SOCIONEXT offers hands-on training in social innovation, entrepreneurship skills development and rapid prototyping based on Design Thinking and the Lean Start-up methodology.

Team members

While Socionext Africa does have an organizational structure, its management structure is fairly flat. The founder and directors are very hands-on involved in the operational aspects. Together with Tjaart & Iqbal, other team members play a crucial part in ensuring the success of the programmes as well as the organization itself.

Matthew Guilhermino

Matthew Guilhermino

Programme Manager

Matthew is passionate about the role that entrepreneurship has to play in the development of sustainable livelihoods and communities. Having studied politics, philosophy and economics at Rhodes University, he has an appreciation for the complex socio-economic challenges facing South Africa and strives to promote small business as a solution to many of these challenges.

Having encountered the Lean Start-up methodology working with entrepreneurs and business incubators in Taiwan, he recognizes the value this model can provide in transforming South Africa’s entrepreneurial landscape. With this tool, and the right mindsets, South Africa’s latent entrepreneurial talent can be unlocked.


Randall Maarman

Local Organiser

Randall is an active agent for change and believes that entrepreneurship is one of the best vehicles for empowerment. He is passionate about helping startup entrepreneurs and coaching. His interest is specifically in social mobility and equality.

Randall attended a public school in Port Elizabeth, where he believes his leadership abilities were cultivated. With a strong positive role model and an activated environment for growth, he grew to be the leader he has become today. He studied Public Administration and Organizational Science at the Free University in the Netherlands.


Nthabiseng Mosenohi

M&E Specialist

Nthabiseng Mosenohi is passionate about people and helping her community. She is value-driven and has lots of kindness to offer.

She has a diploma in transportation management acquired from the University of Johannesburg, a certificate in real estate acquired from Chartall Business College, a certificate in social entrepreneurship acquired from Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) and currently furthering her studies in social science at South African College of Applied Psychology (SACAP). She manages an education support program that empowers young girls in her community through an organisation called Seeds of light. Nthabiseng is consulting with Socionext as a monitoring and evaluation associate, collecting data and coaching participants on their businesses. Nthabiseng aim is to see others grow and self-develop.

Thuveshni Thomas

Thuveshni Thomas

M&E Specialist and Workshop Coordinator

Thuveshni Thomas is a driven and compassionate individual with extensive experience in both the sales and administrative sectors.

Her passion for people and change has always been her driving force. She describes herself as weird and loud and can bring laughter to any conversation. Thuveshni supports Socionext as an M&E Associate as well as Workshop Coordinator. In this work she brings a caring and dedicated touch to both partners and beneficiaries alike.

Bongani Ngobeni

Bongani Ngobeni

Local Organiser

Bongani Ngobeni is the proud co-owner, alongside his wife Nommy, of Mzengeli Enterprise Pty Ltd. Together they operate Vutomi Restaurant and support skills development and training in Acornhoek, Mpumalanga.

Having attended a Socionext workshop in 2019, Bongani has grown from strength to strength. In 2023 Bongani graduated from the SABF Tholoana Programme and has been supporting the work of Socionext in his community throughout this time. He is dedicated to uplifting his community and has a passion to support young people in pursuing entrepreneurship.

Ntando Maseko

Ntando Maseko

Facilitator & Mentor

An NLP coach, author, radio host, business mentor and entrepreneur himself, Ntando brings a wealth of experience to Socionext. As an award-winning business mentor, he’s worked with the likes of SAB, Fetola, McCormick and Innovation Hub to name a few. He thrives in the interpersonal space and facilitates over 20 Coaching and Corporate training programmes helping individuals and teams achieve their potential.

His energy, passion and enthusiasm have a lasting impact on everyone who he works with, colleagues and beneficiaries alike.

Directors of Socionext Africa

Director Tjaart in Q&A with students

Tjaart Theron

Founder and Managing Director

The Socionext concept was developed by Tjaart Theron (1958), who is the Director of the Socionext Foundation.

Babalo Xozwa

Babalo Xoswa

Babalo is a people’s person and has become active in community development. He is an active Director of Rhiza Babuyile Community Development and Socionext Africa where, primarily, he is an educator, trainer and mentor.

He has active experience in running businesses and has experienced the best and worst of the business world yet maintains a calm persona when leading his teams. Babalo’s strengths are leadership, calm persona, delivery orientated, mentoring, an educator, highly organized and a great person to work with. He can bridge the gap between the high flying corporate world to meet the needs and requirements of communities who would not have the opportunity to interact together.

Ronald Vles

Ronald Vles

Chairperson of the board

Ronald Vles is an attorney-at-Law with international experience in company law, technology transfer, intellectual property law and pharmaceutical law. He is also active as supervisor in a large number of cultural, medical and other organizations.


Lilliosa (Lisa) Nene

Lisa Nene is a retired teacher (senior phase). Having taught for 34 years at primary and high school level and served in various positions – head of department and head mistress. Qualifications include: primary teaching certificate, primary education diploma and further education diploma (management). She is now involved in small-scale farming, runs community development projects and holds various positions in the church, including being chairperson of the Prayer women’s league.

Iqbal Thokan

Iqbal Thokan

Non-Executive Director & Lead facilitator South Africa

Iqbal has extensive experience in working with people within all levels of an organization, in various multinationals. He has been working with Socionext as a lead facilitator and consulting to the organization on organizational development, processes, structure and creating a strategy for sustainable growth since early 2016.

After attending the program in Diepsloot in February 2016, he was impressed by what the program could achieve in one week. Through the program, Iqbal has worked in various settings across the country and met individuals who have a great thirst for empowerment. As a business management consultant, Iqbal is fully aware of the challenges faced by many entrepreneurs and start up’s, which is not knowing how to begin. The Socionext program helps people overcome this first hurdle.

