Cultural Accelerator Phase I: Deep Dive


Cultural Accelerator

The Cultural Accelerator programme kicked off from 28 September – 2 October 2015 with a 5-day Deep Dive training programme hosted at the JL Zwane Conference Centre in Gugulethu Township. Industry experts and facilitators were invited to take the entrepreneurs on an intensive learning and sharing experience to gain a deeper understanding on their needs and knowledge.

This ‘deep dive’ allowed the entrepreneurs and AFAI to build relationships with one another and to gain an understanding of the Cultural Accelerator model. Basic business principles as well as the AFAI approach to arts, culture and development were explored, with workshops such as Social Enterprise Landscape, Marketing Tools Development, Change of Culture & Development and Costing and Pricing presented. The participants were encouraged to network with each other and were given the opportunity to present to their peers. Feedback from the 5 day workshop was generally positive, with  marketing and costing, networking with fellow artists, new concepts and sector knowledge/ information  and peer-learning and exercises in self-presentation being seen as the most valuable experience.

“Being able to give a presentation of my work because it challenges me to reflect and recognise myself as a cultural entrepreneur. I had a better appreciation for my work and others”

“Receiving advice and critique from co-learners set a good example of professionalism. It helped me understand what needs to be done to be considered a professional in the creative sector”

“A cultural entrepreneur is an entrepreneur who is more concerned with uplifting and developing the community but still makes a profit and also an entrepreneur who has the creative capacity to showcase South Africa’s cultures through music, performing arts, visual arts, film making and many more”


The call for applications to the Cultural Accelerator programme was open to all cultural entrepreneurs operating in the greater township areas of the Western Cape. Our selected 18 Learning Partners (LPS) who are taking part in the programme come from various township areas and represented a cross section of creative industries including fashion design, visual arts, theatre, comedy and arts associations (see biographies of our entrepreneurs here!).

The next step in our Cultural Accelerator programme is Phase II: a six month process that will include fortnightly mentoring sessions, monthly learning and sharing spaces and access to resources including financial support. This kicks off on the 26th November.

The Cultural Accelerator has been made possible with the kind support of the Department of Arts and Culture as part of the Department’s Mzansi Golden Economy Strategy.