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The Bright Future Foundation offers corporates the opportunity to meet their BEE requirements, change many students’ lives and benefit the economy as a whole. Find out more.

What is the Bright Future foundation?

The Bright Future Foundation emerged out of an existing NPO, Water For All, which has been operating for 11 years. Water for All has received funding from over 60 corporate donors, as well as the United States and Dutch governments and the World Bank Group.

  • The principal of the Bright Future Foundation is Geoff Hopkins, and he has operated in the non-profit organisation space for the last 10 years
  • He worked for the World Bank for four years, and holds B Bus Sci (Law and Economics) and B Comm (Hons) degrees from the University of Cape Town and a Masters in Finance from London Business School 
  • The chairman of the Foundation is a chartered accountant with over 14 years’ experience who was a manager at Deloitte before forming his own firm


"We're fully committed to skills development, but we need a more efficient way to do it."  (HR Director at a listed company)

The Challenge to Business

  • The revised BEE Codes have made skills development a priority element
  • As a priority element, companies that fail to achieve at least 40% of the skills development points on offer will automatically be downgraded a level
  • The target spend is 6% of a company’s annual payroll
  • The spend must be in line with the country’s, not the company’s, demographic profile.  

“My grandfather was a gardener. My father is a gardener. I want to be an engineer. But I can’t afford it”. (Student at a #feesmustfall march)

The Challenge to Students

  • Financial exclusion for academically able students from disadvantaged backgrounds is a reality
  • Many of these students are the first in their families to attend universities
  • According to the World Bank, the returns to tertiary education in South Africa are second only to Rwanda*
  • Therefore, it is a national imperative for these students to graduate and join the workforce

* Comparable Estimates of Returns to Schooling Around the World - Montenegro and Patrinos – The World Bank Group, Sept 2014.

How can the Bright Future Foundation help? 

  • Donations to the Bright Future Foundation qualify as skills development expenditure
  • We will ensure this spend meets the country’s demographic profile
  • As a registered PBO, we can issue a s18(A) certificate, ensuring tax efficiency
  • We can work with tertiary institutions to focus the spend on faculties of particular interest to the company
  • This could lead to hiring opportunities for the donor companies which will further enhance their demographic profile
  • Companies that hire black graduates may bolster their employment equity score
  • In addition, these hiring companies may qualify for up to five bonus points in the skills development element

What is the need?

Students, and black students in particular, do not live in isolation. Realising their potential also provides the opportunity for their families and dependants to improve their personal circumstances.

The impact on the students themselves is remarkable.  For several decades it has been assumed (and repeated studies have confirmed) that the highest returns to education are achieved from primary and pre-primary schooling.  

However, the latest research from the World Bank Group has shown that this is no longer the case. The Bank calculated the private returns on a year of education.  The result showed that the greatest returns are now found at the tertiary education level.  And the returns in South Africa, at 20.3% for males and 23.3% for females, are the second highest in the world after Rwanda.

Many black students are the first in their families to attend university and are consequently responsible for looking after members of their extended family.  Therefore, while the returns as calculated by the World Bank may be nominally private, the reality in South Africa is that these private returns also have a substantial public effect.

The Bright Future Foundation offers corporates the opportunity to meet their BEE requirements, change many students’ lives and benefit the economy as a whole.


Contact details   

Geoff Hopkins
+27 83 288 6275

We do not accept unsolicited funding requests and all students must work through their universities.