SAB Foundation Social Innovation and Disability Empowerment Award in South Africa 2021

The SAB Foundation in South Africa invites applications from South African individuals, innovators, entrepreneurs, social enterprises and university departments for its Social Innovation Awards and disability empowerment in 2021.

The SAB Foundation supports and invests in entrepreneurs and social innovation with a priority in benefitting women and youth, people in rural areas and people living with disabilities. The SAB Foundation has created opportunities for entrepreneurs and
innovators living with disabilities and we strongly encourage them to apply.

The Social Innovation Award is aimed at innovators/social entrepreneurs/institutions/social enterprises with prototypes or early-stage businesses that can solve a social problem.

The Disability Empowerment Award is aimed at innovators/social entrepreneurs/institutions/social enterprises whose innovations focus on providing solutions for people living with disabilities.

Worth of Award

  • The award ranges from R200 000 – R1 300 000 along with business development support to assist with venture growth.
  • In addition to the prize money detailed above, the awardees are assessed on a
    case-by-case basis and placed on a tailored mentorship programme.
  • This programme is flexible and adjusted to the needs of each awardee, as mutually
    agreed by both awardee and mentor


  • The SAB Foundation Social Innovation and Disability Empowerment 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 SAB Foundation’s target low-income beneficiary groups (with a particular emphasis on innovation that benefits women, youth, people with disability and those in rural areas), as well as demonstrating potential as a sustainable businesses.
  • Entries are welcomed from South African individuals, innovators, entrepreneurs, social enterprises and 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.
  • Applications are open to all South African citizens, 18 years or older. All participants must submit a certified copy of their South African Identity Document with their online
  • 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 and testing prototypes, market and industry research, developing a business plan.
  • Please see the “Participation Rules” on the online application forms for Terms and Conditions.
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How to Apply

  • Read through this brochure to check if your organization or idea would be a good fit for the Social Innovation and Disability Empowerment Awards based on its impact on at least one of the four focus areas (women, youth, persons living with disabilities or persons living in rural areas).
  • Select the correct program you will be applying for:
  • Read through the online application guidance document.
  • Complete the online application form. The link is available on their website
  • Make sure you complete and submit your application before the deadline.
  • Early submissions are strongly encouraged.
  • The SAB Foundation Social Innovation and Disability Empowerment Awards seek the best ideas to enhance the lives of previously disadvantaged South Africans. Specific consideration will be given during the judging process to the race, gender, age and disability status of applicants
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Deadline: applications close  March 31, 2021 at midday (12h00).


Click here for more details and to apply