Social Innovation in South Africa

©Andile Bhala

South Africa is often regarded as an entrepreneurial leader in Sub-Saharan Africa. We have made significant progress in overcoming our social and environmental challenges and have produced some of the most innovative and successful enterprises on the continent.

Similarly, the country has seen a number of innovative solutions to our most pressing social and environmental challenges. Many social change agents in the country come up with ideas that apply new learning and strategies to solve our problems.

Many businesses in South Africa have also realised that social change, and development in general, can no longer be left in the hands of governments and development organisations. They understand that they have the power to improve society and the environment through new and innovative solutions. As a result, we are seeing new partnerships between government, civil society, and the private sector that have the ability to transform our society and the way we do business.   

Social innovation allows us to create shared value for the communities we do business with, and society in general. This means we can affect real change, with measurable impact on the broader social, political and economic systems that created the problem in the first place.

Thinking innovatively about new business models and partnerships means we can move towards social and environmental success. It is not just about investing more money in addressing societal, economic and environmental problems, but rather creating lasting partnerships that can have a meaningful impact.

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