The SAB Foundation has announced that applications for the 13th annual Social Innovation Awards and the eighth annual Disability Empowerment Awards are now open for submissions.
The awards aim to support South African entrepreneurs and social enterprises that can solve social challenges faced by low-income women, youth, and people living in rural areas while simultaneously creating a sustainable business model.
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Prizes range from R200 000 to R1.3 million in grant funding, and each award winner will receive valuable business skills development coaching, mentorship, and technical support.
Itumeleng Dhlamini, social innovation and entrepreneurship manager at the SAB Foundation, expressed excitement about the 2023 applications and said, “Over the years, we have been so inspired by ordinary individuals doing extraordinary things. These awards give us the opportunity to support and encourage talented innovators who drive change and improve the lives of people in their communities.”
The Social Innovation Awards are open to innovators, entrepreneurs, institutions, and social enterprises with prototypes or early-stage businesses that can solve social issues in South Africa, while the Disability Empowerment Awards award entrepreneurs or social enterprises that have developed an innovation that improves access to the economy and/or provides solutions for persons with disabilities while generating enough revenue to become sustainable over time.
The deadline for online applications is midday on Monday, 27 March 2023. Only applications submitted on the SAB Foundation web portal will be accepted, and early submissions are strongly encouraged.
Applicants must be South African citizens of 18 years or older with evidence that, prior to applying, they have spent time and money developing the innovation. NGOs that are fully dependent on grant income are not eligible for the awards.
The SAB Foundation has invested over R90 million in grant funding and business support to support 176 entrepreneurs through this prestigious awards program. Between 2011 and 2021, these individuals have created 1 638 new jobs since winning an award and collectively employed 3 174 people.
“Building sustainable businesses in underserved communities is a key priority for us at the SAB Foundation, because we know that each business creates employment opportunities for locals which enables them to put food on the table for their families,” said Dhlamini.
The SAB Foundation was founded in 2010 and provides funding for small, medium and micro-sized enterprises to contribute to the economic and social empowerment of historically disadvantaged persons through entrepreneurship development. The SAB Foundation’s primary beneficiaries are women, youth, people living with disabilities, and people living in rural areas from low-income backgrounds. More than R534 million has been invested in social innovation, disability empowerment, and the development of SMMEs to date.