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R16.15 million awarded to 28 of South Africa’s most inspiring social innovators

Siyanda Mthethwa, founder of Kuloola, South Africa’s first rural online grocery store, was the overall winner in the SAB Foundation Social Innovation Award while Ernest Majenge, creator of the Ruby Wheel Chair, walked away with the first prize in the Disability Empowerment Awards Category. Both innovations will receive R1.3 million in funding. The SAB Foundation also announced the winners in it’s inaugural Reduction of Alcohol Misuse Award.

Social Innovation Awards

Kuloola, South Africa’s first rural online grocery store, is powered by a sophisticated navigation app which maps rural households and provides households and spaza shops with a delivery service in underserved rural areas.

“I am thrilled to have been awarded first place and am so excited to take my business to even greater heights,” says Mthethwa. “Through the roll out of my app, I aim to reduce transport costs and solve challenges associated with getting large food orders to households which will really benefit my community. As a social innovator, it is all about improving the lives of others.”

Lemo Motshwane founder of Urban Mobility Solutions, placed second and received R750 00 towards his business. His innovation is an online employment platform that provides customers with motorbike drivers and motorbikes and provides free training for unemployed youth.

In third place was Claire Blanckenberg, winning R650 000 with her Siyaphambili Pre Paid Taxi App. This digital minibus taxi transport voucher system partners with employers to provide unemployed youth with free transport.

Disability Empowerment Awards

Ruby Wheelchair is an innovation which allows people with reduced mobility to contribute to the propulsion of their wheelchair to navigate stairs.

“Winning this award will give me the opportunity to make a notable difference in the lives of people living with a disability,” says Majenge. “With my innovation, my aim is to create inclusion for people with reduced mobility by giving them access to tools that will enable them to move more freely.”

Padperch won second place in the Disability Empowerment category, winning a prize of R750 000. Innovator Jennifer Webster developed this low tech solution that allows people with visual impairment to use smart devices as a hands free magnifier.

Dr Pieter Smal, founder of the Sign Language Teacher’s Training Programme, took third place and was awarded R550 000. This programme enables deaf teaching assistants and deaf persons to become qualified sign language teachers.

Reduction of Alcohol Misuse Award

This year The SAB Foundation also created an opportunity for entrepreneurs and innovators with solutions that address or prevent alcohol misuse. The Social Innovation Reduction of Alcohol Misuse Award rewards innovations solving social problems associated with alcohol misuse, such as drunk driving, binge drinking, foetal alcohol syndrome, resistance to behaviour change and the lack of available data on alcohol abuse. .

Five innovations were awarded R500 000 each in this category. These innovations were:

• Zukhanye Mayekiso, founder of the Geo Map For Reduction of Alcohol Misuse;
• Luke Draper with his Augmented Reality Education Resource;
• Nicro with their Shifting Gears and Choosing The High Road; aprogramme that is designed to help participants gain new insights, skills, strategies and abilities to manage risks and behaviors that result in alcohol misuse and ultimately, driving under the influence. 
• Mpho Segota with SAB Filters, an augmented reality using face filters to raise awareness on alcohol misuse
• Linah Maphanga, founder of Lethabo The Groovist, a virtual assistant that helps youth avoid drinking and driving.

In addition to the prize money, the winners will be placed in a tailored business programme and receive development support from a business mentor and coach.

“To date, over R76 million has been deployed in grant funding and business support, to empower 152 social innovators,” says Bridgit Evans, Director of the SAB Foundation. “This year, over R16 million was awarded to 28 finalists to provide the funding and support they need to see their businesses grow and thrive.”

“Each and every year we are humbled to see how innovators are breaking barriers with their creativity and business ideas,” Evans continues. “In an economic climate such as ours, entrepreneurship is needed to drive employment in South Africa. What is so inspiring about social innovation is that it not only creates many jobs, but it also provides efficient scalable solutions to some of South Africa’s most critical social problems”
For more information on the Social Innovation and Disability Empowerment Awards please visit https://sabfoundation.co.za/social-innovation-awards

(Please scroll down to see the full list of finalists and their prizes)

DISABILITY EMPOWERMENT AWARDS WINNERS 2021

People living with disabilities in South Africa face a number of social and economic barriers and currently unemployment in the sector stands at over 34.4%. The SAB Foundation Disability Empowerment Awards aim to find, support and scale social innovations that are either run by people living with disabilities or provide disability solutions to enhance disability access and promote equality and inclusion. The finalists in the 2021 Disability Empowerment Awards category include:

RUBY WHEELCHAIR by Ernest Majenge (First place, R1. 3 million)
A smart solution wheelchair that allows people with reduced mobility to navigate stairs.

PADPERCH by Jennifer Webster (Second place, R750 000)
A low tech solution that allows people with visual impairment to use smart devices as a hands free magnifier.

SIGN LANGUAGE TEACHER’S TRAINING PROGRAMME by Dr Pieter Smal (Third place, R550 000)
A programme enabling deaf teaching assistants and deaf persons to become qualified sign language teachers.

KA-DAH DEVICE by Tieho Tsiane (Development Award, R300 000)
A device that assists visually impaired individuals to navigate their phones without the need to touch, hold or tap the screens.

