Social Entrepreneurship Programme

Programme Information
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The Social Entrepreneurship Programme (SEP) is a multi-disciplinary training programme which equips participants with the necessary skills to run a business savvy, socially conscious organisation. The programme brings together the best practices in civil society with the best practices in business from around the world

Click here for the programme brochure


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. 

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; Business Strategy; Social Entrepreneurship; Monitoring and Evaluation; Scaling; Marketing Principles; Financial Strategy; Systems Thinking; Governance, B-BBEE and Legal Frameworks; Management for High Performance Organisations; Finding Funding; Project Management; Innovative Entrepreneurship

The programme is divided into four 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 Financially: Financial Strategy and Planning

  • Develop a business approach to the financing of your activities
  • Identify new and creative revenue streams for your work
  • Develop short-term and long-term business plans
  • Gain the accounting and financial competencies critical to effective operations
  • Attract & retain donors, investors and key partners
  • Learn how to forecast and plan for sustainable growth
  • Negotiate effectively with relevant stakeholders

 III. 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

IV. 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:

Orientation 9 February (08:30 - 17:30)
Block 1 20-24 February
(Block 1 will consist of 5 days 08:30 - 17:30)
ALP workshop 17 April
Block 2 18-21 April
Block 3 25-28 July
Block 4 19-22 September
ALP Presentations 10 November 
Mid-year  09 June 
Final year-end 01 December

In addition to the above 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. 


  • 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. 

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

  • Changemakers

  • 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.  Once the interview process is completed, you will be notified at a later stage if you have been accepted with an acceptance letter. 
  • A R6,000.00 upfront deposit is required to secure your place in the programme.  Please note full payment is required before the commencement of the course
  • 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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