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Social Entrepreneurship Programme

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A multi-disciplinary training programme which equips participants with the necessary skills to run a business savvy, socially conscious organisation.


Social Entrepreneurship Programme Brochure 2020.pdf

This flagship programme of the GIBS Entrepreneurship Development Academy is designed to provide social change makers and entrepreneurs with the skills, creative thinking and networks needed to tackle the complex social and economic realities of the communities within which they work. Classes have a reputation for passionate debate as theories, experience and the diverse worlds of entrepreneurs, NGOs, business and government meet. The programme brings together the best practices in civil society with the best practices in business from around the world.

Programme content:

Learners can expect an interactive, challenging programme with:

  • Theory delivered in lectures and reading material
  • Analysis of socio-economic context using robust case studies and guest speakers who are leading industry authorities
  • Knowledge application through assignments, syndicate work and projects 

The programme has constant assessment with pre-reading, pre-block assessments and two post-block assignments per block. The grading of the assessments follows the rigorous scrutiny and marking process as with any other GIBS programme.

Subjects include:

Action Learning Research Project;  The context of Social Entrepreneurship in SA; Systems Thinking; Strategy for Social Enterprises; Monitoring & Evaluation; Design Thinking & Effectuation; Financial Management; Project Management; Marketing Social Entrepreneurs Branding; Scaling Up; Measuring Impact; Managing Change; Personal Resilience; Managing People; Stakeholder Engagement; Funding Panel and Legal Framework for Social Entrepreneurs.                                                                                                                                                      

The programme is divided into three training blocks along the following themes:

 I. Creating Change: Understanding Systemic Change, Leadership and Social Entrepreneurship

 Social Entrepreneurship and Systemic Change

  • Consider the role of social entrepreneur's vis-à-vis business and government in southern Africa
  • Understand what constitutes systemic and long-lasting social change, and how we can achieve it
  • Learn from particularly innovative solutions as case studies

 Leadership and Strategic Planning

  • Evaluate your own strengths and weaknesses to become a more effective leader
  • Design and implement a leadership development process
  • Understand the strategic principles behind powerful initiatives
  • Introduction to monitoring and evaluation
  • Integrate leadership, governance and strategy into a purpose-driven, contextually relevant organisational model

 II. Sustaining Change Operationally: Institutional and Project Management

  • Increase the motivation and productivity of your staff, creating a culture of high performance
  • Learn and implement the fundamentals of project management
  • Gain conceptual tools to identify and address operational constraints
  • Understand how to comply with government regulations and how to legally structure your initiative
  • Plan for long-term operational and programmatic sustainability
  • Monitor the performance of your enterprise and learn how to better allocate your resources

III. Scaling Change: Organisational Growth, Monitoring & Evaluation and Marketing Principles

 Marketing and Measuring Impact

  • Harness the skills to successfully market and communicate your value proposition
  • Learn how to research, evaluate and measure the impact of social initiatives.

Scaling Up Impact

  • Explore organisational stages of growth and what is needed institutionally as your initiative develops
  • Consider if, when and how you should scale up
  • Assess various models for scaling impact
  • Analyse case studies on growth patterns of social initiatives
  • Cultivate new partnerships and learn how to maximise their potential

 Programme dates for 2020:

Email Lorenzo Line at for the programme dates. In addition to the programme dates, syndicate group work is done throughout the year which requires you to regularly meet with your group to work on assignments and attend ALP feedback sessions. Please note these are excluded from the actual programme dates. The orientation and first block will begin online due to COVID-19. We are in communication with all shortlisted delegates about the programme.  


  • 100% Attendance is required in order to graduate from the programme.
  • You will receive a certificate of completion. 
  • Graduation takes place the following year in March / April.

Application criteria:

Successful candidates will have: 
-  minimum of five years' work experience, including at management level 
-  demonstrated motivation, conceptual skills, and drive
-  tertiary qualification an advantage

*Applicants who are highly qualified but lack sufficient work or academic experience may be considered by exception. 

Applications will be reviewed and evaluated on a rolling basis. The course does fill quickly, so the earlier your application is submitted, the higher your chance of being accepted. 

Closing date for acceptance confirmation and submission of debit order form will be covered.

In 2018, we published the first-ever national survey of social enterprises in South Africa. The aim of this, the first and largest study of its kind, was to understand social enterprises in South Africa – WHO they are, WHERE they are, WHAT they do and HOW they operate. Click here for the full report.

Download Document

More Information

Who should attend?
  • Social entrepreneurs or anyone looking to start a social enterprise;
  • Non-profit leaders
  • CSI managers;

  • BBBEE and transformation experts;

  • Trustees of boards;

  • Those working in sustainability and triple bottom line;

  • Development practitioners

  • Change makers

  • Funders; and

  • Government.     

How you will benefit
  • Gain insight into the complex challenges of social change, financial sustainability and innovation;

  • Develop a deeper understanding of strategy, leadership and governance;

  • Acquire entrepreneurship training and business skills in finance, operations and management; and

  • Ensure practical application of theoretical ideas to your immediate work​

  • Once registered, you will receive a reference number to confirm your registration and thereafter will be invited for an entrance interview. Interviews commence on the 25th  Feb to 5th April 2019. Successful applicants will be communicated with between the 8th and 10th April 2019.
  • A R9,500 upfront deposit (25% of the R38 000 fee) is required to secure your place in the programme. Please note full payment is required before the commencement of the courseThe balance is payable in equal monthly instalments of R4,750 via debit order. The last debit order will be in October 2019.
  • Due to the customised nature of this programme, around addressing the needs and demands of Social Enterprises, this programme is not accredited.
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