SAB Foundation Social Innovation and Disability Empowerment Awards 2017 – NOW OPEN FOR ONLINE APPLICATIONS 03 – 25 May 2017

The Social Innovation Awards is aimed at innovators/social entrepreneurs/institutions/social enterprises with prototypes or early stage businesses that can solve a social problem. The Social Innovation Disability Empowerment Award is aimed at innovators/social entrepreneurs/ institutions/social enterprises whose innovations focus on providing solutions for people with disability.


• The SAB Foundation Social Innovation 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 SABF’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 business.

• 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 & testing prototypes, market & industry research, developing a business plan.

• Applications are open to all South African citizens of 18 years or older. All participants (“Entrants”) must submit a certified copy of their South African Identity Document with their online applications.

Download overview here.


• Applications open on 3 May 2017 and close on 25 May 2017 at noon (12h00)

• Applications must be completed online, the link is available on the SAB Foundation website: or click here to go to the portal directly.

• The SAB Foundation Social Innovation Awards seek the best ideas to enhance the lives of disadvantaged South Africans. Specific consideration will be given during the judging process to the race, gender, age and disability status of applicants.

• Applications will be screened against the Eligibility Criteria, and qualifying applications will then be assessed by a panel of judges for the Impact and Viability of the innovation solution.

• A shortlist of up to 25 best innovations will be selected, and invited to attend a 2-day workshop in September 2017 (dates to be finalised and are subject to change).

• At the end of the workshop the applicants will present their innovation solution and up-scaling plans to a panel of judges, resulting in the selection of the winners.

• The winners will be announced at a Gala Awards Ceremony in Sandton, on 19 October 2017.

Download application guidance here.