Grow Leadership Academy

Helping over 1 million school leavers and unemployed into work



The Background:

Relativ Impact helps purpose-driven organisations with their journeys to achieve significant environmental and social impact. They place a high value on developing relationships and partnerships with clients to co-create solutions that help to engage stakeholders, measure outcomes and mobilise resources. Angello are connected to Relativ through Colin Habberton, co-founder of the Relativ Group and the Grow Leadership Academy, a multi-partner collaboration including another Angello investment, Silulo Ulutho Technologies.

Our Aim:

The founding partners had a common vision and objective to make a difference in their city of Cape Town and South Africa by providing a stepping-stone for school leavers and the digitally passionate unemployed to get back into the job market. To do this they created the Grow Academy, a digital job incubator, which you can discover more about in this short video.

Our Work:

Courses were delivered as lecture-based sessions, coupled with assisted and tutored practical application of the various tools and skills presented. These classroom sessions were followed by internships at selected non-profit and commercial organisations that are willing to accommodate digital apprenticeships. All students were provided with personal, online, email and telephonic support, relative to their stage of skill and application, by the academy and its appointed partners. The intention was to see apprentices become artisans, from job seekers to job takers.

We recognise that business is now more social than ever and new job types are emerging through the use and application of the web and social media. The project therefore provided a platform to transfer and develop digital skills to create apprentices and artisans for the jobs in the digital world.

Measuring Success:

From its inception in 2011, the project was incubated for two years across multiple partner sites. It is now managed and run by one of the co-founding partners' RLabs. Since its first cohort of 30 students, it now limits places to 200 per intake and has expanded to other countries where RLabs also operate, including Tanzania. Approximately 1,000 people have been involved in the project which has so far benefitted an impressive one million lives through the various businesses and projects impacted through Grow graduates.

Benefactor Quotes:


My name is Kauthar Palmer and I graduated from the Grow Leadership Academy at RLabs in 2019. Thereafter, I found employment through the YES program, as a Programme Associate Assistant intern for RLabs.

Read more of her journey here.



The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step:

About 8 months ago I had no idea what RLabs was but when I went to the GROW Leadership Academy, GLA, orientation one of the hosts Suzanne Smith said something that couldn’t escape my mind. That was the time I discovered that not only are you able to learn at RLabs but you too can activate your own hub.

Read more here.

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Angello Development Foundation is registered as a charity with the Northern Ireland Charity Commission. (Registered Charity Number NIC101440)