Fellowship Programme Supports Social Entrepreneurs

Fellowship Programme Supports Social Entrepreneurs

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The HUB Johannesburg has announced the launch of its 2012/13 Fellowship Programme, a year-long incubation programme offered to South African entrepreneurs.

Launch applications kick off from Monday 24 September and the HUB will be hosting an information and cocktail session at its offices on Wednesday, 19 September to explain the fellowship programme to interested entrepreneurs and to answer any questions.

Innovative idea creation

While the point of the information session is to give applicants a clear idea of what the HUB is looking for, there will also be a brief fun session/competition around coming up with ideas and solutions to social problems.

The aim of the programme is to seek out and enable local entrepreneurs who have innovative solutions to the problems facing South Africa’s environment and community, two themes that lie at the core of the HUB’s purpose.

The HUB’s mandate

“The HUB is a co-working space for values-driven entrepreneurs and professionals creating social and environmental impact,” explains HUB Johannesburg founder, Lesley Williams.

“The HUB enables people to take ownership of South Africa’s most pressing social and ecological issues, and supports them in tackling these in a creative and entrepreneurial way.”

The programme

This year’s fellowship focuses specifically on the green economy, as there is little being done to support entrepreneurs in this area with huge opportunities for significant positive social impact.

From green architecture to eco-tourism, from public transport to food security – many industries fall within this scope. The programme is a platform that provides several resources to entrepreneurs who have business-based solutions to environmental problems in order to help them make their businesses sustainable. These resources include initial seed-capital and a monthly stipend to the value of R100 000, coaching, HUB membership and access to the HUB network.

Selection

Eight finalists are selected from all entries. They are then given a chance to pitch their idea to a panel of experts. The panel consists of entrepreneurs, business leaders, impact investors and environmental experts. Once the pitches have been made the panellists will convene to debate and discuss all eight finalists. A decision will be reached and the fellow and runners-up will be announced on the day. This is the start of the fellow’s one year incubation period.

Dates and Events

  • 19 September – Information session and cocktails, with a brief session on coming up with ideas and solutions to social problems
  • 24 September – Applications open
  • 26 September – Ideation Lab: The ideation lab will be focused around creating or developing an idea that is both appealing and actionable. This will be useful for potential applicants who want to refine their idea before submission.
  • 10 October – Business Canvas modelling: This workshop will teach potential applicants all they need to know about drawing up a proper business model. This session will get applicants to ask important questions relating to their business idea.

Both of the above events will also be open to the public and will be run as part of the HUB’s Business Clinic series.

  • 20 November – pre-jury meeting for finalists: tips and help on how to present to jury – what they may look for; how to present a pitch in public etc.
  • 22 November – Presentations to jury, decision, announcement of fellow and reward ceremony

For more information on the HUB and where they are situated in Johannesburg, visit http://johannesburg.the-hub.net, email Greg Musiker at Greg.Musiker@the-hub.net or call +27 (0)11 048 2542

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