The second iteration of BASA’s Debut Programme has engaged almost 450 participants and awarded grants to the value of R2,7-million to seed exciting creative ideas. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2021, all the events were moved online – which resulted in a dedicated Debut website as well as unprecedented public participation.
Welcome to the Debut Programme: Empowering Emerging Artists in South Africa! At the heart of BASA's dynamic relationship with the Department of Sport, Arts, and Culture lies a defining programme - The Debut Programme. Unparalleled in its mission, this programme is dedicated to providing emerging artists from all nine provinces of South Africa with vital business and entrepreneurial skills. Our commitment is simple but powerful: equipping participants with diverse skills encompassing everything they need to bring their creative business ventures to life and sustain them in the long run. Divided into three transformative phases - Kickstarter, Hlanganisa, and Catalyst - the Debut Programme follows a systematic approach to mentoring our artists. We ensure they gain full-scale access to essential information and valuable networks, guiding them every step of the way, from the spark of an idea to the successful implementation of their ventures. Join us on this incredible journey as we empower artists, foster creativity, and fuel innovation across South Africa. Let's build a brighter, more vibrant future for the arts!
DEBUT PROGRAMME 2021/2
The Catalyst Phase of the Debut Programme offers tailored support for the top participants – the “Catalysts” – who have made it to the final phase of the programme. Through an independent adjudication process, 54 shortlisted candidates (six from each province) were assessed based on the following criteria: public votes, budget, profitability, brand and visibility, community engagement and impact as well as overall portfolio and pitch. In celebration of BASA’s 24-year anniversary, 24 “Catalysts” have been selected instead of the original 18.
The aim of this phase is to directly respond to the skills gaps identified by and with the Catalysts and to help them grow and sustain their newly launched creative business ventures. The phase includes individual and group mentoring and coaching, in-depth masterclasses, networking opportunities and financial investment. Each Catalyst will be supported to develop their personal, artistic and entrepreneurial capacities.
BASA’s Debut Programme is divided into three key phases – Kickstarter, Hlanganisa and Catalyst. For the Hlanganisa phase in 2021, 180 participants from all of South Africa’s nine provinces were shortlisted (see the selected participants below). This intensive phase included grant funding of R15 000, workshops, networking and mentorship. It introduced the participants to an agile way of testing a service or product, and helped them develop their new business venture online.
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The Debut Programme is made possible through the generous support of the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture.