The SAB Foundation was founded in 2009 as part of SAB’s broad based black economic empowerment deal, SAB Zenzele. The Foundation holds 8,4 million SAB shares and uses the dividend income from these shares to invest in initiatives which benefit the wider community.
The Innovation Awards reward commercialisable pro-poor innovations that address a challenge faced by the identified beneficiary groups. Applicants go through a rigorous, phased adjudication process and investments are made into those innovations which are innovative, scalable and can be commercialised.
The winner of the inaugural SAB Foundation Innovation Awards 2001 is Reel Gardening, whose community gardening product, Garden in a Box receives an investment of R1 million. The two runners-up, ShonaQuip and The Invoice Exchange each received R500 000.
The long-term vision underpinning the SAB’s Foundation programme is to ignite a culture of entrepreneurship in South Africa as a source of economic growth, job creation and innovation.
Other than the Innovation Prize, the SAB Foundation achieves its objective through the following initiatives:
- Grant Capital Investment: support and financial assistance to high-impact, black-owned business in partnership with Endeavor.
- Benevolent private-equity capital investment: investing in SMEs with high potential, in a combination of debt and equity depending on the business’s needs.
- Business support fund: small-scale grassroots support for non-profits, co-operatives, micro-businesses and other ventures which invest in entrepreneurial development and provide income generation and employment.