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Photography by Jeremy Glyn for for SAB Foundation  in October 2017

Livestock Wealth wins R1.3m at SAB Foundation Social Innovation Awards

Livestock Wealth, which uses crowdfarming to  allow anyone to become a beef farmer, last night grabbed a first prize of R1.3-million at the 2017 SAB Foundation Social Innovation and Disability Empowerment Awards for their GrassBeef platform.

Over R9-million was awarded to 24 startups at a ceremony held last night in Johannesburg. The awards are held by the SAB Foundation in collaboration with Technology Innovation Agency (TIA).

RailPro, a transport solutions startup developing vehicles that drive on both road and rail grabbed the second prize of R750 000. Chemstart, a mini-science kit developed for high school learners and cashmere wool processor Ivili Lloboya jointly won the third place prize of R500 000.

SAB Foundation director Bridgit Evans told Ventureburn that Livestock Wealth‘s GrassBeef platform (with CEO Ntuthuko Shezi pictured above, left) stood out because of its innovative approach to using cattle as a form of investment.

Evans said the foundation selected the platform as the winner because of its good business model and that as it has the “potential to create a lot of jobs”.

The 2017 SAB Foundation Social Innovation and Disability Empowerment Awards saw 24 startups get over R9m in prize money

Evans said that the foundation will continue to support the winners beyond the awards with mentoring and further business support. “We just don’t give them money,” she said.

The other winners in the social innovation awards include i-Drop Water and Abalobi who both got R400 000 each for the Development Awards. Two other startups Commuscore and Umgibe Growing System also won R300 000 each in the same category.

In addition, 10 other startups, namely: HearScope, Balambie, Auto Turtle, Iziko Stoves, Vuleka, Smart Agri Solutions, Seebox, Excel@Uni, Timu Trust and the Aqua Test Kit were each awarded seed grants of R150 000.

Read more: Meet the 2017 Social Innovation and Disability Empowerment Awards finalists

Two other companies walked away with R1-million each as the joint winners of the Disability Empowerment Award. These were skills training non-profit GreenABLE and Brownies&Downies, a coffee shop that trains people with intellectual disabilities

The second place prize of R400 000 was jointly awarded to hand-bike company Rural Handbike and wheelchair accessory company Smergos.

The third place prize of R150 000 was awarded to FingerTalk, a South African sign language learning app and Proxisee a mobile app that helps blind people to navigate using sound signals and touch-sensitive vibrations.

SAB Foundation director Bridgit Evans said in an earlier press release that to date 105 entrepreneurs have benefited from the awards, which has resulted in 167% increase in jobs and a 245% increase in turnover.

“The intention of the foundation is to see these valuable businesses through to commercialisation to the benefit of all South Africans,” said Evans.

Featured image (from left to right): Livestock Wealth CEO Ntuthuko Shezi, Moss Ngoasheng and Ntandokazi Nodada (Supplied)