Can your innovation change the nation?

We believe it can!
If you are an early-stage social entrepreneur who wants to solve a major social challenge, we invite you to submit your digital solution to the Social Tech Start-up Challenge. Submit your idea no later than March 22nd, 2019, 11:59PM

Register now

Build your business while you build the nation

Aspiring entrepreneurs and young start-ups, we want to give you an opportunity to continue developing your innovative digital solutions for the agricultural, manufacturing and technology sectors in order to help solve some of the country’s biggest social challenges.


You have the opportunity to positively impact big social challenges in South Africa

Stand a chance to secure R 1 Million in funding towards developing your innovation

Receive first class training in essential skills for building your social business

Plug into a network and connect with other innovators in South Africa

Develop a prototype to test your idea

“The challenge taught me the framework and gave me the tools on how to put together and deliver an effective presentation. The experience I gained helped boost my confidence in public speaking and validated the social impact we are trying to achieve. I am extremely grateful to Diageo for all their support.”

Louise Williamson

Sustainability Professionals

"The highlight for me was the opportunity to work alongside other social entrepreneurs through the Social Entrepreneurship Leadership Programme at GIBS. Working collaboratively with other entrepreneurs helped me tackle problems in new ways that pushed my business forward."

Emma Dicks


“The biggest support the challenge has enabled was identifying our core value as a social enterprise and scaling that value to drive impact.”

Marlon Parker

RLabs - Participant 2018

“By being part of the 2019 Social Tech Start-Up Challenge funded by Diageo we were able as a company to receive renewed insights and information with regards to how to grow in our Social Impact and extended, change more people’s lives in communities. The most beneficial part of participating in this challenge has been the networking and connecting to new partners and potential collaborators. We’ve learnt a tremendous amount about how to improve our execution of projects whilst optimizing our reach, we will carry this input with us for future projects to come!”

Nic Klopper

hearX Group

Social Tech Focus

We are looking for technology based solutions that can revolutionize South Africa’s economy while creating social impact.

Grow Nation

The agricultural sector in South Africa employs more than 10% of the country’s population. Any innovation ensuring higher yields while keeping production costs low will have wide-ranging impact.

Make Nation

In a market that favours automation over traditional manufacturing processes, innovation within the South African manufacturing sector is required to continue stimulating industrial growth.

Tech Nation

Greater access to the internet, and the ubiquity of smart phones, make the ability to access information, communicate and share data possible for almost anyone. This presents an unprecedented opportunity for developing new mobile applications that solve every day problems.

Makers that make
a difference

Join us as and help us move South Africa to a more prosperous future.

Register now

Challenge Journey

20 Dec - 25 Feb


Sign up and receive confirmation of registration

25 Feb - 22 Mar


Submit your application and connect with other entrepreneurs

29 Mar


The Top 30 applications will be selected by a panel of innovation Experts

01 Apr - 15 May


The Top 30 join a 3 day entrepreneurship workshop in Cape Town and develop a pretotype.

20 May - 07 Jun


Each of the Top 30 assemble a team for their Start-up

14 Jun


A panel of Experts selects the Top 15 applications

17 Jun - 02 Aug


The Top 15 develop a prototype and join the GIBS entrepreneurship program in Johannesburg.

05 Aug


A panel of Experts selects the Top 5 teams

05 Aug - 29 Nov


The Top 5 ideas will be further developed into a MVP that can be tested on the market.

29 Nov...


At the final in Johannesburg the Top 5 pitch their MVP to a panel of experts and can land up to R1 Million in funding.