Cape Town – An amount of R1.5 million has been pledged to student social entrepreneurs from the University of Cape Town (UCT) by the South African Breweries (SAB) Foundation.
According to UCT, this is part of the Student Seed Fund (SSF) initiative of the Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship, a specialised unit at UCT’s Graduate School of Business.
“We are incredibly excited about the opportunities this new funding presents to growing and encouraging the student community in taking responsibility for solving social problems through innovative business models,” said Bakang Moetse, the Centre’s project manager.
“We believe that social entrepreneurship and innovation hold the keys to South Africa’s development, and we hope that other institutions around the country will join us on this journey in the near future.”
A social entrepreneur is a person who creates a business with the sole aim of solving social problems or effecting social change. The SSF provides students who have innovative ideas for social enterprises access to seed capital.
“The foundation remains highly committed to supporting the development of innovative and impactful social ventures, similar to the likes of Lakheni and iSpani Group who are just two of the highly successful impact enterprises that have come through the SSF,” said Social Innovation project manager, Ntandokazi Nodada, from the SAB Foundation.
Nodada added that with the SSF’s application intake increasing year-on-year, there was a need and demand for the continuation of the SSF to promote social entrepreneurship and innovation.
“During its first two years, the SSF was mandated to provide pure grant funding to earlystage social enterprises ranging from R10 000 to R50 000, depending on the applicants’ enterprise lifecycle stage,” UCT said in a statement.
It further explained that the fund supported new innovations within various sectors, including educational technology, financial inclusion, township economy revitalisation, last-mile product and service delivery, and agro-processing.
According to UCT, the funded venture has had a success rate (defined as the proportion of total ventures funded that are still in operation) of 92% to date.