The SAIS 2 Inclusive Innovation Capacity Building Programme provides the SAIS 2 Innovation Fund Grantees with an opportunity to discover and apply the fundamentals of designing and delivering impactful business solutions for underserved markets. This programme kicked off in early 2019 and will continue until mid-2020, directly benefitting eight projects and 300 individuals by improving their knowledge on the subject of inclusive innovation and offering them an opportunity to join a support network of business coaches and peers.
For this training course, SAIS 2 is partnering with BoP Innovation Center, an independent foundation with nearly 10 years’ experience in supporting startups and SMEs in 15 African countries. A team of inclusive innovation experts at BoP Innovation Center share inspirational stories, actionable tips and tools to assist the SAIS 2 funded projects to better cope with the business challenges of working with socially and economically excluded communities.
The Inclusive Innovation Capacity Building Programme has a mix of activities uniquely designed for the funded projects’ coordinators, their team members, partners as well as the project’s community of beneficiaries. Their learning journey starts with a two-day workshop in one of the programme countries, and thereafter continues online with a structure of seven training modules over a 14-week period. Upon completion of the training journey, participants pitch their project at the SAIS 2 Inclusive Innovation Showcase event, demonstrating the new knowledge and skills they have acquired from the course. At the event, there is an opportunity to meet with investors and other stakeholders who could help the projects to commercially launch or grow their business idea.
So far, the Inclusive Innovation Capacity Building Programme has been completed by five SAIS 2 funded projects:
SAIS 2 and BoP Innovation Center will continue to train projects.
Are you an inclusive innovator? Or do you support entrepreneurs who want to create a social impact?
The SAIS Programme and BoP Innovation Center’s online course provides a unique opportunity to discover the fundamentals of designing and delivering innovative business solutions for underserved communities in the Southern African region.
More than 150 individuals have already completed this course and gave it a 4.5 (out of 5) star rating.
It is an exciting time for Inclusive Innovation. As international awareness grows on the need to include low-income communities and underserved groups in the development of products and services, new business opportunities arise for entrepreneurs who want to combine profit with making a social impact.
However, many startups and SMEs in low-income markets struggle to find the support they need to turn their ideas into viable business solutions. For this reason, the SAIS 2 Programme and Bopinc have collaborated to design and deliver an Inclusive Innovation training programme for local innovation support organisations in Southern Africa and their communities of entrepreneurs.
In this document, we wish to present some of our biggest learnings about how to effectively train others on the topic of Inclusive Innovation. We hope these will inspire incubators, accelerators, donors, policymakers, and other organisations to set up similar programmes and build on what we have learned. Inclusive Innovation is an exciting new discipline to teach to entrepreneurs and innovation support organisations alike, but providing training to these stakeholders comes with its own challenges. We hope this publication will assist readers to understand what works, what doesn’t, and why, so that they can strengthen their training programmes or perhaps even feel confident enough to build new programmes of their own.
SAIS 2 and BoP Innovation Center have established a network of inclusive innovation coaches in the SADC region. These independent coaches are trained by our programme and matched with the SAIS 2 project grantees to provide them with one-on-one coaching support on business elements that are crucial to making their inclusive innovation a success. Based on our collaboration with these coaches, we can heartily recommend them to entrepreneurs and support organisations that look for coaching and consultancy support on inclusive innovation. We will continue to add coaches to our network and list them on this page.