Projects To Date

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:

Upscale Sudan (Social Enterprise Incubation)

Belisa Rodrigues (as an Associate Tutor for the Social Enterprise Academy), has been co-designing and facilitating the Upscale Sudan incubation programme over the last 6 months, where 80 Sudanese social enterprises have an opportunity to undertake monthly modules building out their business knowledge and practice.

The modules we have delivered online include, among others: Module 3: Self-leadership; Module 4: SME Strategy; Module 5: Customer & Product Development; Module 6: Building & Developing Teams.

Here are some sample images of online activities and assignments over the past few months:

Supported by the British Council Sudan, the Upscale Sudan Programme is an acceleration programme seeking to support social enterprises through group trainings and mentorship approaches. The primary objective of the programme is to facilitate the transfer of business skills and knowledge to the early stage businesses as well as increase sustainability and growth chances of those businesses.

Digital Lab Africa Bootcamp

October 2020

9 winners of the Digital Lab Africa #4 2020 edition, were taken on a week long immersive bootcamp experience as part of their incubation programme benefits.

This included attending key sessions at the FakÚgesi Virtual Festival “Power to the Pixel” as well as an intense pitching preparation workshop (over a few days) with Belisa Rodrigues from Belle and Co., to prepare them for a live pitching session in front of producers, investors and others interested in collaboration, held online on the 30th October.

Live Pitching event:

The 9 winners of Digital Lab Africa 4th edition pitch their exciting projects in their respective category: Animation, Immersive Realities, Video Games, Music, and Digital art.

Bokang Koatja (South Africa) winner in the animation category

Natasha Nayo (Ghana), winner in the animation category

Ridwan Moshood (Nigeria), winner in the animation category

Tristan Mocke (South Africa), winner in the video game category

Robert Mensah (Nigeria), winner in the video game category

Melisa Allela (Kenya), winner in the XR category

Joey Ekunwe (Nigeria), winner in the XR category

Sizo Hlophe (Eswatini), winner in the music category

Lara Sousa (Mozambique), winner in the digital art category

Creative Entrepreneurship Programme (Goethe Namibia)

October 2020

Goethe-Institut Namibia (GI), together with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), launched a Creative Entrepreneurship Programme (CEP) in May 2020. This programme is aimed at identifying and developing businesses in the creative industry to become financially lucrative and eventually create economic growth for the Namibian creative field. After an online application process and a round of business pitches, 14 businesses were selected by an independent jury to form part of the programme.

Belle and Co. was invited as a facilitator for “Lesson 5: Business Innovation” where entrepreneurs were introduced to Human Centred Design Thinking processes, put into teams and tackled a design challenge over 4 weeks.

Challenges included: Black Pride; National Pride, Reaching the hard to reach; Resilience in Creatives. The prototypes created by each group were truly mind-blowing!

Below are some excerpts from the group work:

A Global Platform for Creative, Just and Sustainable Futures

From 12-23 October 2020, the Salzburg Global Seminar series kicks off this years annual gathering of 70 selected Young Cultural Innovators from all over the world for an immersive 10 day dialogical experience on the topic “Creative, Just and Sustainable Futures”. Belle and Co.’s Director, Belisa Rodrigues, is a YCI alumni (2012), and will this year be part of the facilitation team to take this event completely online.

More information

Communities around the world are facing radical social, environmental, political, and economic disruption, confronting complex challenges that range from the COVID-19 pandemic to structural inequity and racism, outdated systems of education and work, and climate change. The cultural sector is essential to regenerate and energize societies but artists and creative innovators have never been in a more precarious situation.

Shaping a creative, just and sustainable world calls for action at all levels and collaboration across many sectors. We need bold ideas and innovation to build a more vibrant and resilient arts sector that can advance inclusive economic development, positive social change, and urban transformation for livable cities. The Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators (YCI Forum) aims to do this by connecting, empowering and supporting rising talents in the creative sector across every continent.

Below a select screenshot of the 70+ selected innovators for this year’s YCI Session:

More information:

The mission of Salzburg Global Seminar is to challenge current and future leaders to shape a better world.

Salzburg Global Seminar is an independent non-profit organization founded in 1947 to challenge current and future leaders to shape a better world. Our multi-year program series aim to bridge divides, expand collaboration and transform systems. 

Salzburg Global convenes outstanding talent across generations, cultures and sectors to inspire new thinking and action, and to connect local innovators with global resources. We foster lasting networks and partnerships for creative, just and sustainable change.

Over 36,000 Fellows from more than 170 countries have come together through our work, with many rising to senior leadership positions. Our historic home at Schloss Leopoldskron in Salzburg, Austria – now also an award-winning hotel – allows us to welcome all participants in conditions of trust and openness.

View of the Lake across from Hotel Schloss Leopoldskron where the SGS sessions historically take place.

Creative Campus #2 goes online in Sudan

4 June 2020, Online Training (Sudan)

Last year Belle and Co. conducted a 5-day Creative Campus with Sudanese Creative Entrepreneurs under the Strengthening Citizens of Sudan Programme (co-funded by Goethe Institut and The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES)) . This year, selected participants of the 2019 campus, have come forward with a desire to run the second edition of the Creative Campus #2 in 2020. As a result, they requested a Training-of-trainers (ToT) programme to prepare them to take over as local trainers.

Training Programme: 

Due to Covid-19, this ToT was pivoted to an online programme as follows:

2 June 2020 – Soft launch of the learning platform (via Google Classrooms)

4 June 2020 – Webinar 1: Orientation / Tech Check and ToT Launch

4 – 6 June 2020  – Self Study and assignments

6 June 2020 – Webinar 2: Designing the CC#2

6-9 June 2020 – Self -study and group work

9 June 2020 – Webinar 3: Delivering the CC#2

13 June 2020 – Final Assignment

Webinar 1: Orientation

Online Webinar 1 screenshot, Sudan (4 June 2020)

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)

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