Led by Sonja Giese, South Africa’s Innovation Edge is a new social innovation fund that seeks out and funds bold ideas and innovations that have the potential to impact the early childhood development (ECD) and learning space.
Innovation Edge aims to support innovators to move creative ideas through the innovation process, help them build new partnerships and as well fund them to up to R 1 000 000 each ($82,000) over a period of up to 24 months and a further amount of up to 15% of grant value for project evaluation.
According to Giese, Innovation in early learning may take the form of new or adapted products, services, processes or systems. These innovations can be levers for change by improving access to early learning opportunities for children who are currently not being reached, improving the quality of early learning experiences to ensure positive child outcomes and increasing the range of stakeholders engaged in promoting early learning.
Giese adds that the innovations have to promote access to and use of information for planning, provisioning and monitoring of early learning as well as focus to radically change paradigms or mindsets in support of early learning, open up new or additional human and financial resource streams for early learning and address key constraints within the early learning eco-system.
“We are open to exploring new ways of thinking, processes, systems or products from all sectors provided that the project or idea demonstrates innovation, has the potential for large-scale impact at an economic cost within marginalized communities, is aligned to the Innovation Edge Conceptual Framework, focuses on children between the ages of 0 and 6 years and/or on the period of development during pregnancy and is implemented in South Africa,” Giese says in a statement.
The fund is for innovations at any stage although the Innovation Edge does not fund the scale up of innovations per se and supports organisations and individuals.