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Tuesday, September 22, 2020


Business and Arts South Africa NPC (BASA), in partnership with Rand Merchant Bank (RMB), is expanding the scope of their Scale-Up Programme, with the addition of Phase 2, which includes a mentorship and funding component.

Phase 1 of this iteration of the Programme kicked off with a masterclass series between July 29 and August 11, and included speakers Khutjo Green, Lebo Lion, Nandi Dlepu, Mashudu Modau, Nadia Virasamy and Kelly Berman. Following an announcement on August 14, applications for Phase 2 were invited until the closing date of August 24. This was followed by an adjudication process, between September 2 and 8, which was facilitated by an independent panel of established creatives within the arts sector, comprising Marang Marekimane, Calvin Seretle Ratladi and Mariapaola McGurk. The adjudication process concluded with the final selection of 21 applicants – both individuals and organisations – who will advance to Phase 2.

The ‘Scale-Up 21’ will receive augmented mentorship support, with 10 of these also each receiving R15,000 towards the growth of their businesses, organisations or projects. Of the Programme, and of Phase 2 specifically, the adjudicators offered their insight into the value such programmes can offer industry newbies:

Comment by Marang Marekimane: “Growing a business is a daunting task. Overwhelming for the most part. Having a supportive network isn’t just about getting the referrals needed to generate revenue. Business owners need a network that includes mentors and accountability partners. Even better when the network includes industry partners that can assist with scaling the business.”

According to Mariapaola McGurk, “Micro-creative businesses have the potential to dramatically impact our dire youth unemployment rates in South Africa, (as well as) the difficulties we face in our current context (with COVID-19); but in order for them to be sustainable and thrive, mentorship, skills development and start-up capital/support is essential. The applicants for the BASA Scale-Up Programme are alumni of the training and (are) now ready for mentorship and that boost to get them going. I wish them well as they take the challenging and highly rewarding steps to becoming entrepreneurs and making their dreams come true.”

BASA congratulates those participants selected for Phase 2 of Scale-Up, the full list of names for which can be viewed at

Says BASA Head of Programmes, Tumy Motsoatsoe: “This second phase of the Programme restates the primary intent behind the Programme, namely to create an enabling space through which the selected creatives can access personalised knowledge and tools to help them to meaningfully participate in the creative economy. We are also excited to have partnered with VANSA (Visual Arts Network of South Africa) on the Care and Connect workshops, which will provide mental health tools to help our participants navigate this challenging period and beyond.”

BASA Programmes Coordinator, Thembi Matroshe adds, ‘We are looking forward to working with the Scale-Up 21. It has been an incredible journey of getting to where we are now. Each participant has shown immeasurable commitment to this programme. Our interest lies in tailoring the experience to meet their specific needs and challenges. We intend to create tangible impact and measurable results with their various creative organisations and artistic practices.”

The disbursement of grants and the mentorship sessions will take place from October 1 until the end of November 2020. For more information on the Programme, contact Thembi at

To link direct to the BASA website, click on the advert to the right of this article or visit