Southern Africa Innovation Support Programme (SAIS 2) RE: Innovation Challenge 2020

Southern Africa Innovation Support Programme (SAIS 2) RE: Innovation Challenge 2020

Deadline: September 27, 2020

The Southern Africa Innovation Support Programme (SAIS 2) RE: innovation challenge is now calling for proposals from projects to pilot and validate solutions to make Southern African startup ecosystems more resilient and better able to face an uncertain future.

The Southern Africa Innovation Support Programme (SAIS 2) is a regional initiative that supports the growth of new businesses through stronger innovation ecosystems and cross-border collaboration between innovation role players in Southern Africa.

Funded by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland with support from the governments of Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zambia as well as the Secretariat of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), SAIS 2’s overall objective is to enhance regional innovation cooperation and national innovation systems that contribute to inclusive business and development.


  • A maximum of six (6) projects will be selected pilot testing or validating the proposed solution.
  • Each selected project will receive a SAIS 2 grant of between EUR 30,000 and EUR 50,000 per project, depending of the project budget proposed. The applicant has to provide at least 20% matching funding to counter the SAIS 2 grant (10% cash and 10% in kind).
  • Selected projects will have a maximum of five (5) months start and finish their project, including the project launch, piloting/validation, and final reporting.
  • Selected projects will have an opportunity to present the solutions and the results to a network of entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem stakeholders, which could lead to new opportunities for the proposed solution.


  • You have identified a challenge to and a solution that strengthens the resilience of a startup ecosystem in one of the following countries: Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, or Zambia.
  • The solution is technology-enabled and easily adapted for quick implementation.
  • You have a project consortium comprising innovation support organisations such as incubators, hubs, labs, and accelerators as well as research/academia, private sector and public entities, and/or NGOs hosting and supporting youth entrepreneurship and startups.
  • Your project consortium must have at least one innovation support organisation as a member, which will also act as the project coordinator.
  • Your project coordinator is a registered legal entity in one of the five SAIS 2 partner countries (Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia).


If you believe you’re the visionary they’re looking for, download the Call Text and Guide for Applicants for more details and instructions to apply.

Click here to apply

For more information, visit SAIS RE: Innovation Challenge.