Innovation Edge is an impact-first investor focused on solving early childhood challenges in South Africa.
We help mission-aligned entrepreneurs and organisations by de-risking early stage product and service development. We ignite the ecosystem around them; and provide multiple rounds of funding, strategic coaching, operational support and connections to social capital.
We’re always on the lookout for courageous people with creative concepts for solving early childhood challenges
Our flexible funding and hands-on non-financial support is customised to suit the stage of the solution
Our work also focuses on igniting greater innovation and entrepreneurship in the early childhood ecosystem
Our impact Areas.
More than 6 out of 10 children in South Africa are at risk of never reaching their full potential.
Over 60% of South Africa’s children live in poverty. Challenging life experiences during their first six years, compounded by systemic failure, reduce their possibility of present-day and future well-being. Our investments aim to improve the chances of children’s life-long success by influencing the quality of their first six years of life.
We strive for impact in 4 areas:
Daily Brain-Building Interactions
A child who has daily brain-building interactions right from birth develops strong learning foundations
Quality Early Learning Programmes
A child who attends a quality early learning programme for at least 2 years is more likely to start school on track
Early Health Care and Nutrition
A child who receives nourishing food and good healthcare is able to grow to their full potential
Safety and Protection
A child who feels safe and is protected from toxic levels of stress is free to thrive
R1 Million invested, R2.2 Million is leveraged
A social enterprise building a network of high-quality Early Childhood Care and Education (‘educare’) centres across the socioeconomic spectrum in South Africa.
An interactive ‘Where’s Wally’ inspired game. It uses a Facebook Messenger chatbot and pictures to facilitate fun brain-building interactions between parents and children.
The Early Learning Outcomes Measure (ELOM) is a South African population based child assessment tool that determines whether children are developmentally on track for their age and whether an Early Childhood Development (ECD) programme is effective in preparing children for entry into school, and identifies areas for programmatic improvement.
Pivoting Business Processes for Purpose with Barrows
Barrows is a design and manufacturing company that produces display units for retailers all over South Africa. In February 2017, Innovation Edge and Barrows set out to explore this question: Could excess business inventory be used to print early learning materials and distribute them to under-resourced communities throughout South Africa?
Insights and resources.
Are you as curious and creative as you are resourceful? Would you thrive in an environment where experimentation and learning are valued? Are you prepared to challenge the status quo to improve outcomes? Have people (other than friends and family!) told you how much...
Preliminary findings of social media discourse analysis conducted by the heCareZa Project has linked discriminatory gender norms in South African society to an overemphasis on the male “financial provider” role. These findings are as result of in-depth analysis of...
Largest survey of preschool child development in South Africa finds 65% of 4-5 year olds are failing to thrive
65% of 4-5 year old children attending Early Learning Programmes in South Africa are failing to thrive. These children are not meeting the expected early learning and/or physical growth standards for their age and will start Grade R at a considerable disadvantage,...