SAB Foundation Social Innovation and Disability Empowerment Awards 2020 (Up to R1,300,000)

SAB Foundation Social Innovation and Disability Empowerment Awards 2020 (Up to R1,300,000)

Deadline: March 23, 2020

Applications are open for the SAB Foundation Social Innovation and Disability Empowerment Awards 2020. 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.

They find, support and scale social innovations – through challenge funding and tailored mentorship – which can directly and indirectly improve quality of life. They define social innovation as innovation that demonstrates a sustainable business model while solving a social problem, with a particular emphasis on innovation that benefits women, youth, people with disability or those in rural areas.

Award Details

  • 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.


  • Awards can range 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 also assessed on a case-by-case basis and put on a tailored programme with a specially selected business mentor as well as a technical expert.


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Applications are open to all South African citizens of 18 years or older. All entrants must submit a certified copy of their South African Identity Document with their online applications.

Judging Criteria

  • Originality: How innovative is the solution? Is it a significantly new business model, technology, product, service or production method?
  • Social Impact: Can the innovation solve a serious social problem which affects the SAB Foundation target groups?
  • Viability: To what extent is the innovation solution commercially viable, to ensure its sustainability?
  • Applicability to SABF Target Groups: Which of SABF’s target groups are able to use this social innovation to bring significant increase to their overall quality of life?
  • Job creation: Is there potential for the creation of a substantial number of direct and indirect sustainable jobs currently or in the future.


Click here to apply

For more information, visit SAB Foundation.