Advancing Social Innovation

Catalysts for Social and Economic Change

Education Innovations & Youth

Philippi Village Changemakers Programme

Philippi Village is a joint venture between Business Activator and the Bertha Foundation - a global philanthropic foundation.

The Bertha Foundation dreams of a more just world and supports forms of activism that aim to bring about change. They champion those using media, law and enterprise as tools to achieve their vision. The foundation envisions a society where stories come from many different voices, where law is used as a tool for justice and where business delivers positive social impact. As a result of this they work with a network of people who they believe can change the world - activists working with storytellers and lawyers. While powerful on their own, they also look for opportunities for leaders to collaborate across portfolios. Driven by the The National Development Plan (NDP), which paints a vision of integrated neighbourhoods where communities can learn, work and play, Philippi Village Philippi Village is a site through which these goals are realized.

The GSB satellite hub in the community of Philippi, Cape Town, was established to deepen UCT’s roots and relevance as an African business school that is seeking to develop more socially relevant solutions to the challenges faced by most South Africans. Philippi Village is a mixed-use development zone at the center of Nyanga, Gugulethu, Mitchell’s Plain and Khayelitsha. The development was initiated more than five years ago with the vision of creating economic opportunities through the active inclusion of those who are excluded from ‘mainstream’ development.

The Bertha Centre is in a unique position to leverage its relationships with UCT and the Bertha Foundation to provide a number of initiatives aimed at supporting and galvanizing innovation with the community of Philippi and its surrounding areas.

With PV’s continued infrastructure development and placemaking at the multi-functional location, PV aims to make available opportunities for young people and community members to run small businesses from distinct placemaking developments.

There is a need to provide entrepreneurship training, sports development programmes, event organising and personal development mentoring to young people and community members who may become involved in the activation and operationalisation of the placemaking developments.

These activities can provide opportunities and prospects for the connection between PV and surrounding communities whilst upskilling a cohort of young people as they play a closer role in curating PV’s ongoing development.


In late 2019 and early 2020, BC’s Youth programme, in coordination with PV, began developing a programme of learning and skills development for the PV Changemaker cohorts. This programme, updated to include prospective partnerships, includes additional topics and skills associated with learning modules that may be valuable for the activation of the spaces.

The changemaker programme will run every 3 months. With youth being identified by BC and partners at PV.

1: Social Entrepreneurship:

Objective: The aim of the social entrepreneurship training is to increase the entrepreneurial capacity of young people (changemakers) in the Philippi area by providing weekly training and coaching.

2: Eventing and Festival Organising:

Objective: Putting practical eventing skills to effect; developing an organisational muscle about how to put things together (this process is akin to campaigning); core skills; activism; advocacy.

This experience could be invaluable during their career journeys and it may be possible to imagine follow on opportunities - by way of internships, part time work, to continue the preparation and implementation of a calendar of events and activities that serve to connect and activate PV and the surrounding communities; to include the activation of placemaking infrastructure.

3: Psychosocial support:

Objective: Research within the youth development space has consistently indicated that the most successful programmes have a strong psychosocial component. Psychosocial support within the South African context is paramount and works to develop resilience and grit within young people. Each cohort will undergo weekly sessions facilitated by partners identified by BC.

4: MOOC In person running:

Objective: To cultivate a social innovation mindset, and to assist changemaker cohorts with the foundational knowledge needed to set up effective programmes/organisations. A further objective is to provide contact sessions between the BC and youth in philippi. Each cohort will experience in person facilitation of the MOOC for two hours every two weeks across 12 weeks.

5: Reflective Learning Maths support:

Objective: To build up basic maths competencies within PV changemakers cohorts. The strategy of the youth initiative of the BC speaks to assisting young people to access further education and or employment - if this is to be achieved then work needs to be done to develop basic skills, including the building up of basic numeracy.

6: Sports for Development

Objective: To facilitate the running of effective sports for development programmes that include a holistic understanding of development. Each changemaker cohort will include between 5 - 10 changemakers that will be employed by PV to run programmes through the facilities provided on site.

The running of the changemaker programme has been postponed until government deems it safe to do so. If you would like to get into touch with the team about potential collaborations please do not hesitate to contact the centre.