4   +   7   =  

16 days to go – Social Entrepreneurship & Innovation in South Africa 2015

Flights are booked. A handful of interviews confirmed. My excitement is rising. And my head increasingly thinking about opportunities and ideas of how to use my skills, knowledge and passion of Social Entrepreneurship in South Africa in the future for the long-term.

FlySafair – South Africa’s newest low-cost airline catering for the domestic market

Since I’ve left South Africa in July 2013, there seem to be some positive developments in terms of Social Entrepreneurship. In addition, I’ve discovered that there is a new South African low-cost airline called FlySafair, which I booked for my flight from Johannesburg to Cape Town and return (ZAR 1,472 ~ €112).

FlySafair was born from a company that already has 49 years of experience; used to be known as air logistics and specialised air services company Safair. They transported medial supplies and food relief into inaccessible territories for the United Nations (UN), the World Food Program (WEP) and other international aid agencies. Interesting and unexpected background, right?

FlySafair launched its low-cost passenger operations in October 2014 and currently flies to Cape Town, Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth and George. Like other low-cost airlines, FlySafair is charging passengers a basic rate which secures a seat and allows the passenger to take up to two pieces of luggage (7kg in total). Extras such as catering, check-in luggage, pre-booked preferential seats or extra-space seats are charged at additional costs. Although it is a relatively standard practice in Europe for low-cost airlines to charge extra for pre-seating and checked baggage, FlySafair is the first South African airline following this model.

Image: http://www.southafrica.to/

Image: http://www.southafrica.to/

Identifying and profiling people and organisations in the Social Entrepreneurship scene in South Africa

Besides booking the flight, I’ve secured some meetings & interviews in Cape Town and Johannesburg and are currently busy with arranging more. One of the companies I will meet to talk about Social Entrepreneurship in South Africa is Behold SA.

Behold I Social Enterprise Directory whatamission.comBehold SA is a social enterprise of entrepreneurial professionals dedicated to helping companies do business that results in economic benefits while also having a positive effect on identified societal needs. A place where ‘pure corporates’ blend with NGO’s to create a new entity with a significant new approach.

Another one I’m going to meet is called Simanye:

Simanye_logoSimanye are economic development and B-BBEE specialists who find innovative and impactful solutions for transformation and sustainable development in South Africa.

I’m also going to visit the Impact Hub Johannesburg, who recently held a “Fuck Up Night”,  which is held globally on the second Thursday of every month. It is hosted by a number of entrepreneurs who had, at one stage, failed in their business ventures, picked themselves up and are now rearing to go, once again! These conversations about failure shine a light on the challenges, the lessons learned and the tenacity that these entrepreneurs employed to reach the heights they are currently at. Sounds exactly like something I’m looking for!

But more importantly, what is it that you are interested in? What is it that could help you further in your social entrepreneurial journey? What would you like to know about Social Entrepreneurship in South Africa? Are you interested in specific problems or topics? Please let me know via this very brief 4-question survey I’ve created.

An overview of social enterprises and supporting organisations worldwide can be found in the directory, which I’m constantly updating. At the moment, I’ve got global entries and entries from Egypt, Germany, The Netherlands, South Africa, Uganda, the UK and the USA. The directory also allows you to add you organisation or social enterprises you know about – free of charge.