Cape Town’s Bertha Centre to host funding “do-ference”

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The Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship, a specialised centre at the University of Cape Town (UCT) Graduate School of Business will host its annual Pathways to Funding Do-Ference in September, bringing together entrepreneurs, startups, finance and legal experts.

This year, the Bertha Centre is partnering with the Flexible Workspace @ 8 Morrison Street in Durban, the Impact Hub in Johannesburg, and the Bandwidth Barn in Cape Town to host the Pathways to Funding Do-ference across South Africa.

The Durban event will take place on September 7-8, the Johannesburg event on September 15-16, and the Cape Town event on September 28-29.

The two-day events will give delegates the tools they need to raise funding through practical interactive mini-workshops, inspirational TED-style talks, and free one-on-one sessions with experts.

Topics will cover “Understanding your business”, “Social finance”, “Reaching your goal”, and “Inspiring inclusive and sustainable business models”, with speakers including Bathabile Mpofu, winner of the 2016 Total Startupper of the Year award, Matsi Modise of Simodisa and Darlene Menzies of FinFind.

“At the Do-ference attendees can choose which talks to attend based on their needs – as we run about three to five workshops simultaneously,” said Tine Fisker Henriksen, impact investing project manager at the Bertha Centre. “The Do-ference is designed to help you “do” – to go out and raise funding. Whether your business is in the ideation, incubation, implementation or scale phase, our mix of content and speakers will help answer your exact needs and questions.”

The event is designed to help early-stage entrepreneurs access the tools and connections they need to take their social enterprises to the next level. For the 2017 Do-ference, the Bertha Centre, in partnership with Community Chest, is launching a six-month support programme for a cohort of peer-nominated Pathways to Funding entrepreneurs.

The Pathways Programme is designed to help social entrepreneurs grow their business by opening the right doors. During the six months, the entrepreneurs will be able to access the expert services they need to get their businesses investment ready.

The Bertha Centre will act as a gateway to an ecosystem of support organisations as well guide the entrepreneurs on an innovative finance journey, such as how to monetise their social and environmental impact, and how to blend grants, loans and equity investments.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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