SAB Foundation 2016 Social Innovation Awards Programme for Innovative Entrepreneurs (2.2 Million Rand in Cash Prize).

Application Deadline: 31st May 2016

The SAB Foundation is looking for innovative entrepreneurs who will make an impact in society for this year’s sixth annual SAB Foundation Social Innovation Awards.

The competition aims to recognise the work of entrepreneurs who are finding innovative business solutions to challenges facing some of South Africa’s most vulnerable people like women, children, the disabled and those living in rural areas. It serves as a catalyst for social change in rural communities through its investments in innovative products and services. The awards are committed to supporting innovations that focus on sustainable methods of assisting these vulnerable groups as well as empowering entrepreneurs and innovators who help change the lives of individuals.

The aim of the SAB Foundation Social Innovation Awards Programme is to help upscale and commercialise the innovative solutions of the winners. As part of a significant cash injection, each entrepreneur will be offered a personal mentor who will help guide them on their journey to develop their business and product or service. This mentorship, which recognises the uniqueness of each entrepreneur, will be tailored according to each entrepreneur’s stage of operation and growth needs.


The SAB Foundation Social Innovation Awards offers a prize for sustainable innovation, either a product or process that addresses a challenge faced by its beneficiary groups. Emphasis is placed on innovations that are scalable and able to be commercialised.

Eligibility Criteria

  • The SAB Foundation Social Innovation Awards will be open to any innovation solution that offers a credible prospect of meeting a demonstrable social and/ or economic need evidenced by the SABF’s target low-income beneficiary groups (women, the youth, persons with disabilities and persons in rural areas).
  • Entries are welcomed from South African individuals, innovators, entrepreneurs, NGOs, corporate foundations, CSI professionals, consulting firms, university departments. Entrants may enter as individuals on their own, or as members of a team, in which case one individual team leader shall complete the online application form.
  • The innovation entered must be the original work of the applicant and a true innovation and/or a significant improvement on an existing technology, product, service, and production method or business model.
  • Product innovation covers innovations in both goods and services, which can be divided into new or improved products. A new product has different characteristics and intended uses than existing products. It may use new technologies, knowledge and products or a combination of these. An improved product is an existing product whose performance is significantly increased; in terms of either increased output or a reduction in cost.
  • Process innovation is the adaption or creation of improved ways to deliver a product or service. It could come from changes in knowledge, perception and understanding. For poverty reduction, process innovations can increase the level of service delivery to beneficiaries, or enable practitioners to reach previously untouched groups or individuals.
  • The innovation solution must have progressed past the “blue-sky” thinking stage: there must be some evidence of investment by the applicant. This means that applicants must be able to show proof that prior to applying, they have spent time and/or money developing the innovation: planning, developing & testing prototypes, market & industry research, developing a business plan.
  • Applications are open to all South African citizens of 18 years or older. All participants (“Entrants”) must submit a certified copy of their South African Identity Document with their online applications.

Prizes consist of the following:

  • 1st place R1.2 million
  • 2nd place R600 000
  • 3rd place R400 000
  • Several developmental awards are awarded to deserving innovations


The SAB Foundation Innovation Awards are open to all South African residents, and seek the best ideas to enhance the lives of disadvantaged South Africans. Specific consideration will be given during the judging process to the race, gender, age and disability status of applicants.

  • Be South African – can be part of a group, organization or individual
  • Present original and innovative work
  • The innovation can be a product or a process
  • Show proof that before applying, they have spent time and/or money developing the innovation

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the SAB Foundation Social Innovation Awards


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