R35 million invested to 1056 EC entrepreneurs
Local social innovators who are committed to addressing social issues are encouraged to apply for the 10th annual South African Breweries Foundation Social Innovation Awards and the 5th annual Disability Empowerment Awards. The winning innovation stands the chance of receiving up to R1.3 million in funding, as well as business development support.
Last year’s Seed Grant winner of R200 000, Luleka Mkuzo, founder of Mobile Rural Technology Park in Mbizana gives learners and teachers in rural communities access to technology. “The park is equipped with multiple laptops for the internet and basic computer skills. Mkuzo, who quit her high-profile job in Joburg, believes that lack of technology increases the inequity gap by making it harder for these communities to compete for equal opportunities with those in urban areas,” said Mkuzo.
In the Eastern Cape, the Foundation has provided over R35 million in grant funding and business support. This has helped them grow their collective turnover from R17.5 million to over R29.5 million and have also employed a total of 1293 people.
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, youth, people living with disabilities, or people living in rural areas.
The Disability Empowerment Awards seek and award 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.
People with disabilities are some of the most marginalised members of society with a high unemployment rate.
Online applications close on March 23.