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.
Our world needs social entrepreneurs to approach its complex problems with creative and unique solutions. Oftentimes, however, entrepreneurs may not have the tools to transform their great ideas into flourishing ventures that can make a difference as well as a...
For centuries, successful businesses have held the power to make waves. What might happen if their core priority shifted from profit-making to uplifting society? This is where we find social entrepreneurs. People with an innovative mindset, a passion for people...
The impact investment landscape has grown considerably over the last decade, with many large investment companies dedicating a portion of their funding to causes they believe in. In South Africa, impact investments are now span across a diverse range of projects,...