What is the SWITCH Programme?

Identifying a gap in support for many South African social entrepreneurs, the Switch Social Entrepreneurship Programme has been well designed to support 60 carefully selected aspiring social entrepreneurs who are in the concept phase of a social or environmental initiative.

With a mission to nurture the development of strong social businesses, the programme focuses on 3 core objectives:

  1. Innovation
  2. Relevance
  3. Sustainability (impact/financially)

Once having completed the programme, delegates should be ready for business incubation or progress into the start-up phase of their initiative.

Please note that this programme is not accredited and it is not an incubator.

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Programme Structure:

Duration: 11 months (February – December)

The programme consists of:

  • 1 x two-day workshop in various locations across the country (March/April)
  • 7 x home ‘missions’ throughout the year
  • 1 x two-day, national seminar in Johannesburg (September/October)
  • 1 x BIG competition for ONE winner to venture on a 10 day entrepreneurial trip to India with Startup Safari (https://startupsafari.org/)

Thorough remote support is provided for all delegates via various platforms – no social entrepreneur will feel alone. We’re like family and offer plenty of support, motivation and praise throughout the programme.

Programme Content:

  • Research: problem statement
  • Research: understanding beneficiaries
  • The Social Business Model Canvas
  • Understanding customers
  • Legal Forms for Social Enterprises
  • Business models/income generating options for social enterprises
  • Exploring existing social enterprises/entrepreneurs
  • Social Impact Strategy
  • Fundraising event planning
  • Fundraising event hosting
  • Digital media management 101
  • Measuring social impact 101
  • Communication
  • Branding
  • Finance for startups
  • Understanding funders
  • Pitching
  • Managing volunteers/team
  • Innovation in constrained environments
  • Profit VS. Purpose

Who can apply for the programme?

Change drivers who have already completed the A! Change Drivers training are eligible to apply for the SWITCH Social Entrepreneurship Programme.

Can I do the programme if I’m working/studying?

Absolutely. The programme is delivered in bite-sizes to allow delegates to complete it regardless of whether they are working or studying. Workshops are delivered during the week so leave requests from employers may be needed.

Is the SWITCH Programme right for me?

This programme is a fairly competitive one with only 60 spaces available each year. It is important to note that the structure and expectations of the programme are quite different to that of the A! Change Drivers training. As we’re working in the entrepreneurship space, SWITCH seeks delegates that are:

  • Committed to 11 months of a programme
  • Enjoy a good challenge
  • Are ready to make money AND do good
  • Are able to meet deadlines (deadlines missed result in programme cancellation)
  • Able to access to a computer and internet
  • Self-disciplined to complete missions at home
  • Not shy to ask for help
  • Ready to work hard
  • Ready to DO!

And mostly, those that are medium to a lot crazy

Programme Cost:

On successful application, a small registration fee is required (to be confirmed).

The programme covers workshop, seminar and accommodation costs.

ACTIVATE! does not cover travel costs for the programme. Successful delegates are required to get themselves to and from the workshop venues which take place in 6 selected cities across the country. The workshop locations are determined once applications have been assessed.

How do I apply?

Applications open in November.

For any queries, please email the awesome SWITCH team:

Carrie Leaver, Programme Coordinator


Carrie Leaver

Sinesipho Klaas, Programme Assistant


Sinesipho Klaas