South African business ecosystem SAtion has won the award for Start-up Ecosystem Builder of the Year 2022 in South Africa. The award was presented at the annual Africa Start-up Ecosystem Builders (ASEB) Summit in Johannesburg.
The Start-up Ecosystem Builder of the Year Award is affirmation of the innovative work by the SAtion team and its more than 100 partner organisations to cultivate the digital marketplace and skills South Africa needs for our economy to succeed in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). The awards saw more than 2700 nominations from over 40 African Countries across 27 categories. After intense deliberation, 175 companies and individuals were selected as finalists.
SAtion was established with the support of Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) as a non-profit ecosystem for businesses, government, labour and civil society to drive inclusive growth and opportunity from the 4IR. Working with the recommendations from the Presidential Commission on the Fourth Industrial Revolution (PC4IR), SAtion brings focus to the digitaliSAtion workstream in the President’s Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan to ensure rapid implementation, outcomes, and impact. In his speech at the ANC anniversary celebrations in Bloemfontein, President Ramaphosa said he is betting on new technologies for South Africa’s economic development and employment creation, calling for a concerted effort in driving the fourth industrial revolution (4IR). The President highlighted the 4IR as a critical enabler of economic growth and job creation, saying: “Rapid technological change, including the fourth-industrial-revolution, is changing economies and societies.”
To date, SAtion has established four Small, Medium and Micro Enterprise (SMME) business hubs and three digital hubs. These hubs have had over 3200 sign-ups in 18-months. SAtion has distributed numerous Thinkubate licenses to SMMEs with 89% black ownership, 22% female ownership and 45% youth ownership across South Africa. Thinkubate is a business lifecycle tool that covers all life stages of a business with bespoke solutions to keep businesses moving forward. SAtion has led pioneering partnerships with global tech giant Microsoft, the Tarsus Technology Group, and the local Covid-19 Business Rescue Assistance (COBRA) initiative to help SMMEs and develop the township economy.
SAtion and partners work to understand grassroots issues and then provide SMMEs with business support and guidance. Drawing on expert experience, COBRA provided business advisory support and services to over 570 businesses during the Covid-19 Pandemic to safeguard livelihoods. Furthermore, SAtion has hosted digital skills and SMME business challenge hackathons, in partnership with incubation hubs, aimed at developing winning ideas into operational, sustainable and successful businesses. SAtion is committed to building a digital nation and will continue striving toward creating a positive social impact to allow South Africa to be a globally competitive economy in the 4IR.
The ASEB Summit was created to advance start-up ecosystem building as a new approach to economic development in order to help more people and communities achieve economic independence through entrepreneurial success while awarding ecosystem builders. SAtion is honoured by this continental recognition of its initiatives, and eager to continue driving its mission forward in 2023.
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Published 19 January 2023
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