Bursaries for Social Entrepreneurs













13 August 2020

The Social Enterprise Academy (SEA) and  Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) are inviting social enterprises across South Africa to become part of the newly established Community of Practice (CoP) for social impact organisations: Social Enterprise Connect.


Social Enterprise Connect is aimed at recognising, sharing and amplifying the work of social entrepreneurs in South Africa.  The CoP will create a platform where people can discuss needs, problems and solutions within the social impact space in SA, either face-to-face or online. It will also seek to encourage engagement with policy and other macro-level discussions by creating a critical mass of self-organised voices.

The CoP will consist of online intervention programmes during the COVID-19 crisis; an online resource platform specifically designed to address the needs of social entrepreneurs and in-person/on-the-ground networking and learning events to be hosted in all nine (9) provinces in SA.

Social impact organisations nation-wide are invited to participate in the online launch programmes until end 2020. (More information below). In-person networking and learning events in 2021 will commence in Gauteng, Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Kwazulu-Natal, followed by the other five provinces. 

“Social Entrepreneurs in South Africa often feel very isolated and don’t have a support system for the fundamental work that they do on the ground. Social Enterprise Connect will enable these social enterprises to form part of a cohesive and unified movement and will help them to feel less isolated and more supported,” said Rachael MillsonAfrican Partnership Director of the Social Enterprise Academy, the only specialist learning and development organisation supporting the enterprising social sector in South Africa.

Social enterprises are innovative, independent impact focused businesses that exist to deliver a specific social and/or environmental mission. Their profits are reinvested in their mission. Social enterprise is a dynamic, ethical and more sustainable way of doing business.

According to Millson both IDC and SEA strongly feel that social impact organisations have never needed the support and cohesion more than in the current COVID-19 crisis.

Millson states that SEA recognises the importance of peer learning and have built a model of shared learning within social enterprise CoPs, first in Scotland and now globally.

“We are delighted that the IDC commissioned us to start this CoP for changemakers in South Africa in partnership with the South African government,” said Milson.

According to Mtuza Mdletshe, IDC Accounts Manager of Regional Programmes, job creation through social enterprise is a key focus of the IDC.

“We are firm believers that development enterprises need to be more conscious of the direct impact that environmental and social issues have on economic growth and development. Addressing these issues directly provides great opportunities for job creation and economic growth.

“We believe that Social Enterprise Connect is a great vehicle to simultaneously enhance job creation and social impact in South Africa,” said Mdletshe.

“Social Enterprise Connect supports the development of social entrepreneurship in South Africa because we believe that social enterprise holds the solution to solve the prevalent social and environmental problems in our country, whilst at the same time contributing to economic growth and job creation,” Millson added.

Bursary Applications for launch programme: Peer Connect Support Series


Aspiring and established social entrepreneurs at startup and scale stage are invited to apply for a bursary to attend the first online intervention programme of the CoP: the Peer Connect Support Series. Each programme bursary is valued at R7,500 per social entrepreneur. Social enterprises that apply need to have a business model in place to fund their social mission.

In our current times of crisis and unprecedented change, this programme will provide social change leaders the opportunity to share concerns, ideas, solutions, while supporting each other in meaningful ways. The programme will consist of small groups of fellow social entrepreneurs who come together on a weekly basis to work through how they can navigate this crisis, both personally, for their social enterprise and for the communities they serve.

Applicants need to commit to 7x 90min sessions that will be facilitated by a Social Enterprise Academy facilitator. Spaces are limited.

Application deadline: Friday, 28 August 2020

Bursary value of programme: The value of each bursary is R7,500

To apply or for more information, please visit: www.socialenterprise.academy/za   or contact [email protected]   

Social Enterprise Connect Launch Programmes September-November 2020:


  • Online Programme: Peer Connect Support Series
  • Launch of Social Enterprise Connect Online Resource Platform for social entrepreneurs
  • Official online launch of the Social Enterprise Connect Community of Practice for Social Entrepreneurs

*Please see brochure attached for a complete overview of the Social Enterprise Connect CoP.


For further information:


Publicity & Marketing

Contact: Berniece Friedmann

T: 021 434 4951

M: 082 892 5877

E: [email protected]


Social Enterprise Academy South Africa

Contact: Jacqui Mhlanga

Project Manager: SEA SA

M: 072 608 6953

E: [email protected]




Social Enterprise Academy

Social Enterprise Academy delivers transformational learning and development programmes for people and organisations working for social change. We are a social enterprise driven by a vision of a society which combines economic activity with community benefit, led by dynamic social entrepreneurs and enterprises. Our unique approach to learning has helped thousands of social entrepreneurs and social change organisations to become stronger and more resilient, increasing both their impact and their economic sustainability. Social Enterprise Academy South Africa is part of a worldwide network of 14 hubs, supporting social change within local communities and beyond.

Industrial Development Corporation (IDC)

The IDC is a national development finance institution, owned by the South African government under the supervision of the Department of Trade Industry and Competition. The organisation promotes economic growth and industrial development in South Africa. The IDC’s vision is to be the primary driving force of commercially sustainable industrial development and innovation for the benefit of South Africa and the rest of Africa. As a national finance institution, the IDC’s primary objectives are to contribute to the generation of balanced, sustainable economic growth in Africa, and to the economic empowerment of the South African population, thereby promoting the economic prosperity of all citizens. The IDC achieves this by promoting entrepreneurship through the building of competitive industries and enterprises based on sound business principles.


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