Impact Amplifier has been working with the South African Breweries Foundation for the last three years to manage its Social Innovation Fund and Accelerator. This programme identifies some of the most innovative social ventures in South Africa with the capacity to both be commercially sustainable and scale. The programme includes up to 18-month of investment ready acceleration, which culminates in funding from the Foundation. In January, the following four social enterprises were funded:
>PaperVideo (PV) is an ed-tech company that provides students in grades 8-12 with instant access to private teaching from South Africa’s biggest collection of education videos in Mathematics, Physical Sciences (Physics & Chemistry), Life Sciences (Biology), Natural Sciences, and Accounting. PV provides online and offline solutions through their micro SD cards compatible with any Android device or Windows computer, advancing equitable and quality access to education for 15,000 learners across South Africa to date. Since launching in 2014, PV has created over 13,000 videos across 260 exam papers. The schools that have used its exam books, subject maps, and micro SD Cards have witnessed the average grade of 3,000 learners increase by 10% in more than 30 schools. With this round of capital and over 12 months, PV aims to positively impact 10,000 new students and 500 teachers.
>RailPro is a South African company focused on manufacturing and integrating an award winning, patented Road/Rail Vehicles (RRV) drive system technology onto conventional trucks. Teaming up with Isuzu, RailPro has developed a RailBus to make RVVs accessible to – and affordable for – passengers in underserved communities, utilizing existing and often underutilised rail and road networks.
The Rail transport system plays a significant role in enabling mobility and access to economic and social activities in the South African economy. The lack of affordable and timely transport imposes an effective “mobility tax” on poor citizens. The RailBus has the potential to unlock over 4,000kms of under-utilized rail networks across South Africa for the purposes of passenger and freight transport, boosting economic participation of intersecting marginalised communities. Successful adoption in South Africa will boost the potential growth into the entire SADC region. This round of funding will enable it to complete is first RailBus and run a commuter pilot in the Eastern Cape of South Africa.
>Tour2.0 is a niche destination management company that creates unique community centric tourism experiences. It offers 72 experiences in South Africa, 39 of which were developed inhouse highlighting local artistic, culinary, historical and cultural elements. Only 40% of African tourism trips have a local community, historical or cultural tour component, yet tourist have identified cultural experiences as one of the top three interests when traveling to Africa. Low penetration and Tour2.0s platform, have positioned the company to take advantage of this growing demand. This round of funding will enable Tour2.0 to expand into Kenya and Uganda.
>Vuleka – connects small manufacturers and large wholesalers to informal shop (spaza shop) owners, enabling a buying network that is designed to stabilise and grow these entrepreneurs. Vuleka solves a range of problems for spaza shops, manufactures and wholesalers in the informal market. Vuleka:
- Facilitates the collection of goods from manufacturers and wholesalers and delivers these goods to shop owners;
- Provides bulk discounted purchases for spaza shops by sourcing directly from the manufacturers;
- Creates a mechanism to communicate directly to consumers, promote products and track behaviour; and
- Provides credit for informal and unbanked business owners based on the orders they have made through the platform. The spaza shop can in turn give stock on credit to their customers.
These collective services provide the platform for informal businesses to provide competitive pricing to large retailers, diversify their product offering and build sustainable businesses. This round of funding will enable Vuleka to refine its service offering and expand the use of its online ordering platform.
We anticipate three additional businesses in the programme will be considered for funding in April 2020 when the investment committee meets again. If you are interesting in learning more about the SABF accelerator and fund please go to https://sabfoundation.co.za/social-innovation-fund.