28 May 2019

Building A Community of Inclusive Innovators

Building A Community of Inclusive Innovators

Five projects recently took part in a two day Inclusive Innovation training workshop in Lusaka, Zambia as part of capacity building for grantees supported through the SAIS 2 Innovation Fund Call for Proposals 2018/1.The projects are being implemented in seven countries across the SADC region and involve over 20 partners and were represented by coordinators and beneficiaries  who traveled to Lusaka for the onsite training. Meeting face to face provided participants from Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia to leverage on the opportunity to make valuable  regional connections with other like-minded organisations.

 “I am very much looking forward to learning about inclusive innovation and to network with the other SAIS 2 Projects.” said Jesca Mmari from Apps & Girls, the project coordinators for the Advanced IT Training and Online Incubator for Women project implemented in Tanzania, Kenya and DRC. The interactive workshop was facilitated by BoP Innovation Center, an independent foundation which supports entrepreneurs in their innovation process by reducing complexity and risks by providing design thinking expertise, market insights and entrepreneurial guidance to develop solutions for inclusive  markets.

“The aim of the training course is to provide a unique opportunity to discover the fundamentals of designing and delivering impactful business solutions for the Base of the Pyramid. The purpose for this Capacity Building is to increase their knowledge, strengthen their skills, and connect with key stakeholders to make their Inclusive Innovations a success" stated BoP Innovation Center’s lead facilitator Gerwin Jansen.  

During the workshop, the participants worked in teams together with the beneficiaries of their projects, allowing entrepreneurs who are a part of the SAIS 2 funded projects to directly benefit from the training. The content focused on defining Base of Pyramid (BoP) segment, contextualizing Inclusive Innovation, and developing a business model.  The next steps after the training will be  to assign each project with an Inclusive Innovation coach, matched to them by  BoP Innovation Center and SAIS 2. The coach will offer guidance and support during the following weeks of online courses and will assist in ensuring the participants are on track and are benefiting from the course content.


 “This training course and the network of coaches we are building are a part of the SAIS 2 mission to build a networked community of innovation actors in SADC region, promoting innovations serving socially or economically disadvantaged populations. The online training designed by BoP Innovation Center and SAIS Programme is a unique training focusing on inclusive innovation” shares Lead Expert Mr Ilari Lindy. Projects which took part in the training were the Universities, Industries and Government Co-creation Platform, the Ntaka Hyperlocal Soil Health Advisory Services, the Economic Inclusion Incubator, the Dololearn Piloting Future Education in Namibia project and the Advanced IT Training and Online Incubator for Women