Africa’s first and only personal Growth Hub that deals with the holistic development of emerging market entrepreneurs, influencers and institutions.
  • Belle and co Director, Belisa Rodrigues, based in South Africa, is the founder of a mission-based social enterprise called Belle and Company Pty Ltd offering training, research and consulting services to creative and social enterprises across Africa.

June Programme outline (Timezone GMT+2):

SESSION 1 Discovering Your Hub Personality

Saturday, 5th June 2021 10 am -12 pm

SESSION 2 How Hubs Change Hearts and Minds

Saturday, 12th June 2021 10 am -12 pm

SESSION 3 Sustaining yourself, your hub and your community

Saturday, 19th June 2021 10 am -12 pm

SESSION 4 Futures thinking: Resilience, Risk and Reaching out

Saturday, 26th June 2021 11 am – 13 pm

SESSION 5 Your Culture of Celebration

Saturday, 3 July 2021 10 am -12 pm

July, August, Sept, October Programme:

Monthly Webinars with guest speakers, Individual and Hub Coaching Clinics.

November Programme

5-day, in-person Creative Sustainability Bootcamp in Khartoum.

Meet some of the Creators Hub participants here:

Music Hub, Sudan
Art Tech Hub, North Darfur, Sudan
Screen shot from Session 2 “How Hubs Change Hearts and Minds”, 12 June 2021

Social Enterprise in Schools

10 May 2021 – 17 May 2021

Belle and co. was offered an amazing opportunity through the Social Enterprise Academy South Africa, to work in their Social Enterprise in Schools Programme supported by the British Council. This is the first time a programme of this nature has been run in South Africa, which has had a longer track record in other countries such as Scotland, Australia and Malawi among others.

As a Social Enterprise Academy facilitator, our job was to facilitate a Continuous Professional Development session with 2 champion teachers and 1 principal from each of the 10 participating schools, as well as to run the first pupil’s workshop to get them excited for their 6 month enterprising journey.

The programme aims to introduce learners from grade 4-7, to the exciting world of social enterprise, encouraging them to come up with ideas that will simultaneously generate an income and help their community.

The programme runs from May 2021 – December 2021, ending with a Dragons Den competition among the top participating schools as well as a closing award ceremony.

Watch this space!

Digital Delivery Refresher SEA Zambia/BongoHive

30th April 2021 | Online Session

Belle and Co. was approached as a senior Social Enterprise Academy (SEA) facilitator in South Africa, to design and deliver an online Continuous Professional Development (CPD) Programme for SEA Zambia facilitators and staff. This session was customised to respond to the current needs of SEA Zambia who wanted the latest digital delivery techniques, and refresher of the SEA pedagogy as it relates to online learning.

Below is a screenshot of one of the session activities, crowd-sourcing activities that suit differing learning styles of potential learners online.

Cover Image: The Duke of Sussex, Prince Harry @BongoHive Zambia’s First Technology and Innovation Hub/ 27 Nov 2018/ Credit: Tim Rook / REX / Shutterstock

Commonwealth Scholarship Alumni

23 & 27 February 2021

Belle and co. was asked to facilitate two workshops for alumni of the Commonwealth Scholarship Programme on the 23 February and 27th February 2021. Thobeka Poswa and Belisa Rodrigues designed and co-facilitated workshop processes to connect alumni with one another, ascertain what alumni are looking for in a post-scholarship engagement experience, and for alumni to commit to one action that will pay it forward in their community and in their area of expertise.

Launch of DICE Digital Fund – meet your “match-makers”

1 December 2020

The launch of the DICE Digital R&D fund was announced today! And this week a series of “drop in clinics”, as well as “match-making sessions” will be held online to help organisations find a suitable partner/project to apply to this fund.

Belle and Co. has been asked to assist in the match-making process! Match-making sessions will take place on the 3rd, 4th & 8th December 2020.

The fund offers 20 grants to support the development and delivery of 20 co-designed ‘digital experiences’. Organisations registered in the following countries are eligible to apply and submit a joint proposal from two (2) different DICE countries. These countries are : Brazil, Egypt, Indonesia, Pakistan, South Africa and the UK.

More information on the website here:

Joint applications are due by: 15 December 2020.

Web Extract:

We are delighted to announce the launch of the DICE Digital R&D Fund on 1 December 2020.

This Fund will offer 20 grants to support the development and delivery of 20 co-designed ‘digital experiences’ that contribute to the DICE programme’s mission and ethos.

The Fund will also support the creation of a community of practice across the 20 partnerships to share learning from the digital experiences.

The value of each of these grants will range between £7,000 – £15,000.

The 20 grants will be awarded to 20 pairs of organisations, known hereafter as ‘DICE Digital Partners’, which will co-design and co-deliver a digital experience. 

About the digital experiences 

The digital experiences should: 

  • be delivered between February and May 2021
  • be designed by, with and/or for groups that are often disadvantaged in the economy, including but not limited to youth, women or people with disabilities
  • be tailored and produced for specific groups, such as creative social entrepreneurs, artists and policy makers
  • enable the DICE Digital Partners to enhance and improve their own digital confidence, capabilities and infrastructure
  • create genuine connection and camaraderie between the participants.

Please find a full list of requirements for the digital experiences in the Guidance Notes for Applicants, attached below. See also Info and support for applicants section below (click on the title to see the text).  

Who can apply?

Organisations that wish to apply must be based in a DICE country (Brazil, Egypt, Indonesia, Pakistan, South Africa and the UK) and must submit their application together with a partner organisation in another DICE country. (See ‘Info and support for applicants’ below for support in finding a partner).

We cannot accept applications from organisations applying without a partner organisation or from applicants that are not legally registered in a DICE country.

How Might We…?

25 November 2020

How might we tackle youth unemployment, or create safe public transport for women who are experiencing Gender Based Violence, or How might we lead young people away from Gansterism and Drugs? These were some of the tough or “wicked” problems Cape Town students were trying to solve in their design thinking teams over the last 3 weeks at Life Choices Coding Academy under the facilitated guidance of Belle and Company.


Learners had to dive deep into their problem statement, interviewing the public about their experience of the topic and deepening their understanding of the root causes using a Problem Tree.


Returning with new found insights, and converging on one part of the problem, groups had to ideate 50 ideas using techniques learnt in the session. Post-it notes abounded, and groups defending their ideas until only 1 solution was chosen per group.


After a week of thinking and refining their solution, the day came to manifest their idea in a prototype – actually making a product or service! Many prototyping techniques were explored from wire frames, paper prototypes, story boarding, adverts to news of the future!


5 Groups presented their ideas to a live audience consisting of their peers and Lifechoices staff members. Audience members commented on the groups innovations and encouraged groups to actually implement these ideas out in the real world. Recapping the last few weeks, learners were surprised how creative they could be, and also commented on the intensity of the process that required them to do a lot of critical thinking before getting hands on and creating something out of nothing. Ultimately the key lesson learnt was around innovation, creativity, mindset change and team work.

Some images from Prototyping Presentations: