Mentorship Programme: Creating a new generation of African entrepreneurs

11.12.2018 - Article

The new Hubbers are here! We are always happy about new faces, writes the Goethe-Institut.

Twelve new faces at the Goethe-Institut
Twelve new faces at the Goethe-Institut© Jonas Radunz Goethe-Institut

The month of September was particularly exciting for us: twelve Hub@Goethe participants have just moved into the Library-Gamebox-Hub, ready to work and fine-tune their business ideas under the mentorship programme that Hub@Goethe offers.

The Hub@Goethe is a mentorship programme for cultural and social entrepreneurs who have great ideas with a lot of potential, but are lacking the hands-on entrepreneurial skills to get their business off the ground. After going through a careful selection process, our Library-Gamebox-Hub team chose twelve individuals who will now go through a rigorous training program in the next months.

Vernon Scholtz, community manager of the hub, explains the vision behind the ambitious project: “Hub@Goethe is a platform where failure culture is the norm for young, daring social and cultural entrepreneurs who are set on taking their businesses to the next level. We encourage them to do so through discovering their potential by creating a community of creatives for a positive African future.”

The six month programme, which is run in cooperation with Karani Leadership, focuses on the real-life development of a business from envisioning to pivoting. It includes different formats of learning: the one-week Business Bootcamp makes sure that even the last creative gets his numbers in order, the Feedback Fridays create a space for honest, constructive feedback and the Strength Coachings help the participants to develop and grow their personalities in areas most beneficial for their business.

Next to the skills training, Hub@Goethe offers a physical office space situated in our Library, where the participants have access to uncapped Internet, printing facilities as well as meeting rooms. The programme follows a “Hot-Desk” model, whereby the Hubbers (our affectionate name for the participants) are encouraged to make use of the whole library space, in an effort to create a “living” library.

“With this second Hub turn, I am really excited to see how the different Hubbers will be growing into a group and if they are able to generate synergies between their projects”, says Stefanie Kastner, Head of Information and Library at the Goethe-Institute. “Additionally, it will be interesting to see how the Hub activities will influence the Goethe-Institut and if we can learn from it,” she adds.

Participant Lethlogile Motaung's Modi Isago is working on a recycling project that educates schoolchildren
Participant Lethlogile Motaung's Modi Isago is working on a recycling project that educates schoolchildren© Jonas Radunz Goethe-Institut

The sentiments of community voiced by Scholtz and Kastner are shared by Hubber Kim Robinson, who is looking forward to share experiences with her fellow Hub participants: “I look forward to being in a collaborative space”, she says, “Being an entrepreneur, you often feel isolated, so I’m looking forward to having a community, a Network.”

Hub@Goethe is part of The Cultural Entrepreneurship Hub project, a collaborative project with the Strascheg Center for Entrepreneurship (SCE), funded by the German Foreign Office. It is supported by the network of public funding agencies for the cultural and creative industries in Germany (Promoting Creative Industries - PCI) and Kreative Deutschland.


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