4leaders 4change

“Education has the power to break the cycle of poverty to uncover an individual’s true worth. It is the key to achieving a truly empowered and successful nation. We are proud to be a part of this remarkable initiative and are committed to the cause of improving education in our society”.

– Sun International’s CEO Graeme Stephens

A global humanitarian initiative first launched in Australia eleven years ago, The CEO SleepOut™ challenges the business community to experience, just for one night, the discomfort of sleeping on the street.

Introduced to South Africa in 2015, the inaugural South African CEO SleepOut™ raised R26-million – the most any inaugural CEO SleepOut™ has raised worldwide.

Taking place on the iconic Nelson Mandela Bridge, The Sun International CEO SleepOut™ challenges the business community to use their influence to create a better South Africa. This year, education will be the focus with the bulk of funds directed to bursaries for tertiary education. Funds will also be directed to school bursaries and early childhood development. 

About The Sun International CEO SleepOut™

The Sun International CEO SleepOut™ is part of a global movement, effecting positive social change for vulnerable and homeless communities. It asks current and future business leaders to spend a winter’s night on the streets, raising funds and empathy for the homeless, and resulting in real change around the world. Founded in Australia 10 years ago, The CEO SleepOut™ is now a global initiative, with SleepOuts taking place in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. It is leading the new wave of philanthropy and social entrepreneurship, where profits are being used for purpose, and leaders are inspiring others to find compassion and sustainable solutions for those who need it most.


The inaugural CEO SleepOut™ in South Africa took place in 2015 when 247 CEO and C-Suite members raised more than R26-million for the Founding Beneficiary Partner Girls & Boys Town. In 2016, The CEO SleepOut™ is focusing on supporting education as a means to eradicate homelessness. On 28 July, C-Suite members, along with a colleague, a student and a matric learner with notable leadership qualities, will Rise To The Challenge and spend the night on The Nelson Mandela Bridge. The funds raised will be awarded to the 2016 Beneficiary Partners, namely ASHA Trust, Columba Leadership and the Steve Biko Foundation, all of whom work tirelessly to educate our youth. There is also a national call to action for the rest of the country to get involved; #SouthAfricaMustRise. Companies, universities and schools can SleepOut™ in solidarity at their own Sympathy, Student and School SleepOut™ events.






Founded in 2015, The CEO SleepOut™ brand’s desire is to create a force for positive change and sustainable social impact in South Africa’s most vulnerable communities, by forging relationships with those in a position of power and influence. It wants to give the “Have Gots” the chance to experience a short time as “Have Nots”, to create new, mindful fund-raising, where money is raised alongside understanding, empathy and deep insight into the lives of vulnerable, homeless South Africans.


Originating from The Vinnies Sleepout event held in Sydney, Australia in 2006, the inaugural South Africa CEO SleepOut™ in 2015 saw 247 CEOs and business leaders trade their Porches for the pavement, and spend the night outdoors on Gwen Lane in Sandton. The event – the most successful fund-raising event in the history of South Africa – raised more than R26-million overnight for Girls & Boys Town.