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Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship sponsors RE:Solve Challenge

The Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship, an accelerator changing business for good in South Africa, has officially come on board as a partner of the Craft and Design Institute (CDI) to support the organisation's business development work and a sponsor for the CDI's RE:Solve Challenge.
Nwabisa Mayema, strategic partnership director of the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship in South Africa.
Nwabisa Mayema, strategic partnership director of the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship in South Africa.

Funded by the City of Cape Town, hosted by the CDI and facilitated by dY/dX, RE:Solve is a four-month design thinking challenge to unlock the creative and entrepreneurial spirit of SA to rebuild our Covid-19 hit economy.

The Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship is offering expert entrepreneurial guidance to the RE:Solve Challenge applicants, who are building solutions in a diversity of industries from tourism and fashion, to education and healthcare.

The Branson Centre represents their namesake Sir Richard Branson’s core values to support like-minded, passionate entrepreneurs who aim to fulfil a larger purpose with their business. Through strategic partnerships like this one, and consistent development services, the Branson Centre helps to develop strategies and partnerships; and maintain consistent mentorship, monitoring and reporting to ensure the success of high-potential entrepreneurs.

The RE:Solve Challenge has seen an immensely positive response to date, with just under 200 applicants from all walks of life, 11 moderators and four generous sponsors actively involved in the programme.

“This is a very exciting project, and we have had so many interesting applicants who have presented ideas that showcase the ingenuity of South Africans. 107 made it through to the first round and into the first workshop held on 21 November – this was a very practical deep dive into the importance of user research and tools, and methodologies to help innovators to really understand the problem/s they are trying to solve for. It is great to have our corporate sponsors on board, including the Branson Foundation, because they also bring a depth of real life and business experience to the table. We are all looking forward to the next workshop on ideation,” says Erica Elk, Group CEO of the CDI.

“As the Branson Centre, we are delighted to be close to exciting and innovative solutions that seek to change people's lives. Screw it, let's do it!" says Nwabisa Mayema, strategic partnership director of the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship in South Africa.

In the coming weeks, the applicants will attend an ideation workshop; after which they will be shortlisted for the upcoming validation and business modelling phases.

Using design thinking helps entrepreneurs explore their customers' needs and build better products” says Nevo Hadas, managing partner at dY/dX. “This challenge gives participants the time to develop their ideas and validate them.”

With people at its heart, the challenge will celebrate innovative ideas that showcase the four vital pillars of the project:
  • Community - enriching those around you
  • Ecology - not harming, but rather benefiting the planet
  • Dignity - valuing people and providing them a sense of worth
  • Profitability - an ability to make money

Proof of concept opportunities will be offered by the challenge, allowing the selected teams to prototype their business ideas and solutions with a grant of up to R20,000. Terms and conditions apply.

For more on the RE:Solve Challenge, go to https://www.thecdi.org.za/page/RESOLVE.

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