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We support people who are committed to delivering
sustainable solutions to social challenges in South Africa

Unltd South Africa Timeline

  • It all started with an individual, a problem - and an idea.

    The problem was that large scale donor AID to governments and agencies just didn’t seem to work as well as projects organised by committed individuals who had the will to lead a social enterprise for real, local change. 

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  • It all began with one individual

    Heather Brandon and her friend Kathy Watters carried out a 6 week study interviewing individuals and researching the landscape in South Africa to establish the availability and appetite for programmes / support / incubation hubs for early stage social entrepreneurs. 

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  • UnLtd South Africa moves from concept to first steps

    UnLtd South Africa invited 15 carefully selected individuals representing different interest groups to a meeting hosted by Tshikululu (www.tsi.org.za) to present the finds of the initial report and to set up a pathfinder group to support the establishment of the UnLtd programme in South Africa.

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  • The Business Place

    Kathy Watters starts to go every Wednesday to The Business Place in Philippi to meet with aspiring social entrepreneurs. Through this process she meet Sizwe Matoti who wants to bring bicycle tours to the townships, Sizwe gets to meet Michael Norton who is a keen biker.

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  • First Awards are made

    UnLtd South Africa made its first ever Awards to Brenda Dana and Marina Scheffers using income earned by Kathy Watters and Heather Brandon (from planning and delivering a 3 day study tour in London for a delegation of nine high level SA Government policy makers for two days).

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  • UnLtd hosts Michael Norton one of the founding fathers of UnLtd UK

    Michael Norton of CIVA (www.civa.org) which supports a range of start-up organisations in civil society visits South Africa to generate interest in the programme for social entrepreneurs.

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  • UnLtd South Africa carries out a preliminary evaluation of the first three awards

    30% of Marina’s award was spent at black owned businesses working in the Cape Flats.

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  • First meeting of the Board of Trustees is held

    The first meeting of the Board of Trustees (Heather Brandon, Kathy Watters, Michelle Norton and Francois Bonnici) was held in Cape Town.

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  • Our first candidates for the UnLtd South Africa Pipeline

    As part of the strategy of identifying and supporting early stage social entrepreneurs Kathy realises the need to carry out preliminary support to develop some of the individual’s ideas to ensure that they would ultimately become self-sustaining.

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  • The Marshall Foundation awarded UnLtd South Africa US$50,000

    The Marshall Foundation awarded UnLtd South Africa US$50,000 to support additional Award winners (www.marshall-foundation.org) to support a pilot programme in Cape Town. An evaluation was carried out on the potential award winners in the pipeline and Awards are made to Greer Valley and Josh Cox.

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  • TSIBA contacted UnLtd SA asking us to join a panel to judge their first year students’ projects

    TSIBA contacted UnLtd SA asking us to join a panel to judge their first year students’ projects which benefits the community and receive start-up funding and support from TSIBA.

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  • Trust Deed approved and UnLtd SA participates in the social enterprise business plan competition

    The Trust deed was approved by the newly appointed Board of Trustees and UnLtd South Africa participated in the SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP BUSINESS PLAN COMPETITION. 

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  • Helping other social entrepreneurs

    UnLtd South Africa started working with The Clothing Bank through an introduction from the CSI team in Woolworths. This project was a very well thought through project operating at a Level Two Award standard.

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  • Developing our Impact assessment

    Supported by the Marshall Foundation we started working on the impact assessment framework we would use moving forward.

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  • Reviewing the impact of the first 18 months

    Using the impact tool developed with Marshall Trust funding UnLtd South Africa produced an evaluation of the first 18 months of their work.

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  • UnLtd South Africa adjudicates the Cape Town Social Business Plan competition

    With partners such as the Social Enterprise Development Targeting Youth in South Africa (SETYSA), project of the International Labour Organization (ILO) who provided technical support and project funding, and The Business Place, Philippi, who provided project management and operational resources.

