KZN Social Economy Development Programme



Closing Date: 30 NOVEMBER 2023


The Department of Economic Development, Tourism, and Environmental Affairs (EDTEA) in collaboration with the four Universities in KwaZulu-Natal Province, namely, the University of Kwazulu-Natal, Durban University of Technology, Mangosuthu University of Technology, University of Zululand delivers on the Social Economy Entrepreneurship Programme (SEDP).

The SEDP, also known as the Champions Programme, is a Social Entrepreneurship intervention programme offered to Social Entrepreneurs who operate Social Enterprises within the KwaZulu-Natal province. The programme has evolved since its inception 10 years ago from being implemented as one of five components of the Regional Local Economic Development Initiative (RLEDI), which is implemented in a collaboration between the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Graduate School of Business and Leadership (UKZN’s GSB&L) and the KZN EDTEA. The programme is now a standalone, flagship initiative implemented in four different institutions of higher education in the province.

The KZN Social Economy Development Programme has capacitated 193 Social Entrepreneurs and forms part of a collaboration between the four academic institutions, namely UKZN, DUT, MUT, and UniZulu. The programme is a community development intervention aimed at capacitating social entrepreneurs from all over KwaZulu-Natal. It is designed to facilitate the personal development of SMME founders, fast-track the development of their enterprises with innovative approaches, and allow them to scale up their social impact.

The programme has recorded remarkable achievements over the years, including an increase in employment opportunities that have been created by its participants within their social enterprises, better-run businesses, and scaling up of its participants’ social impact within their communities through growing their interventions. One of the biggest achievements gathered by the RLEDI has been the recognition by the International Partnerships Network from which the initiative was awarded a Global Best Award in 2018. The accolade was apparently based, in part, on the success of the Champions Programme model.

LED Champions 2023

Meet the 2023 CHAMPIONS

The Social Entrepreneurs Demo Day signifies a momentous occasion, marking the culmination of the Social Economy Entrepreneurship Programme (SEDP), where we celebrate our dedicated “Champions.” These remarkable individuals have wholeheartedly committed themselves to driving positive change within their communities in KwaZulu-Natal.


Dr Simon Taylor

Dr Simon Taylor

Project Leader for the Local Economic Development Unit at the Graduate School of Business and Leadership, UKZN.

He is responsible for the EDTEA-UKZN LED project to promote economic development at local government level through research projects and capacity building of government officials at local government level.