APPLICATIONS for the 11th annual SAB Foundation Social Innovation Awards and 6th annual Disability Empowerment Awards are open for entry and eligible entrepreneurs have been strongly encouraged to apply.
Through the awards, the SAB Foundation aims to empower innovative thinkers to develop products and services that help the country’s most vulnerable communities. Prizes range from between R200,000 and R1.3 million and are used as an investment towards the innovation or business. In addition, each award winner also qualifies to receive valuable business coaching and technical support.
The Social Innovation Awards are aimed at innovators, social entrepreneurs, institutions and social enterprises with prototypes or early-stage businesses that can solve social problems. These products, services, business models and processes should directly address the challenges faced by low-income women, youth, people living with disabilities, or people living in rural areas.
The Disability Empowerment Awards seek and award social enterprises that have come up with innovative solutions that improve access to the economy and/or solutions for people living with disabilities, while generating enough revenue to become sustainable over time.
People with disabilities in South Africa face a number of social and economic barriers with and currently the unemployment rate stands at over 70%.
“Over the years, we have seen entrepreneurs who had barely more than an idea when they started with us, go on to reach national and even international significance in addressing complex social problems in efficient and sustainable ways,” said Bridgit Evans, SAB Foundation Director.
“With the world being where it is right now, we are excited to see what emerges through this application process. We always look forward to seeing the new innovations that emerge each year.”
Ntandokazi Nodada, Social Innovation Specialist at the SAB Foundation, said, “These awards give us the opportunity to meet so many talented social innovators who are really eager and enthusiastic to drive change and improve the lives of people in their communities and beyond.”
To date, over R92 million has been deployed in grant funding and business support, to support 139 social innovators.
“Previous award-winning innovations have improved efficiency and affordability in many areas including housing, healthcare, agriculture, nutrition, transport, education and have come up with viable solutions to support people living with disabilities. We are looking forward to seeing the entries for this year and we believe that the 2021 innovations will bring about even bigger, positive changes in South Africa,” Nodada said.
Online applications opened on 25 February and close on 31 March 2021. Only applications submitted on the SAB Foundation portal will be accepted.