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Bertha Centre For Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Graduate School of Business, University of Cape Town: Our mission is to pursue social impact towards social justice in Africa, through teaching, knowledge-building, convening and catalytic projects with a systems lens on social innovation.

University of Cape Town, Graduate School of Business


The Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship is the first academic centre in Africa dedicated to advancing social innovation and entrepreneurship. It was established as a specialised centre at the UCT Graduate School of Business in late 2011, in partnership with the Bertha Foundation, a family foundation that works with inspiring leaders who are catalysts for social and economic change, and human rights. In collaboration with the GSB, the Centre has integrated social innovation into the business school curriculum, established a wide community of practitioners and awarded over R7-million in scholarships to students from across Africa.


Through our partnership with Johnson & Johnson, we aim to provide targeted support to social innovators in Africa using mobile technology to improve maternal and child health outcomes through engagement with the public sector, with a strong learning objective of exploring pathways to scaling their implementations towards greater health systems integration.


Funding for social innovations

We provide funding to social innovation organisations to support key objectives.

Capacity strengthening

We conduct needs assessments, develop technical assistance plans and assist social innovators with monitoring and evaluation processes.


We design, convene and evaluate a course on Leading Social Entrepreneurship. Through this we document lessons learned and explore emerging methodologies.

Peer learning

We facilitate peer learning processes by convening peer learning calls and providing funding for social innovation peer visits.



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Francois is the founding director of the Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business. Originally trained as a physician in South Africa, he also read for a master’s degree in Public Health (University of London) and an MBA (University of Oxford) as a Rhodes Scholar. He has worked in paediatric clinical medicine, as well as in humanitarian and development programmes. As a Global Leadership Fellow of the World Economic Forum, he worked on developing public-private partnerships and innovations for development, later heading up the Forum’s own Schwab Foundation work in social entrepreneurship in Africa and the Middle East. He co-founded the African Social Entrepreneurs Network and, with colleagues, has established an award-winning social venture that builds low-cost medical devices for low-resource settings.


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Katusha is a Senior Project Manager at the Bertha Centre supporting project work within the innovative finance, education, and healthcare focus areas, as well as leading and supporting various strategic initiatives occurring across the Centre. Katusha has served as the project manager for the Groote Schuur Hospital Innovation Hub as a part of her work with the Healthcare Innovation Initiative, was the editor of the first Innovative Finance in Africa Review, published in 2016, and facilitated and co-designed innovation workshops in partnership with IDEO.org and the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design Thinking at UCT. Prior to joining the Bertha Centre, Katusha worked with Surgical Directions, a boutique peri-operative healthcare consultancy based in Chicago, IL, and with PricewaterhouseCoopers, as part of the Chicago Health Advisory practice working on multiple payer, provider, and pharma/life sciences projects across the American healthcare system. Katusha has a JD from the University of Kentucky Law School, and a Masters in Health Service Administration from Xavier University. She is Lean Six Sigma certified from Villanova University, and holds a certificate in Project Management from DePaul University.