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Environmental Entrepreneurs Support Initiative

Environmental Entrepreneurs Support Initiative (EESI) is a community engagement programme, supported by, and undertaken by the Global Risk Governance programme, University of Cape Town, in conjunction with, the Mauerberger Foundation.  

The EESI project supports young leaders, of exceptional ability, who are already realising outcomes that advance environmental sustainability and who are at a point in their careers where they will benefit from support that enhances their leadership capacities.



EESI supports the grassroots organisation BEEP (Beyond Expectation Environmental Project) with a particular focus on enabling BEEP to support young learners in disadvantaged communities through the lens of ‘environmental security’. Young mentors are being assisted through Beyond Expectation Environmental Project (BEEP) to develop their capacity to offer environmental education services to schools and other educational institutions. 

BEEP's programme works through ‘incubation hubs’ it has developed. These hubs provide support across the schooling career of learners to assist them in meeting their academic objectives and supporting them in developing their environmental awareness. BEEP’s engagement with these learners has displayed and continues to display a significant commitment to developing their careers as young adults, enabled to contribute to environmental challenges. Read more about the project here >>

EESI is also providing support to entrepreneurs together with the SA Urban Food & Farming Trust, The goal of this project is to assist one or more entrepreneurial organic vegetable farmers to adapt their technical farming skills in support of environmental education and individual/household nutrition security, and thereby to become an independent service provider to food gardening programmes.


The 2021-22 Environmental Entrepreneur Support Initiative includes a programme run by the SA Urban Food & Farming Trust, to enhance the impacts of agricultural-focussed green entrepreneurs. This programme is promoting, enabling and supporting cultivation of diverse indigenous perennial food and medicinal crops by existing urban food gardeners in Langa, in order to link environmental stewardship with improved livelihoods and quality of life in this under resourced community. Read more about the programme here >>


This work builds on previous support by EESI to 70 young mentors with Beyond Expectation Environmental Project;  five women entrepreneurs in the Kogelberg fishing region; 5 young women working with Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF);  two environmental advocates at Project 90 by 2030; as well as a young motivational speaker at BEEP.   

 Beyond Environmental Expectation Project (BEEP)

The EESI mentorship programme assisted young learners to develop and improve communication skills; group work skills; techniques to engage children in discussions; report writing ability; motivational ability; computer skills; assessment skills and environmental knowledge. The mentors, in turn, use these skills to mentor others. Reflection session >>>

The Young Professionals supported by the programme include:

Five young women, working at Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF), who are at a turning point in their careers. They were given time out from normal daily activities, to reflect and develop skills which allowed them to greatly improve the work they are engaged in and to reach new levels of both vision and accomplishment. The areas of engagement include water resource use, seafood consumption, and sustainable agriculture. Through the opportunity provided by EESI they were able to consolidate lessons learned, to undertake targeted coaching and to enhance and develop effective strategies for change to bring about ecological sustainability. 

Another young professional supported by the programme was Happy Khambule, an active environmental advocate at Project 90 by 2030, with a degree in law. He is a motivated young South African, and from very early on, has proactively immersed himself in the environmental sector. He has a strong interest in bringing about change by shaping South Africa’s environmental policies - specifically in policies that pertain to climate change and energy. He received mentoring while working as Policy & Research Coordinator at Project 90 by 2030 - a change-focused environmental organisation. The time out provided by this programme allowed him to build his knowledge base and capacity in the policy arena.

Khanyiswa Zangqa works as communications manager and youth leader at Beyond Environmental Expectation Programme (BEEP). Through the EESI programme, she is being mentored to develop further skills in motivational speaking at schools.  Her aim is to encourage youth to act as advocates for bringing about environmental change.

View Khanyiswa talking about the importance of looking after the environment and green gardening  in this video on Youtube >>>

Neoka Naidoo  is another environmental advocate supported by the programme.  She has a strong interest in policy development as an approach in addressing pertinent global issues, namely energy, and climate change. 

Neoka completed 6 months as an EESI fellow. This allowed her to fast-track her development as a policy communicator and she is now a policy consultant in the insurance industry. 


The projects involved in the programme were:

Environmental Entrepreneurs Support Initiative (EESI) for Kogelberg Women

EESI for Kogelberg Women, a collaboration between EESI, GRG and Possibilities Unlimited aimed at boosting the impact of Environmental Entrepreneurs within the Kogelberg region. This project sought to enhance the ability of certain Kogelberg women who have emerged as fulcrums of change within their community, to continue to be a driving force in the successful resolution of the environmental and developmental challenges that have plagued the Kogelberg region and many other fishing communities across South Africa and Africa more generally. In developing this programme discussions were held with these women to ascertain how best to boost their influence as environmental entrepreneurs. There was agreement that an effective way of doing this was to develop a series of facilitated and targeted small workshops for these women. 

Beyond Expectation Environmental Project (BEEP):

Beyond Expectation Environmental Project is a grassroots for youth by youth environmental organization, which educates youth from previously disadvantaged backgrounds on environmental Issues whilst simultaneously tackling some of the many social issues faced in their communities.

BEEP uses environmental experiential learning on Table Mountain National Park in order to awaken and sustain young peoples' interest and concern for the environment. Every weekend BEEP aims to take 20 young learners from different Primary Schools, High Schools and Community Organizations on two-day excursions on Table Mountain, making them aware of the beautiful natural environment that surrounds them whilst they learn about environmental as well as social issues.





Picture: BEEP Table Mountain Camp 

Project 90 by 2030: 

Project 90 by 2030 works with individuals, organisations, and decision-makers to identify actions that can reduce their impact on the environment. Their specific foci in pushing for low-carbon actions in South Africa is centered on developing environmental leadership in youth, enhancing energy and water security in communities and to advocate for, and support the involvement of South Africans in the transition to an equitable, low-carbon society.

Picture: Project 90 by 2030 Youth Camp 




Worldwide Fund for Nature: 

WWF South Africa aims to effectively conserve biodiversity and wildlife and to protect natural environments. WWF works with government, businesses and civil society to encourage people to be more environmentally responsible.

WWF South Africa’s integrated strategy is underpinned by three primary goals to ensure that South Africa’s biodiversity is conserved and that our footprint remains within the Earth’s capacity to sustain life; they aim to secure the integrity of South Africa's ecological assets; ensure that ecosystem services underpin social and economic well-being; and build climate resilience.