Cape Town social impact centre in top five globally

The Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship has been benchmarked in the top five globally for social impact in a new report from the Bridgespan Group.

Social impact education has entered the mainstream and the UCT Graduate School of Business (GSB) is among a handful of global leaders in the field - according to a new report from the Bridgespan Group.

The Bertha Centre, which was established in 2011 is a relative newcomer to the scene - it celebrated its 5th anniversary at the end of 2016. By comparison, Harvard’s Social Enterprise Initiative is 20 years old. The Bertha Centre is also the only centre in an emerging economy to be featured in the report.

“We are the first academic centre of its kind in Africa and our Centre was established in partnership with theBertha Foundation, a family foundation that works with inspiring leaders who are catalysts for social and economic change and human rights”

Dr François Bonnici Director of the Bertha Centre

The GSB is benchmarked alongside business school heavyweights including; the Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business; the Social Enterprise Initiative at Harvard Business School; the Center for Social Innovation at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, and the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School.

In addition to its analysis of the five leading social impact centres, the Bridgespan report includes a broad landscape scan of more than 60 programmes within business schools and across universities world wide. There has been rapid growth in social impact initiatives at business schools within the last decade

“The report points out that ten years ago, merely establishing such a centre was a distinctive act of leadership. But now, it’s viewed as table stakes”

Dr François Bonnici Director of the Bertha Centre

Director of the GSB Associate Professor Mills Soko agrees that business schools in Africa need to prioritise relevance and impact and should be prepared to shake things up if necessary.

“Not only do we have an important role to play in training business leaders and entrepreneurs who are properly equipped to build successful and profitable businesses that also move society forward, but we can also use our position, research skills and convening power to influence policy and practices to tackle pressing social problems,”

Professor Mills Soko

“This endorsement from the global community for the work of the Bertha Centre comes at an apt point in the school’s transformation journey. It is a further boost to what we do and encouragement to continue with this important work.”

Professor Mills Soko

Take a listen to the The Social Enterprise 101' podcast series:


This article first appeared on LeadSA : Cape Town social impact centre in top five globally


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