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  • Tom Shutte arrives to provide support and we to seek quality and not scale in our first year of operation

    UnLtd South Africa employed an experienced Operations Manager, Tom Shutte. Tom had previously worked for six years for UnLtd in the UK as a development manager supporting their programme work.

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  • UnLtd SA has a role to promote the concept of social entrepreneurship

    UnLtd South Africa agrees that it has a role in terms of education and promotion of the concept of Social Entrepreneurship and will take a strong stand on what it really means –

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  • Differences from the UK programme start to emerge and be developed as we monitor the first cohort of social entrepreneurs

    The lessons - Unemployment is clearly a major social issue in South Africa in comparison to the UK.

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  • The UnLtd South Africa Trust is registered

    On the advice of our solicitor we registered a Trust which gave us the freedom to manage the operations without the constraints of registration as a section 21 company.

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  • We continue to seek partnerships...

    We continue to seek partnerships with like-minded organisations and form loose partnerships with the Alan Gray Orbis Foundation, The Business Place and DG Murray Trust (http://www.dgmt.co.za/

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  • Success!

    We achieved the registration of UnLtd South Africa as a not for profit organisation and open an ‘office’ in Cape Town and Louise Willington volunteers with us as our CEO. 

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  • The Hunt for Heroes is on!

    The Awards programme continues to make good progress and we are currently involved with 11 Social Entrepreneurs 3 through our Level 1 awards programme and 8 through the Social Business Plan competition run in partnership with the provincial governments Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDAT). 

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  • Pipeline development

    We switch back from competition mode to the development of a ‘pipeline’ of potential award winners to support until they are ready to make a formal application to us. 

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  • Kwasa UnLtd SA expands to Gauteng

    At the invitation of Rich Benton (chair of UnLtd UK) we visit Kwasa to meet social entrepreneur, Sharon Dinnie to discuss a potential partnership.

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  • Win R50K to grow your project

    All over South Africa committed people are igniting change in their local communities by starting up small businesses that aim to solve major social issues. These people are part of a global movement known as social entrepreneurship. UnLtd South Africa, a non-profit that supports social entrepreneurs has launched a competition with R50k up for grabs for people in the early stages of developing enterprising and sustainable solutions.

    Unlike traditional businesses which are mainly prRead More...

  • We refine our Mission statement and strategy

    We start serious work on the development of our mission and strategy and agree a mission statement -  

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  • Red... Blue... Green...

    We agreed our definition on Award Winners...

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  • Building community among our award winners

    We focus on the development of an events programme delivered in house by Tom and Louise or through suitable partners, like Future Fit, Imani, ASEN, covering networking, seminars and regular action learning sets.  

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  • Competition time again

    Charles Nyakurwa of Deaf Hands at Work emerges as the eventual winner. 

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  • Charles Nyakurwa of Deaf Hands @ Work wins award

    Imagine living in a world where you are silenced and outcast - with no common language, limited means of income, and no way to connect with your peers. According to Charles Nyakurwa, this is the reality for many deaf people living in South Africa today.

    Charles has been chosen as the latest UnLtd South Africa award winner for his social enterprise, Deaf Hands @ Work based in Masiphumelele, Cape Town. His project offers training and job creation for the deaf community using South Read More...

  • First annual general meeting and two new trustees join the Board

    30th May 2012 New trustees – Lillian Mazebenza and Pat Pillai appointed

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  • Rachel our marketing intern is busy

    Creating a video to help fundraising, writing more case studies of current/past award winners and profiles for pipeline social entrepreneurs, designing the annual report...

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  • Our pipeline of up and coming Social Entrepreneurs

    We offer our first fixed package of support for promising up-and-coming Social Entrepreneurs consisting of a fixed number of coaching hours, access to networks, preparation of fundraising materials and one-off referral opportunities.  

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  • Update on the UnLtd South Africa social entrepreneurs

    Our social entrepreneurs are continuing to develop...

