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Fundraising priorities
Home > Donating to UCT > Fundraising priorities > Pursuing innovation & enterprise

Pursuing innovation and enterprise

UCT is dedicated to generating relevant research that creates new and innovative solutions. Our pioneering researchers bring new ideas and inventions that build on previous efforts, while pushing forward the frontiers of our natural and social worlds.


(Fundraising needs: operational costs and equipment.)      

The Abalobi project empowers previously-marginalised communities that build their livelihoods within the fishing industry.

Abalobi (an isiXhosa word for small-scale fisher) is an integrated catch-management system designed as a mobile phone application. It enables fishers to link to mainstream information and resource networks, including:

  • fishery monitoring
  • maritime safety
  • local developments 
  • market opportunities.

The project is based at UCT’s Department of Environmental and Geographical Sciences. Many of the team members were  part of the UCT team involved in the design of South Africa’s new Small Scale Fisheries Policy.

The app has an integrated chat facility that can be used to establish the safety of crew in severe weather, and to encourage co-operation in the setting of price per unit for the daily catch. The latter gives small-scale fishers greater empowerment in the value chain.

With donor funding, the project aims to increase the number of pilots and include more coastal regions.

Watch a video about Abalobi.

African Institute for Financial Markets and Risk Management

(Fundraising needs: scholarships and staff.)      

The demand for specialist mathematical, quantitative and investment expertise far exceeds the current supply within our region. These skills are indispensable, specifically in investment banking and asset management.

The African Institute for Financial Markets and Risk Management (AIFMRM) was established in 2014 as a postgraduate institute within UCT's Faculty of Commerce, with the aim of becoming a benchmark for academic financial market and risk management entities across the African continent.

The Institute adopts a multi-faceted, interdisciplinary approach and is in need of support for fellowships in grooming the most promising talent. AIFMRM aims to create the next generation of African finance academics dedicated to rigorous scholarship.

Bertha Centre

(Fundraising Needs:  scholarships and operational costs.)      

The Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship is a specialised unit at the UCT Graduate School of Business (GSB). It works to uncover, pioneer, and connect innovators with entrepreneurs, creating inclusive opportunities and advancing social justice in Africa.

Established in partnership with the Bertha Foundation in 2011, it has become a leading academic centre dedicated to advancing social innovation and entrepreneurship. Social innovation is now part of the GSB curriculum. Over R4 million in scholarships has been awarded to African students. None of these efforts would be possible without the support of donors, whose contributions particularly help bolster the centre's work relating to health and education innovations.

Additional resources are needed to provide scholarships or discounted fees for those from under-resourced regions, to participate in the centre's short courses such as:

  • Leading Social Entrepreneurship
  • Impact Investing in Africa
  • Innovation in Education for Leaders.

Beneficiaries of the Bertha Centre's work include government officials across all levels, students from across Africa, social entrepreneurs, and social innovators.