SHAZACIN MOBILE APPLICATION AND BUSINESS MODEL by Shakila Maharaj (Development Award, R300 000)
A mobile application that enables visually impaired individuals access to visual content through the use of audio descriptions.

THUSANANG ENABLING SUPPORT SERVICES by Edwina Makgamatha (Development Award, R300 000)
An out-patient clinic that offers a multidisciplinary approach to wound care management.

SOCIAL INNOVATION AWARDS WINNERS 2021

Our Social Innovation Awards find, support and scale social innovations that address socio-economic and environmental challenges in a unique, scalable and financially sustainable way. By providing funding and tailored mentorship to promising local innovators, we contribute to the alleviation of social problems and help to improve the quality of life for many South Africans, particularly women, youth, people living with disabilities or those residing in rural areas. The finalists in the 2021 Social Innovation Awards category include:

KULOOLA by Siyanda Mthethwa (First place, R1.3 million)
A rural grocery delivery service powered by a sophisticated navigation app.

URBAN MOBILITY by Lemo Motshwane (Second place, R750 000)
A solution that provides customers with motorbike drivers and motorbikes and provides free training for unemployed youth.

SIYAPHAMBILI PRE-PAID TAXI APP by Claire Blanckenberg (Third place, R650 000)
A digital minibus taxi transport voucher system that partners with employers to provide unemployed youth with free transport.

PNEUMONIA DIAGNOSIS TOOL SUITE by Storm Rhoda (Development Award, R500 000)
A machine learning algorithm that identifies pneumonia in paediatric and adult patients.

STOKFELLA MOBILE APP by Tshepo Moloi (Development Award, R500 000)
A mobile app that manages administration, claims and monthly payments to stimulate the social savings club industry.

GCWALISA by Miles Kubheka (Development Award, R500 000)
A branded refill dispenser that allows brands to supply in bulk to the informal market and customers to buy in micro-sizes, cutting out single-use plastics.

DESERT GREEN AFRICA by Tumelo Chiloane (Development Award, R400 000)
Mobile solutions to enable small scale farmers and informal traders to access more affordable stock and shared logistics services.

MAPHA LOGISTICS by Loyiso Vatsha (Development Award, R400 000)
An innovative cashless payment solution for delivery services to small businesses located in rural areas.
UMPHAKATHI BURIAL SCHEME by Smaga Mthembu (Development Award, R400 000)
An innovative recycling scheme that assists with payment for funeral essentials.

AGRI SEED CAPITAL by Mpho Mathithibane (Seed Award, R200 000)
A technology service that assists smallholder grain farmers to manage production risk associated with price fluctuations and climate change.

BEE LOVED HONEY by Lesego Serolong Holzapfel (Seed Award, R200 000)
A beekeeping model aimed at creating employment and reducing poverty amongst farmers.

FOI SCIENCE HEALING BIOPOLYMERS by Nomahlubi Nazo (Seed Award, R200 000)
An innovation that trains the unemployed to convert food waste into valuable cosmetic actives for skin repair.

FRUITYXFUSION by Humbulani Nekhudzhiga (Seed Award, R200 000)
An innovation that turns fresh produce into packaging and utensils, reducing single-use plastics.

KHULA! ECOSYSTEM by Karidas Tshintsholo (Seed Award, R200 000)
A tech ecosystem of agri-platforms connecting farmers directly with formal markets, funders and input suppliers.

LIZWE MEAT by Athenkosi Denga/ Soyama Mtongana (Seed Award, R200 000)
Livestock auctions that provide fair market prices to young, black emerging farmers and serve as an education and business hub.

NATURAL INGREDIENTS (BULBINE FRUTESCENS) by Oxolo Mofokeng (Seed Award, R200 000)
A solution that empowers emerging farmers to grow bulbine destined for export that will be used for cosmetic products.

TRAKTA BICYCLES by Colin Cooper (Seed Award, R200 000)
A simplified manufacturing service that produces bicycle frames specifically designed to be used in rural areas.

REDUCTION OF ALCOHOL MISUSE AWARD WINNERS 2021

The Social Innovation RAM Award is aimed at innovators, social entrepreneurs, institutions and social enterprises with prototypes or early-stage innovations that can solve a social problem associated with alcohol misuse. The innovations seek to address societal challenges such as, but not limited to, drunk driving, underage drinking, binge drinking, foetal alcohol syndrome, resistance to behaviour change and the lack of available data on alcohol abuse.

GEO MAP FOR REDUCTION OF ALCOHOL MISUSE by Zukhanye Mayekiso (Winner, R500 000)
A map-based mobile application designed to combine location intelligence and mobile data to track alcohol consumption patterns in townships and rural areas.
 
AUGMENTED REALITY EDUCATION RESOURCE by Luke Draper (Winner, R500 000)
An augmented reality experience that leverages social media to promote responsible alcohol consumption.  
 
SHIFTING GEARS AND CHOOSING THE HIGH ROAD by Jetty Botes (Winner, R500 000)
An education and rehabilitation programme designed for road offenders which aims to advance responsible driving and promote road safety.
 
SAB FILTERS by Mpho Segota (Winner, R500 000)
An augmented reality using face filters to raise awareness on alcohol misuse on social media platforms.  
 
LETHABO THE GROOVIST by Linah Maphanga (Winner, R500 000)
A virtual assistant that helps youth avoid drinking and driving. 

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