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  • Further develop and refine our approach to evaluation

    UnLtd UK offers to send Madeleine Gabriel, one of the senior members of their evaluation team to SA to further develop our evaluation approach. She is joined for the week by Sue Charteris of Equalvalue Ltd.

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  • Fundraising continues...

    Marie Elizabeth Hebert from USA joins us for 2.5 months to assist Louise with the ongoing fund raising activities

    South African Breweries agrees to provide R25000 for a black social entrepreneur with UnLtd South Africa running a competition and funding the non-financial support element of the Award. 

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  • Our first Twitter campaign

    We launch an online fundraising campaign spearheaded by Rich Benton for Kim’s award “Change a Woman’s Life” and raise 1500 UK pounds to go directly towards her cash award, to test the market for cups, since she should generate an income.

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  • Progress on Award winners...

    Josh Cox ends his award with Trade-Mark seeing a sharp increase in activity recently as a result of a concerted PR effort. Josh is receiving regular enquiries at present, many of which are being converted into paid jobs for the Trade-Mark Tradesmen...  

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  • Groundbreaking work from Proudly Macassar Pottery

    UnLtd South Africa makes Level 1 Award to Johan de Meyer of Proudly Macassar Pottery.

    The word "groundbreaking" is taking on a brand new meaning, with a local job creation initiative that turns clay into musical instruments winning a competitive award for social entrepreneurs.

    Proudly Macassar Pottery, the only local manufacturer of clay flutes and drums, has just been given an UnLtd South Africa award for social entrepreneurs. The award consists of a package of financiaRead More...

  • Another Hunt for Heroes competition

    We run the 3rd iteration of our ‘Hunt for Heroes’ awards competition culminating in a final panel presentation from the 5 finalists (supported by the SAB Foundation and an individual US donor )

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  • Update on Award winners...

    Charles Nyakurwa completes his first annual awareness raising walk, walking over 200km in 4 days from Noordhoek to The National Institute for the Deaf in Worcester.During the walk Charles used only sign language to communicate and visited several deaf schools and institutions...

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  • UnLtd South Africa announces 2 latest Awards

    UnLtd South Africa, a Cape Town based NGO which support social entrepreneurship is delighted to announce the two winners of its latest awards competition: John Blignaut of isiTalk and Paul Taliaard of Hands of Honour. Applicants were competing to win a R25 000 cash grant for project expenses alongside a package of non-financial support: mentoring, training, coaching and access to events and networks.

    “This is the fourth time we’ve run this competition and with each round its gettiRead More...

  • New Award winner news

    John Blignaut and his business partner Vincent Reiss run their 3 week long pilot for Isitalk. They run the pilot at both Tsiba (a private school focusing on business administration) and Oude Molen (a state high school).

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  • Second AGM meeting and a shift to supporting young social entrepreneurs

    The board agrees to shift to supporting younger social entrepreneurs in line with global and South African trends and following on from recent work with youth for the City of Cape Town.  

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  • UnLtd SA delivers social entrepreneur training...

    UnLtd SA delivers social entrepreneur training to a group of young people through a contract from the City of Cape Town. It was attended by 21 young people and two representatives of the City of Cape Town...

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  • Social Entrepreneurs South Africa Trust is formally launched in London

    Supported by Sue Charteris, Rich Benton, Louise Willington and Heather Brandon a trust is established to support the need for funds in South Africa. Their first event is being planned - a golf day at Foxhills in Surrey sponsored by Wealth Management group, Canaccord.

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  • Pat Pillai elected as Chairman of the Board of Trustees / Funding is secured for a Development Director’s post

    Rich Benton offers to fund the salary of a development manager for UnLtd South Africa to be based in Life college offices in JHB to the sum of approximately R440 000.

