Google South Africa launches R25 million Impact Challenge

Google South Africa has on Wednesday (23 May) launched its first local Impact Challenge which will see funding awarded to non-profits using innovation and technology to reach their goals.

The search giant will commit $2 million (R25 million) in funding to non-profits in South Africa.

“Google is issuing an open call for non-profits in South Africa to apply to receive their share of $2m in funding. Four non-profits in South Africa stand to win $250 000 each while 8 runners up will each get $125,000,” it said.

Applications are open for the next six months, and non-profits can apply online.

Google said that winners will be decided by a panel of local judges and a public vote. The public vote provides a chance for the people to decide which organisation gets an extra portion of funding to help them impact their community.

The winning non-profits will get cash as well as access to guidance, technical assistance and mentorship from Google, which they are free to take up should they so choose.

The South African judging panel includes HuffPost SA editor-at-large Ferial Haffajee, businesswoman & TV personality Basetsana Kumalo, South African actress Nomzamo Mbatha, Google SA country director Luke Mckend, singer and entrepreneur Yvonne Chaka Chaka, TV personality Maps Maponyane, singer/songwriter Simphiwe Dan,a and computer scientist and entrepreneur Rapelang Rabana.

“This is the first time we are running a Google Impact Challenge in Africa. Many African non-profits are doing great work with real impact and we’re keen to shine a light on them, and give a financial boost to innovative projects and ideas,” said Google Africa CMO Mzamo Masito,

“We believe technology can help local and national organisations to better reach their goals and solve some of the continent’s most pressing challenges, and we are eager to back people who are using technology in new ways to make a positive difference in their communities.

Other Google Impact Challenges around the world have supported ideas ranging from smart cameras for wildlife conservation to solar lights for off-grid communities to a mobile application that helps to protect women from domestic violence.

Read: The best ideas from the world’s largest science fair – including three from young South Africans

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Google South Africa launches R25 million Impact Challenge