[caption id="attachment_2135" align="alignright" width="338"] Last year Billy Hadlow's business, Khaya Power, was awarded a R150 000 seed grant. He created a cost effective solar power pack which can now provide low income households with access to clean, affordable energy all from a 5 litre plastic container![/caption]
Calling entrepreneurs and businesses offering sustainable socially innovative products and processes: The 4th Annual SAB Foundation Social Innovation Awards is now open for entry.
These products and processes should directly address the challenges faced by low-income women, youth, people living with disabilities, and people living in rural areas.
The SAB Foundation Social Innovation Awards 2014 offers
- 1st place grant of R1-million,
- 2nd place grant of R500 000
- 3rd place grant of R350 000.
- In addition, several seed grants are awarded to deserving and stand-out innovations.
The Social Innovation Awards was launched in 2011 as part of the SAB Foundation's primary focus to ignite a culture of entrepreneurship in South Africa.
To date, the awards have invested in more than 40 entrepreneurs and their innovations at a total cost of over R11 million.
“It is important that more and more people participate in South Africa’s social and economic life if high impact and sustainable levels of job creation is to be achieved. More so, an innovative thread of thinking is fundamental in providing the necessary force to make a real dent, ” says Boipelo Nkadimeng.
Business grant awards are provided to help upscale and commercialise the innovative solution, a process which is supported by the SAB Foundation over a period of two years or longer, as needed.
The size of the grant is designed to allow for substantive progress to be made by the winners.
Product innovations cover goods and services which can be divided into ‘new’ or ‘improved’. A new product may use advanced technology and knowledge, or a combination of the two, while an improved product is one that already exists, and its performance has been enhanced.
Process innovations involve adapting and creatively improving ways of delivering a product or service. This could come from changes in knowledge, perception and/or understanding. The innovation solution must have progressed past an idea and must have proof-of-concept. This means that applicants must be able to show evidence that prior to entering the competition that they have invested time and/or capital developing the innovation. The social impact of the innovation is a strong selection criterion.
An open competition puts innovator applicants and their innovation through a rigorous, phased adjudication process. In the end, investments are made in those innovations which are innovative, scalable and can be commercialised.
The winners will be announced during an awards ceremony later this year.
Is your innovation, or that of someone you know, eligible for these awards? Remember that entries close on 8 May.