HomeBusinessR18 Million awarded to 29 of South Africa's most inspiring Social Innovators

R18 Million awarded to 29 of South Africa’s most inspiring Social Innovators

On the 13th of October 2022 Johannesburg The SAB Foundation, in partnership with the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA), awarded R18 million in grant funding and business development support to 29 deserving entrepreneurs at its 12th annual Social Innovation and 7th annual Disability Empowerment Awards.

Liz Moynihan, founder of Kotonki and Sibongile Mongadi, from Uku’hamba Prosthetics and Orthotics were the overall winners of the Social Innovation and Disability Empowerment Awards.

The Kotonki innovation was awarded top prize in the Social Innovation category and Uku’hamba Prosthetics and Orthotics won first prize in the Disability Empowerment Awards category. Both innovations received R1.3 million each in grant funding and business development support.

Siyabonga Mgadi

Joint second place in the Disability Empowerment Awards Category went to Louine Griessel from Breede Valley APD Business Units and Chelsea Williamson from iSchool Africa. Both innovations were awarded R750 000 in prize money.

Breede Valley APD Business Units provides a platform for vulnerable persons with disabilities to develop their full vocational potential and iSchool Africa empowers deaf youth with digital skills.

In the Social Innovation Awards Category, iKhaya Lekhaya was awarded second place with grant funding of R800 000 and From Waste to Value walked away with third place and R700 000 in grant funding.

iKhaya Lekhaya is a co-financing model that enables employers to directly assist employees in improving their living conditions by providing fire and flood-retardant shelters.

From Waste to Value collects disposed cooking oil from local food establishments and transforms it into sustainably packaged and affordable soap bars.

“We congratulate all the finalists and winners of the SAB Foundation Awards. We are also proud to see that three projects previously supported by TIA are among the finalists,” says Ms Tshembani Khupane, Acting Head of Strategic Partnerships and Business Development for TIA. “Through this partnership we are committed to expanding innovation-related activities in underserved regions as well as promote social entrepreneurship development in South Africa.”

The theme for this year’s awards was renewal, revival and resilience, honouring the tenacity and sheer will of South African entrepreneurs. These entrepreneurs have gone through a period of hardship and struggle following the pandemic, civil unrest and global conflict, but still thrived against all odds.

“Our awards took inspiration from the South African Fire Lily, a tough plant that defies the elements by producing its beautiful salmon to scarlet blooms just nine days after the destructive effects of a fire,” says Bridgit Evans, SAB Foundation Executive Director. “Today we celebrate these amazing social innovators for their endurance and we want to see them flourish into bigger and better enterprises that will stimulate local socio-economic activities beyond their current areas of operation.”

“To date we have invested over R73 million in funding and business development support, to help 143 social innovators,” she continues. “Each innovator focuses on solving a social problem in the sectors such as housing, healthcare, education, social services, disability, energy, water and sanitation, community safety and security, agriculture, recycling, and financial inclusion, and we forward to working with this year’s cohort.”

“This year, we are also extremely grateful to TIA for believing in our work and making their own contribution to this year’s winners,” adds Evans.

This year the awards included a new category, in partnership with the South African Breweries (SAB). The SAB SHARP Awards were established to specifically target innovators, institutions, students, researchers and social enterprises with innovative ideas or prototypes that empower women in at-risk communities.

Izipho Zokuphila Tracking, founded by Simphiwe Ntuli and Siyabonga Mgadi, walked away as the overall winners, taking home the top prize of R500 000 in funding.

“We are so inspired by the innovations we have seen and applaud these brilliant problem solvers,” says Zoleka Lisa, Vice President of Corporate Affairs from SAB. “We support social innovation and it has been a privilege for us to collaborate with the SAB Foundation.”

To learn more about the Social Innovation and Disability Empowerment Awards visit


About the SAB Foundation

Founded in 2010, the SAB Foundation provides funding for small, medium and micro-sized enterprises in order to contribute to the economic and social empowerment of historically disadvantaged persons through entrepreneurship development. The SAB Foundation’s primary beneficiaries are women, youth, people living with disabilities and people living in rural areas, from low-income backgrounds. More than R534 million to date has been invested in social innovation, disability empowerment and SMMEs.