Members of the Board

Rob Wijstma

Rob Wijstma


Rob Wijstma is an interim-manager and a financial consultant specialized in the banking industry.

Ronald Vles Chairman of the Board

Ronald Vles

Chairman of the Board

Ronald Vles is an attorney-at-Law with international experience in company law, technology transfer, intellectual property law and pharmaceutical law. He is also active as supervisor in a large number of cultural, medical and other organizations.


Suzette Wyers

Managing Director

Suzette Wyers is managing director of an NGO, member of the commission of experts/ombudswoman NOS and Member Advisory Board of the Wij zijn Sport crowdfunding platform

Tjaart Theron, fpunder and director of Socionext

Tjaart Theron

Founder & Director

The Socionext concept was developed by Tjaart Theron (1958), who is the Director of the Socionext Foundation.

Tjaart is a South African living in Amsterdam. A graduate in Theology, Philosophy and Economics at the University of Stellenbosch and the University of Western Cape (1976-1984) and Masters in Development Economics at the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague.

In 1994, he was Director of NEON, the civic organisation responsible for overseeing the 1994 elections in South Africa. Main researcher for the BBC documentary The Death of Apartheid and director of an award-winning documentary for Dutch television. He has worked in ICT, PR and Advertising.


Learning by doing
A 5-day workshop in social innovation and entrepreneurship


Starting businesses in just 5 days

SOCIONEXT AFRICA provides a highly interactive, hands-on training in social innovation and entrepreneurship skills development based on Design Thinking and the Lean Start-up methodology.

Our workshop takes participants through a step-by-step process from idea-generation through prototype design to testing the critical assumptions underlying their business models with real customers, resulting in the actual validation of their business case.

The advantage of this rapid prototyping and testing approach is that it significantly shortens the product development cycle - saving time, money and other resources.


Click here to see a examples of our most recent projects.

We are committed to continuously expand, improve and strengthen the program so that it can reach its full potential. Because we believe that just talking about a better world does not make it a reality. Talent in action does.


Things we live by


To promote entrepreneurship as a solution for unemployment and other societal challenges and provide young talent with the necessary skills set to become successful entrepreneurs.


To constantly improve and expand the Socionext course and strive to make it perfectly suited to unleash entrepreneurial talent in young people, which in turn enables them to create further-reaching projects that solve the challenges of the 21st century.


The programme combines the needs and interests of many sectors, social groups and geographical regions and creates win-win situation for all parties.

Policy 2021

For 2021, Socionext strives to further expand its activities in South Africa, aimed at empowering marginalized groups in society. We rely on continued funding from our South African sponsor (SABF) and want to continue attracting Dutch sponsors.

Control over the finances of the Foundation is determined by the Board of Socionext Foundation. See page 11 of the Socionext Annual Report 2020 for more details.

Integrity issues are high on our agenda and we constantly guard against conflicts of interest. Anti-corruption measures are actively used in our financial administration. And Socionext maintains critical reflection and careful decision-making to ensure an ethical approach in our organization.


The nitty gritty

Chamber of Commerce / BTW / VAT

KvK dossier number: 50156861
BTW/VAT number: 8225.84.736

Socionext Bank account numbers

Organization account: NL16 RABO 0115 3020 18
Scholarship Fund account: NL40 RABO 0157 5896 09

Socionext Africa

Socionext Africa has a LEVEL ONE BEE Status
Registration Number: 2015/026860/08
Enterprise name as per registration certificate: Socionext Africa NPC
Registration Date: 28/01/2015
Business Start Date: 28/01/2015
Enterprise Type: Non Profit Company

Postal Address:
P.O. Box 1200 Queenswood Pretoria 0121
Address of Registered Office:
192 Almeda Street, Queenswood 0185
Not VAT registered

Remuneration of the Board

The members of the Board of Socionext receive no remuneration.



Our history

2010: the Socionext foundation was established
Following a successful pilot at the Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies (IIS) at the University of Amsterdam (UvA), the Socionext Social Entrepreneurship Challenge has been integrated into the university curriculum. In September 2011, the Socionext Challenge became part of the formal teaching program at the Department of Political Science at the UvA and students could earn study credits by participating in the Challenge. The course was offered as an elective open to students from all disciplines. In September 2014 the sixth official Challenge at the UvA. Socionext took place and was one of the first practical social entrepreneurship courses available at a Dutch University.

2013: Expansion to Denmark
Given the strong focus on (social) entrepreneurship and social innovation in Denmark, Socionext decided to explore the possibility of bringing the course to universities in Copenhagen. We encountered a strong interest in and support for expanding the Socionext program because of the practical and hands-on orientation of our course. In 2013 Socionext in cooperation with the Copenhagen Innovation and Entrepreneurship Lab (CIEL) launched a pilot program at the Socionext Social Entrepreneurship Challenge at the Copenhagen Business School.
In total the students in Europe generated more than 32.000 euro in our courses in the period 2010-2014. This income went towards providing scholarships for talented young people in South Africa through our partners TSiBA and Studietrust.

2014: Socionext in South Africa
In 2013, Socionext decided to bring the challenge to South Africa and started with a trial with 15 students in Johannesburg. In 2014 Socionext was running the program in Cape Town and Johannesburg with over 150 students. In the same year, Socionext decided to move their focus to South Africa and developed a shorter version of the program for unemployed youth. In 2015 Socionext Africa was registered and reached and since then we have reached almost 1500 young people in South Africa with the program.