Judging by the latest trends, social entrepreneurship has acquired a second wind in Africa. Here, many want to bear social responsibility, but without support and guidelines from an experienced mentor such initiatives can not last long. Redbull set an example  by launching the Amaphiko Academy, a program that helps such businesses stay afloat.


How does social entrepreneurship attract businesses?

Experts see the clue in the specifics of the generation. Generation Y, the army of active consumers and innovator influences from 17 to 37 years, turned the world of business over. They believe that everything is possible and anyone can make a difference.

Also,  they pay special attention to ethics when building a business. So today, on the wave of globalization, many share the cosmopolitan view that each of us is a citizen of the world. This makes consumption more conscious, associated with our system of values and views.

We are considering our purchases in a holistic sense, examining the price of products not only in terms of the amount paid at the register, but also the total cost of production along the way, including pesticides and poisons used, sweatshops employed, and other, broader human consequences. – WE’VE Founder and CEO Eve Blossom.

The modern model of social entrepreneurs includes three elements: people, planet, profit. This distinguishes them among other actors in this environment.This approach has taken root in the modern corporate environment, since successful businesses always pay attention not only to economic results, but also to environmental or socially significant indicators. In recent years, it has become especially evident that goods and services reach their customers by understanding their needs and adapting to their values. They listen and become heard.
Here the mutual solidarity factor is involved. I will be socially responsible if I am loyal to a company that publicly takes on social responsibility. At the same time, caring for the world in which we live ensures the loyalty of employees and their motivation in work. When one thinks that his or her work is of use, he will be ready to do more and move the limits.

The Business of Doing Good

Many promising social enterprises have viable business models and proof of concept, but are unable to access critical technical services, mentoring and funding to enable the enterprise go to scale. That is why they need accelerationprogrammes. The results from the first years of the rise of corporate social enterprise support programmes seems promising.
“There has been a bit of cynicism. People ask, ‘What can this massive company really do for me?’ They say they want actual business rather than what they feel will just be some free advice,” Charlie Wigglesworth, head of business development for Social Enterprise UK , told the Guardian.
Acceleration programs for social entrepreneurs motivate participants to make a step towards their communities, creates a useful network for business beginners where anyone can believe that social change is possible and it does not requires much. They call themselves a launchpad for grassroots social entrepreneurs – those pioneers, change makers, innovators – who use their talent, creativity and energy to make a positive change in their corner of the world in a sustainable way.

Who can participate in these accelerators?

Social entrepreneurs are visionaries and innovators, taking high risks, and many times starting something from scratch.

Your business can only survive and thrive if it is built on a solid foundation. That foundation is not a business plan, it is you. It is individuals who define themselves and are bold enough to call themselves social entrepreneurs,” – Thato Kgatlhanye, a participant  of the 2014 Academy.

To be sustainable and effective entrepreneurs need to be aware of the needs of their target community.  There are no requirements to the scope and direction of projects. Initiatives can be both technical and organizational (like community space). The main thing is that it is useful for the society, solve a problem or satisfies a need.

These don’t need to be high-tech startups–it could be someone who started a community center to teach young people to dance. What I’m hoping is that social entrepreneurs who might not even call themselves that can see where this might fit into their work and go for it.”-

How it works

Red Bull Amaphiko Academy takes place every year since 2014.  From 15 to 20 social entrepreneurs selected by the organizers take part in the ten-day Academy with daily lectures from international and local experts. Then they will have the opportunity to work on the development of their project and their business skills for a year and a half under the expert’s personal supervision. Mentor will provide support and give useful advice on business strategy and approach. The ultimate goal is to move the project to a new level.

The Red Bull Amaphiko Academy will give social entrepreneurs a platform to ‘learn’ and ‘grow’

Amaphiko 2017: 16 social entrepreprises

The noticeable trend refers to societal concern about environmental issues. Like Bin Clean Project raises awareness of hygiene issues, Grow Box Wholesale Nursery  Aims to enable people to grow their own vegetables through portable growboxes. Meanwhile, Sidingulwazi Holdings Co-Operative Limited  has developed a device inspired by photosynthesis to reduce air pollution. Murendeni Mafumo created Kusini Water, a mobile solar powered water purification system that uses locally sourced macadamia nut shells combined with an off-grid power system to provide safe drinking water.

Other projects are dedicated to people’s comfort in medical conditions.
Kebalepile Technologies and Innovations developed an electrical medical device which computes and grades the various stages of asthma. The device also has the capacity to predict possible asthma attacks. Also, Technovera  has developed an automated system which reduces the time spent for patients waiting to collect chronic medication.
A popular direction among participants is educational issues. First of all, innovators take care of the conditions for obtaining an education. If Presto Academy concentrates on making education more accessible to everyone, then Kids Hub is thinking about ways to effectively and safely unite students and students. Other projects (Khof& Khuk Bakery, Sk8 for Gr8, Applied Sciences) help to master any special, mainly creative directions with the help of professionals.
Meanwhile, innovators understand that in today’s world one of the most serious problems is unemployment and job search. Therefore, they create models and initiatives that offer strategies and solutions (Yakh’iphupha). For example, I Am Selfmade is an online platform which aims to improve financial literacy, teaching financial management and investment skills. Employ Me South Africa  helps to handle lack of skills for creating tools  to become attractive for employers.
ZuluGal Retro  trains people with special needs to produce handcrafted fashion accessories.
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