Sustainable rural farming solutions, assistive mechanisms for people living with disabilities, and cashless payment systems are all innovations that solve social challenges and uplift communities.

(9 November 2021, Johannesburg) The SAB Foundation has announced the 23 finalists of its annual Social Innovation and Disability Awards. They stand a chance to win a total of R12.95 million in funding and development support for their businesses.

This year, the SAB Foundation received over 750 entries from local innovators. Out of those, 23 finalists – whose innovations range from mobile apps that support small-scale farmers to assistive mechanisms for people with disabilities, to biodegradable packaging that reduces the use of single-use plastics – were selected. This includes 17 finalists for the SAB Foundation’s eleventh annual Social Innovation Awards and six for the sixth annual Disability Empowerment Awards.

The finalists’ innovations were assessed according to specific criteria by two independent panels of judges and included evaluating whether they were scalable and could be commercialized, as well as their potential to create job opportunities.

Bridgit Evans, SAB Foundation Director said awards are held each year to celebrate and support entrepreneurs that are thinking outside the box in terms of how to solve social problems efficiently and at scale.

People with disabilities in South Africa face a number of social and economic barriers and currently, unemployment in the sector stands at over 34.4%. The SAB Foundation Disability Empowerment Awards aim to find, support and scale social innovations that are either run by people with disabilities or provide disability solutions to enhance disability access and promote equality and inclusion.


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