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Collaborative Initiative: Innovate UK and TIA Partner to Fund SOFI-2 Program, Facilitated by Innovate UK KTN Global Alliance Africa Team

Innovate UK and TIA have agreed to co-fund a new round of programme, SOFI-2, to be delivered with the support of the Innovate UK KTN Global Alliance Africa team. The programme is designed to support a cohort of UK and South African innovative through a structured process to collaborate and develop locally scalable and affordable innovations. The cohort will comprise roughly 50 SMMEs, 25 of whom will be from the UK and 25 will be from South Africa – who will be identified through a focused effort in both countries and will go through a selection process.  

Zevoli will work with Innovate UK KTN as the key delivery partner in South Africa, the Technology and Innovation Agency (TIA) and/or organisations – in supporting elements of programme design that will inform the future Business Support objectives, carrying out the challenge framing/community needs assessments, identifying South African grassroot innovative SMMEs to bring onto the programme, supporting with planning and local logistics of hosting UK SMMEs in-country and support with community engagement activities once the UK-SA collaborations have been established 

  1. Call for Stakeholders and SME’s to participate in a focus group to discuss social challenges affecting entrepreneurs operating in Food, Water and Energy scope. The aim of the focus group is to help develop a programme design for SME’s withing their respective areas  
  1. SME’s operating in Food, Water and Energy scope apply for the programme during the recruitment process with potential to be part of a development programme aimed at better capacitate rural SMEs with Grant funding, business acumen skills through workshops, trainings and tailored development interventions. 

The focus group is aimed at establishing each community’s needs through assessments. This will give guidelines and understanding what social challenges communities are facing and how they impact their sustainable livelihoods.  

KPI 1: Develop Criteria for SME Selection in Food, Water, and Energy Sectors 

Objective: Conduct a focus group involving stakeholders to discuss social challenges impacting entrepreneurs in the Food, Water, and Energy sectors. Use the insights gathered to develop criteria for selecting SMEs within these areas. 

KPI 2: Establish Development Programme for Rural SMEs in Food, Water, and Energy 

Objective: Conduct focus groups with SMEs operating in Food, Water, and Energy sectors in specified provinces and district municipalities. Identify community needs, establish criteria for SME selection, and develop a development programme providing grant funding, business acumen skills, workshops, and tailored interventions. 

KPI 3: Facilitate Collaboration between UK and South African SMEs 

Objective: Work with Zevoli, Innovate UK KTN, and TIA to facilitate collaboration between 50 SMMEs from the UK and South Africa. Support the program elements, challenge framing, community needs assessments, and local logistics. Ensure the successful establishment of UK-SA collaborations and engage with communities’ post-collaboration. 

These objectives and KPIs aim to measure the effectiveness and success of the SOFI-2 programme in achieving its goals and fostering innovation and collaboration between UK and South African SMEs in the specified sectors and regions. 

The South African SME’s Requirements: 

  1. Operate within the indicated provinces and district municipality.  
  1. Be registered and operates under Food, Energy and Water Scope 

The SMEs should be from the following Provinces and District Municipality  …………………………

The programme aims to select SA based innovative SMMEs who meet the eligibility criteria:  

FAQs: SOFI-2 Programme 

1. What is the SOFI-2 Programme? 

2. How many SMEs will be part of the programme? 

3. What is the role of Zevoli in the programme? 

4. How can stakeholders participate in the programme? 

5. What are the eligibility criteria for South African SMEs? 

6. How will the programme support selected SMEs? 

7. What are the focus areas for South African SMEs? 

8. How will the programme measure success? 

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