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R10m up for grabs in 2018 SAB Foundation Social Innovation and Disability Empowerment Awards

Total prize money of up to R10m is up for grabs in the eighth annual SAB Foundation Social Innovation Awards and third annual Disability Empowerment Awards. Entries are now open for eligible entrepreneurs.

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 which have come up with innovative solutions which improve access to the economy, and/or solutions for disabled people, while generating enough revenue to become sustainable over time. People with disabilities are some of the most marginalised members of society with an estimated 70% unemployment rate.

Online applications close on 23 April 2018 at midday. Applications can be completed

Taking ideas to the next level

“In the past seven years of the Social Innovation Awards, we have been impressed with the quality and calibre of ideas and businesses that we have been presented with, over many fields and industries, including health, education, water, energy, rural livelihoods, community cohesion and more. We hope to see many more applicants entering this year, so we can help take their ideas to the next level,” commented Ntandokazi Nodada, social innovation specialist at the SAB Foundation.

Prizes awarded range from between R150,000 and R1.3m and are used as an investment in the innovation. In addition to the prize money, the winners will also be assessed on a case-by-case basis and placed in a tailored programme with a specially selected business mentor as well as a technical expert. The programme is flexible and is adjusted to the needs of each winner, as mutually agreed upon by both the winner and their mentor.

To date, the programme has invested in 114 social entrepreneurs and their innovations with a total investment of over R44m. This group has seen a turnover increase of 245% and job growth of 167%. Previous award-winning innovations have improved efficiency and affordability in housing, healthcare, smallholder farming techniques, education, medical diagnostics, waste disposal, township security, fire prevention and support for people with disabilities.

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