In the directory, you will find 200 of the most exciting hubs working in the creative and social economies across Southern Africa.


The purpose of the connect.hubs collaboration grant is to foster connections, conversations and possibilities that can only take place when hubs start working with partners outside of their usual networks. Hubs in this directory now have the exclusive opportunity to apply for connect.hubs collaboration grants.


We encourage the use of the directory to communicate with the profiled hubs to spark collaboration or to access the products and services that they provide.


What is a collaboration grant?

It’s cash that you can use for a specific initiative in partnership with another hub. We have three types of grants available:

  1. Mobility Grant | up to £2000 | this includes travel between hubs to connect – such as attending events, training or site visits
  2. Project Grant | up to £5000 | this includes events that run simultaneously at different hubs, or which are planned together and repeated across multiple hubs in different geographies
  3. Collaboration Grant | up to £10 000 | this includes new initiatives and projects that are jointly created by two or more hubs, that expand the scope of their respective community offerings and lead to long-term sustained partnership



You will be required to submit very detailed information about your project idea, including a project description, list of activities and resources, budget breakdown, timeline and project plan, and team member roles and responsibilities.

The deadline to apply is 5pm Central Africa Time on 31 January 2019. No late entries will be considered.

Successful projects will be contacted by mid-February.

The connect.hubs team will work with those teams to develop their project plans throughout March.

Funds will be disbursed in the first week of April. All projects must be complete by 31 June 2019.


We’re looking for bold, exciting ideas that will drive community impact for creative and social sectors.

Our key focus is on collaboration. We want to see partnerships that benefit both hubs; knowledge and resource exchanges; and unexpected, diverse combinations of hubs that expand the realm of possibility. Get creative!

Your project plan should be equally ambitious and fully thought-out, with a realistic timeline and budget.

You must apply with your project proposal as a team of 2 or 3 hubs. Each hub may submit no more than 3 proposals with different hubs. We strongly recommend that you refine just one strong project idea.

You may only apply with hubs that are listed in this directory. Exceptions might be made in rare circumstances – contact if this affects you.


Reach out directly to a hub. Say hello, be polite, and share your ideas!

  • Browse through the pdf hub directory.
  • Watch videos by hubs on the connect.hubs YouTube channel
  • Sign up for the virtual networking chats – to be announced in January


Check your email, as well as the Facebook group and Slack. Resources and guides will be posted in January.

Ask! Help each other through the journey, share your process and questions with the other hubs in the directory. The connect.hubs team will be available to guide you too.

We’re really looking forward to working with you! We wish you all happy holidays.


The connect.hubs team: British Council, Hivos, Electric South and Enthuse Afrika.

about connect.hubs


connect.hubs is an initiative to support the social and creative hubs in Southern Africa that drive the creative economies and create social impact in the region.

Creative and social hubs support diverse communities of artists, entrepreneurs, activists and culture producers in physical or virtual spaces. Examples are makerspaces, music studios, fablabs, collectives, online networks, co-working spaces, incubators, and more.


connect.hubs is a program by British Council and Hivos, who are committed to growing the ecosystem of creative impact workers across Southern Africa

The British Council has developed programs such as the European Creative Hubs Forum and Creative Hub Making Vietnam , and launched resources such as the Creative HubKit and Creative Hubs: Understanding the New Economy. They have also carried out mapping studies of creative hub networks in Europe, Vietnam and Taiwan and recently commissioned hub mapping research in Southern Africa and Southeast Asia.

The Developing Inclusive and Creative Economies (DICE) program is a 2 year initiative by the British Council. DICE explores the intersection between the social and creative economies as a means through which to tackle issues of unemployment and unequal economic growth for youth, women and girls and marginalised societies. DICE has been launched in the UK and 5 key emerging economies: South Africa, Brazil, Indonesia, Egypt and Pakistan. The program attempts to create an enabling ecosystem for social and creative enterprises by providing direct support to individuals, as well as intermediary organisations and policy makers. Supporting social and creative hubs is a DICE priority area.

Hivos has worked over more than 5 years to support creative hubs include Coworking for Sustainable Employment, Age of Wonderland,  Resource of Open Minds, and Ubunifu.  Hivos has also organised several Global Creative Hub meetings, such as the Creative Hub Thinktank in Southern Africa, the Coworking Summit in Tunisia, and the Future of African Cities summit in Egypt.