12 days ago
CALLING TECH ENTREPRENEURS
Do you have a business idea to improve society with technology but need funding?  ~ 

THE Diageo Empowerment Trust has had success in funding social entrepreneurs over 2017/18.

Sinethemba Mafanya, Diageo manager, said: “This year’s funding initiative takes the form of a challenge that focuses on the use of technology to solve South Africa’s major social challenges.

“We will engage entrepreneurs who aim to make money while doing good with technological innovations.

“We are targeting start-up projects under two years old that have a solid conceptual foundation but need funds to make it work.”

Diageo has identified three top challenge areas where small businesses need to focus.

Grow nation

This is defined as technology solutions for agricultural and rural areas.

Make nation

This is the use of technology such as robotics and 3D printing for the manufacturing industry.

Tech nation

Tech Nation re-uses, recycles and repurposes older technology – such as phone apps – for new uses.

Diageo is working with partners in creating this challenge.

  • Nosco, which specialises in designing platforms for corporations, has designed a platform on which shortlisted candidates can interact with each other and develop their ideas.
  • Urbian is developing digital prototype branding for shortlisted candidates.
  • The Gordon Institute of Business Science provides entrepreneurship and business training and mentorship.

The submission process

Interested people should submit their ideas to www.socialtechstartup.co.za before noon on 22 March. The initial applications will be narrowed down to a shortlist of 30 entrants by a panel of judges.

The judges will then trim the shortlist down to 15 entrants who will take part in the Gordon Institute’s entrepreneur leadership programme. The top five applicants will also benefit from an opportunity to visit top entrepreneurial spots around the world. They will be eligible for up to R1 million in funding.

“We aim to take social entrepreneurs further with technology,” Mafanya said.

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