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The University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business is offering several scholarships to socially or environmentally innovative candidates for the school’s prestigious MBA and MPhil study programmes in 2015.

A business degree can jumpstart a career or revitalise an organisation, but often the cost of studying for an MBA or similar degree is beyond the reach of those who need it most. Now, the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business (UCT GSB) is inviting applications for its 2015 Bertha Scholarships, which offer partial and fully paid study opportunities for entrepreneurs and social innovators, specifically those who want to play a positive role in the sustainable development of emerging countries.

At least five full scholarships will be awarded for the MBA programme, with additional two scholarships available for MPhil studies.

“These scholarships offer a rare opportunity to study at Africa’s leading business school, to gain exposure to innovative study programmes and projects and be a part of think tanks and ground-breaking initiatives, as well as to meet and engage with some of the continent’s most exciting and interesting entrepreneurs, changemakers, academics and business people,” says director of the UCT GSB Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Dr François Bonnici.

“One of the biggest benefits of the scholarship is to

engage with experts in key focus areas within the Bertha Centre,” says Dr Bonnici. Prescribed study areas in three of the MBA scholarships are: innovative finance (social finance and impact investing); healthcare innovation (innovations in healthcare delivery); and education innovations (innovations that improve quality and access to education). Two more scholarships will remain open to candidates in any field where social or environmental impact is explored through innovative approaches.

The UCT GSB full-time MBA is the only MBA in Africa to be ranked in the Financial Times ranking of the top100 MBAs in the world and it offers one of the best business educations on the continent. “This is the place where the leaders of tomorrow’s emerging market environments are shaped,” says Saskia Hickey, Market Intelligence and Strategy Manager at the UCT GSB. She completed her own MBA at the school recently and says it changed her life. “I was looking to make a career transition and after being exposed to so many things during my studies it was difficult to go back to what I was doing. I wanted to be part of be part of and contribute to change.”

The Bertha Scholarships allow students to do just that. The Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship was founded in 2011 in partnership with the Bertha Foundation, a family foundation that works with inspiring leaders who are catalysts for social and economic change. It is the first academic centre in Africa committed to research, teaching, dialogue and support of social innovations that effect positive change.  

The centre promotes local and civil-led solutions as well as private sector and public-private partnerships in education, health, innovative financing mechanisms, poverty and inequality in Africa, and has become a hub for entrepreneurs and social innovators.

To be eligible for the Bertha scholarships, candidates must be South African or African and have had experience with innovative social or green programmes or ventures.

Hickey explains, “The UCT GSB is committed not only to increasing the impact of business education on society but also to help others, students and young entrepreneurs, to realise their dreams while adding value to their communities.”

Anyone interested in applying for a Bertha Scholarship, please visit here for all criteria and application forms. For specific enquiries, you may contact Nicolette Laubscher on 021 406 1740 or email on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Deadline for MBA applications is 31 October 2014.

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Issued by: UCT Graduate School of Business. GSBC PR208

Contact: Sibahle Melane, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 021 448 9457.

About the Bertha Centre: The Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship (Bertha Centre) is a specialised unit of the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business (UCT GSB). It was established in 2011 as a centre of excellence in Africa, dedicated to research, teaching, dialogue and support of social innovations that positively change and challenge rules, policies, technologies, structures, beliefs and institutions. The Bertha Centre invests in the next generation of social innovators through scholarships; practical, rigorous teaching, exposure and debate; and a focus on applying leading social innovation research. The Bertha Centre’s streams of focus include Education Innovation, Inclusive Healthcare Innovation, Innovative Finance and Scaling Social Innovation.