Applications for annual SAB Foundation Social Innovation and Disability Empowerment Awards now open

Luleka Mkuzo, last year’s winner of the SAB Foundation Social Innovation Awards
Luleka Mkuzo, last year’s winner of the SAB Foundation Social Innovation Awards
Image: supplied

Applications for the annual SAB Foundation Social Innovation Awards and the annual Disability Empowerment Awards are now open.

The Social Innovation Awards are aimed at innovators, social entrepreneurs, institutions and social enterprises with prototypes or early-stage businesses that can solve social problems.

These products, services, business models and processes should directly address the challenges faced by low-income women, the youth, people living with disabilities, or people living in rural areas.

The awards were launched in 2011 as part of the SAB Foundation’s primary focus on igniting a culture of entrepreneurship in SA.

The winning innovation stands the chance of receiving up to R1.3m in funding, as well as business development support.

Last year’s winner, Luleka Mkuzo, of the Eastern Cape, is part of 1,056 entrepreneurs who have been assisted by the foundation to date.

Mkuzo is a founder of the Mobile Rural Technology Park which is equipped with multiple laptops to give pupils and teachers in rural communities access to technology, the internet, and basic computer skills.

“Our innovation is focused on community development, upliftment, and creating change in rural communities.

“I am from a rural community and I saw first-hand how the lack of technological skills negatively influences exposure to good opportunities,” Mkuzo said.

In the province alone the SAB Foundation has already provided more than R35m in grant funding and business support.

This has helped entrepreneurs grow their collective turnover from R17.5m to more than R29.5m.

They employ a total of 1,293 people, in 1,150 new jobs.

The Disability Empowerment Awards seek to reward social enterprises which have come up with innovative solutions, which improve access to the economy, and/or solutions for disabled people, while generating enough revenue to become sustainable over time.

Online applications are now open and can be completed by visiting, before the closing date of March 23.