Strengthening social entrepreneurship support in Africa

Increasing capacity and connectivity among social entrepreneur support organisations

By mapping, connecting and convening intermediaries across Africa, our initiative helped improve the effectiveness and reach of organisations supporting social entrepreneurs in Africa.

GSEN social enterprise Africa

GSEN co-designed this initiative with our members and local partners Reach for Change Ghana, Yunus Social Business and LifeCo UnLtd South Africa to deliver an impactful and meaningful contribution to the ecosystem in Africa. As a result of this collaboration, we worked with more than 180 participants, reaching over 16 different countries in Africa and achieving 100% satisfaction among participants.

Our GSEN Outcomes Report illustrates the impact of this work, and contains stories from social entrepreneurs and their supporters.

View the GSEN Outcomes Report

There were three key stages to our approach:

Scoping Exercise

To commence, we conducted desk-based research and sought input from partners to identify leading intermediaries across Africa that provide support to early stage social entrepreneurs on the continent. The GSEN Mapping Report, launched in March 2017, lists more than 60 organisations supporting early stage social entrepreneurs in Africa. With a handy map and breakdown by country it’s a useful resource to discover the range of support on offer and the areas it is available to start up social entrepreneurs.

Get the GSEN Mapping Report

Learning Workshop in Accra, Ghana

Following our scoping exercise, we were able to reach out to more than 60 potential participants for a Learning Workshop in Accra, Ghana. With a transparent application process and travel bursaries to support their participation, the GSEN Learning Workshop set out to upskill and connect leading African social entrepreneur organisations.

In October 2016, 21 representatives from Ghana, Tanzania, Chad, Senegal, Nigeria, Kenya, Mali, Rwanda, Uganda, Tunisia, Sierra Leone and more, took part in the GSEN Learning Workshop, hosted by partners Reach for Change. This unique experience has already sparked new connections, collaborations and friendships.

  • 100% participants were either satisfied or very satisfied
  • 100% reported they would recommend the workshop to colleagues.

Further outcomes are featured in the GSEN Outcomes Report.

‘‘A big thank you for your amazing workshop – the first of its kind on our continent. It really was beautiful connecting everyone and coming together with a shared vision on moving the SE dialogue forward.’’

GSEN Annual Event in South Africa

Between 6-10 March 2017, GSEN and our local partner LifeCo UnLtd South Africa held a series of events for GSEN members, new participants from Africa and wider stakeholders from the continent and beyond. We began the week in Cape Town with closed sessions for GSEN members and new joiners from the continent for focused conversations and peer-learning to catapult our global network to the next stage.

The week culminated on Friday 10 March at the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Johannesburg. All in all, the GSEN Annual Event welcomed 165 local, national and global stakeholders for conversations and workshops looking at how we can collectively strengthen and sustain the social entrepreneurship ecosystem in Africa and beyond.

  • 100% of attendees declared themselves either satisfied or very satisfied with the GSEN Annual Event.
  • 89% of attendees reported learning something useful for their work, and
  • 100% made an average of 6 connections whom they would follow up with.

Markus Lux, Senior Vice President, Robert Bosch Stiftung said:

The GSEN initiative has been an important boost for increasing connectivity and
knowledge-sharing among social entrepreneurship supporters across Africa.
By connecting people with dierent backgrounds, competencies and resources,
GSEN creates the perfect environment for peer to peer learning, international
exchange and co-creation.”

We are grateful for the generous support of the Robert Bosch Stiftung, who made this initiative possible. We would also like to thank our project partners LifeCo UnLtd South Africa, Reach for Change & Yunus Social Business.

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