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Keen to make a social impact with your innovation? Listen up. South African social innovation incubator RLabs is looking for budding entrepreneurs passionate to make a sustainable impact in the world and build scalable social enterprises.
Fifth year running, the RLabs InnovIA programme is a 12-week programme designed to assist participants during their startup’s most vulnerable period, and support taking an idea or product to market.
Founder of RLabs Marlon Parker tells Ventureburn that it’s important to drive entrepreneurship and innovation in Africa to address youth unemployment.
“Traditionally youth from marginalised communities do not get access to the necessary training, support or networks to develop successful enterprises,” says Parker. “So we are focussing on the diamonds in the rough, open up access and taking some of their local innovations to a global market.”
The programme so far claims to have nurtured 47 social innovations and startups. Some of these include Zlto, which is a rewards currency platform that encourages youth to do good work in their communities. Jobs search engine UUSI has supported more than 500 000 people access job opportunities.
Partnering with the InnovIA programme, among others, Silicon Cape, The Bandwidth Barn, Accenture Skills to Succeed, and the MTN Solution Space (UCT Graduate School of Business) to ensure the successful development and implementation of youth-lead innovations.
Applications for the RLabs Innovation Incubator and Accelerator 2016 programme opened on 18 December 2015, and will close on Friday, 29 January 2015.