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  • Good progress continues to be made by our Award winners

    Charles Nyakurwa completes his award period. His project has been a great success. He has fully paid up offices in Fish Hoek’s main road and is employing a number of people...

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  • A good week for Social Enterprise in South Africa

    Pat Pillai shares a platform with Minister Trevor Manuel at the University of Johannesburg and when asked takes the opportunity to talk about the UnLtd UK case asking why we do not have an appropriate company structure for social entrepreneurs.

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  • Developing our own economy... Awards Winners working together

    Josh Cox of Trade-Mark referred a potential home renovation client to Charles of Deaf Hands @ Work which Charles and his team subsequently secured.

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  • UnLtd South Africa seeks a Development Director (Johannesburg)

    Development Director

    UnLtd South Africa aims to establish a national presence in South Africa following on from the success of its programme in the Western Cape and is looking to hire a Development Director to aid in this expansion.

    The primary responsibility within the role will be working with the South African based Chair and Board of Trustees to identify, cultivate and develop potential relationships with funders and corporate partners.

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  • Latest awards competition for Social Entrepreneurs now open - Win R50k worth of funding.

    We are happy to announce our latest round of funding in now open!

    UnLtd South Africa is a non-profit organization that identifies and supports social entrepreneurs. We do this by awarding cash grants and providing a menu of non-financial support to our award winners. This latest award has been made possible through the generous support of the SAB Foundation.

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  • New pipeline programme bears fruit for Meghan Daniels

    Social entrepreneur, youth activist and now pioneer, Meghan Daniels, has been recognised with a social enterprise award from UnLtd South Africa. Daniels is the first UnLtd South Africa award winner to receive a grant through the pipeline programme thanks to a generous cash injection from a foreign investor.

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  • Cape Town design Capital 450 projects announced

    Being a recognised project is an opportunity to put the global spotlight on your creativity. Cape Town will be a focal point for the international design community in 2014, with design-focussed projects and events hosted in the city throughout the year.

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  • UnLtd South Africa holds a successful action learning set

    UnLtd South Africa holds a successful action learning set for our alumni and current awardees.

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  • Deaf Hands At Work has been certified by @Department of Social Development!

    Deaf Hands At Work has been certified by @Department of Social Development! Signed and Original certificates received!

    In December 2013 Deaf Hands at Work held a three course Silent Meal In Sign Language, paired with five-star food and great wines at the The Foodbarn in Noordhoek Village in celebration of the 200 km Silent DisAbility Awareness Walk Charles and Peter Nyakurwa did to raise the voice for all those who are deaf and disabled.

    Guests were only allowed to speak befRead More...

  • Hands of Honour

    Sales of goods produced by Hands of Honour Up-cycling Centre  http://handsofhonour.co.za/ have increased so much that it has been able to purchase its own truck.

    Director Paul Talliard said, “We can now collect consignments of obsolete stock, allowing our corporate partners to save on waste disposal costs.”

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  • A significant grant is awarded to TRADE-MARK by the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC).

    A significant grant is awarded to TRADE-MARK by the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC). 

    Josh Cox writes,

    “I've waited more than 5 years (or my whole life, depending on how you see it) for this to happen.  I've seen shadows of what this dream might be like, but now it seems to really be coming true. From next year I get to work full-time in the service of artisans from the townships to realise their dreams.”

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What we do

 

Why we do it

 

How you can help

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We find, fund and support passionate people who are committed to deliver sustainable solutions to social challenges in South Africa. We call these people social entrepreneurs, and work alongside them from start up to investment readiness, with both financial and non-financial support.

 

Social entrepreneurs are transforming their communities all over the world, by tackling social problems, improving people's life chances, or delivering environmental sustainability. They are creating effective and enterprising solutions with a measurable impact.

 

We need your support! If you are interested in mentoring an award winner, providing funding or volunteering we'd love to hear from you. You can also follow us on facebook to help grow our community and sign up for our newsletter to look out for future opportunities to get involved.

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