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Gavin Weale

Founder and Managing Director of Livity Africa

Gavin Weale is an award-winning social entrepreneur, and the Founder and Managing Director of Livity Africa. Now based in Johannesburg, he has built and scaled the company from one person in 2011 into a continent-wide youth led social enterprise that has trained over 70,000 young people across 12 countries in 2017.

Originally from the UK, Gavin cut his teeth as one of the original core group of employees at Livity UK, the pioneering London-based youth engagement agency. He won the UK Young Publishing Entrepreneur Award (2010) for his work on Live Magazine, which brought him to South Africa; and awarded a Shuttleworth Foundation Fellowship, and moved to Cape Town with a laptop, a big idea and some seed funding.

Gavin's story focuses on the hard lessons of scaling and replicating a social enterprise model from the UK to Africa: from the early days of making a magazine in five days flat with a group of teenagers from Cape Town`s townships, to launching South Africa`s biggest youth media platform, training 70,000 young people in one year, and a rollercoaster of highs and lows along the way, including being kidnapped in Lagos and getting married after bargaining with cattle.

Livity Africa work with brands and partners that include Google, Facebook, Red Bull, the Rockefeller Foundation, the British Council, and the Omidyar Network - delivering training, content and campaigns designed to help young people create their own livelihoods. Major programmes include Digify, Africa`s biggest digital skills network powered by young people for young people; Project Demo, a movement supporting young activists applying pressure to politicians around youth political and social issues; and of course Live Magazine SA, the youth driven media channel and founding project of Livity.