Portal:Social entrepreneurship/networking/activities/Student Social Entrepreneurship Network Partner Meeting - April 2008

Representation Edit

  • World Bank Institute: Bob Hawkins, Thiru Swettenham
  • University of Pretoria: Martina Jordaan
  • University of Northwest: Annemarie Kruger
  • University of Venda: Margaret Jiri
  • Meraka Institute: Ron Beyers, Mario Marais
  • Soweto Business Council: Teboho Mashego
  • University of Johannesburg: Student Foundation for student community engagement - Lucky Litelu and Bongani Zwane
  • Student Sponsorship Programme: Sibongle Khumalo

Discussion on organizational structure of the SSE network Edit

  • Network structure
  • Network Communications Strategy
  • Vision Statement
  • Mission Statement
  • Partnerships
  • 100 day challenge
  • Next steps

Vision Statement Edit

Annemarie: I envision a South Africa where its people take responsibility for their own lives, where employ there talents, abilities and skills to build their country and wealth of their children and where new skills to build opportunities are carried from one generation to another.

Margaret: To foster a learning environment that is rooted in humanistic values and responsive to conditions of our society.

Bob: Focus on youth - create network of multidisciplinary stakeholders to create an enabling environment for young people

Bob: To be a learning network whereby ideas and interventions can be evaluated and shared across the network.

Mario: Open innovation

Tebogo: Importance of supporting Mentorship - young people need mentors.

Create list of values and use that to build the Vision statement.

The result of this discussion could be placed on the About page (see also its discussion page).

Mission Statement Edit

Annemarie: To advance a forum/platform/infrastructure to support (build and strengthen) motivate teams of social entrepreneurs with innovative solutions to society's major and most pressing social issues.

What do people want from the network:

  • to feel that they are not alone!
  • break the paradigm - so that in giving you shall receive
  • build a name/credibility to attract real funding (a structure through which they can allocate money which cells can access)
  • Assure quality of projects to ensure credibility
  • Core team to identify and liase with sources of funding
  • Core team to bridge money, entrepreneurs, researchers, mentors
  • Concrete examples of Social entrepreneurs that has been supported
  • Supporting students with good ideas (improving number of entrepreneurs from 1 out of 100 to 2 out of 100)and documenting the learning
  • Many students that are exposed to and learn from community projects
  • Need volunteers that want to support the social entrepreneurs
  • Bring information to as many people in the community as possible

The result of this discussion could be placed on the About page (see also its discussion page).

Network structure Edit

Process needs to be established for "core group" to establish the coordinating body of the network. World Bank Institute can play an incubating/interrim role but a body is required to become the home.

The network is not an exclusive club. But needs to create credibility with time.

National level: Core team that coordinate all the cells in the country. Coordinating the network and acting as resource for the network. As contact for government, for funding. Need to identify the key bodies that the SSE network need to liaise with (e.g. Dept of Labour re. skills development, DTI Apex fund, SEDA, Umsobomvu Youth Fund,... )

Core team should market idea to prospective cells.


  • Each a small network on their own in their area with their partners.
  • At city level? Provincial level is too large.
  • Cell could be Project based or Area based.
  • Cells register with coordinating core team.

Every cell needs a driver (host institute) that will grow it

Who heads a cell/chapter? An individual or institution?

  • Either individual or institution.
  • Get away from individual focus, work in teams
  • Get away from competing with each other and feeling threatened

Cells should conform to certain guidelines compiled by the core coordinating team.

  • To be chapter or cell:
    • Have monitoring and evaluation capabilities
    • Be willing to contribute lessons learnt and learn from others
    • Provide support to other cells
    • Be an inclusive as possible and not create barriers to joining - University, NGO, CBOs, entrepreneurs, business, funders
    • Come up with sustainability plan for cell

How to start a cell?

  • Do situational analysis in context (needs, key stakeholders, existing organisations, e.g youth, traditional structures)
  • Or start with existing critical mass of interested parties in Student Social Entrepreneurship (e.g Tshwane cell, Johannesburg cell)

Network Communications Strategy Edit

  • Cells: Hold forums with the different partners, steering partners
  • Each cell has different communication strategy to fit their context
  • Platform for sharing information - e.g the Wikiversity site. Not a chat room, somewhere where you can find information and facts about funding, lessons learnt, etc.
  • Make sure that people without Internet can access the information - e.g. brochure.
  • Regular communications - national annual conference, online newsletter, paper newsletter.
  • Have clearing house for partnering, for identification of projects by students

Partnerships Edit

  • Dept of Labour re. skills development
  • DTI Apex fund
  • SEDA
  • Umsobomvu Youth Fund

100 day challenge Edit

Recall 100 Day challenge of SA National workshop.

Next steps Edit

  • Identify which projects are ready to collaborate.
  • Get information from projects so that we find out what they need from the network.
  • Take draft vision and mission statement and test it with projects.
  • The framework should support their needs, not a top-down design.
  • Send basic template for information to elicit a response.
  • People need to see what the value is for them, otherwise the network will die.
    • Needs to make their lives easier.
  • What drives social networks?
    • People find they have shared interests.
  • How do you create a network with doers (who do not have the time to sit down and talk about it!).
    • Have to make sure that we address this inherent “weakness” of a network of doers.
    • Have to have somebody collect the information – willing to share if somebody comes and asks you for help.

What are the objectives of the next three months? Edit

  • Summary note to group to reflect this meeting + progress on 100 day challenge
  • WB and Meraka look at how to identify projects and starting to engage with them (develop short survey, to get inputs to shape collaboration framework)
  • Ask for feedback for next newsletter. (Send regular emails that report progress and ask people to share their progress (e.g. biggest mistake, biggest win).
  • Next meeting on morning of Tuesday 10 June. Conference call. Identify video conferencing site or do conference call.

Discussion and feedback on collaborative framework for National SSE Project Edit

Discussion of the Social Entrepreneurship Collaboration website and the “community innovation competition”

We should identify what are the existing competitions students are engaging in. How does this tie in with Innovation Fund’s Student Business Plan competition? They do focus on technology. We need to cater for the social studies students. The output could be a process, not necessarily a product.

Use the competition as an incentive to create the clearing house. For students to put their projects on. Also vehicle for universities to start own competition for postgraduate students (compete locally and then nationally). Universities can use the “competition template”. Material can then also be used for research purposes.

Secondary schools competitions that are also relevant: ThinkQuest, Science Expo’s.


  • Meeting with WBI, Meraka, and an IT person from UP to discuss IT platform (Emmerentia Nel). Then meet with designers and test prototype.
  • Meeting to refine the framework. Get inputs from lecturers: what would be reasonable outputs to ask of students in various phases? Response: The demand of framework for now is too broad for general undergraduate students - focus on students that need community work in their courses – e.g. social work/health/nutrition, or run as a separate competition that is the student’s choice, as encouraged by lecturers, lecturer develops a programme that students can slot into. Combine all the small projects into a larger vision, a programme. Three questions for the lecturers: 1. Are the phases correct? 2. What are realistic outputs? 3. What are realistic timeframes?

Proposal framework for funding Edit

  • Areas for support
  • Existing funding sources
  • Business plan ideas
  • Lead proposal team

Areas for support Edit

  • Secretariat expenses (Transport, communication)
  • Incentives for competition(s) (includes seed funding for projects that won).
  • Marketing
  • IT support and training
  • Conferences – cell level, national (sponsorships for students to attend, lecturers, NGOs)
  • Bursaries for expert visits, student visits, exchange programmes between cells.
  • Secretariat is not a funder, but a link to funders
  • Monitoring and evaluation (govt is source of funding)