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.
The defining event of BASA’s relationship with the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture, the Debut Programme is unique in its aim to provide business and entrepreneurial skills development to emerging artists in all nine provinces of South Africa. The programme is committed to providing participants with a suite of skills that sweep the range required to launch, build and sustain their creative business ventures. Divided into three key phases – Kickstarter, Hlanganisa and Catalyst – the programme ensures a systematic approach to mentoring its artists to allow full-scale access to relevant information and networks to help them build the resources they need – all the way from the idea to venture implementation.
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 25-year anniversary, 25 “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.