Driving South Africa’s climate agenda with Anglo-American Foundation
The Anglo-American Foundation (AAF) has partnered with Savant, South Africa’s dedicated deep-tech and hardware Venture Capital fund and Incubator, to accelerate South African startups at the forefront of innovation within the green sector. This partnership demonstrates a two-fold mission: first, nurture and spotlight green entrepreneurship as fertile ground for creating future sustainable job opportunities for South Africa’s youth, and second, to leverage philanthropic capital as a catalyst to bolster South Africa’s green economic sector.
Within the green sector, early-stage South African SMMEs represent more than just innovative endeavours; they emerge as vibrant hubs for future job creation. The synergy between The Anglo-American Foundation, Savant, and the selected companies realises a vision where environmental advancement harmonises with sustainable employment prospects. This collaboration underscores that investing in green entrepreneurship catalyses a future that is not only ingenious but measurably prosperous for all.
The promise of philanthropic capital
At the heart of this partnership lies the belief in the vast potential of philanthropic capital and its ability to facilitate the creation of green jobs. Moreover, this collaboration opens pathways for SMEs to access new markets and receive valuable support through high-calibre technical assistance and personalised coaching from Savant’s investment team of scientists and engineers and market operators.
Selected companies receive bespoke incubation support from Savant, carefully aligned with each founder’s long-term vision and objectives. Savant effectively enhances their capabilities in engineering, business development, fundraising, design, and marketing to the participating companies. Through this initiative, Savant remains steadfast in its dedication to bridging the gap between these companies and a diverse range of potential investors. The programming, which kicked-off in 2023, saw Savant sift through over 100 potential companies. Following a rigorous selection process, the top five companies were identified to be part of the programme.
Introducing the leading green innovators:
Cultivating a green economy in South Africa, Smartroots harnesses mycorrhizal fungus to spearhead biofertiliser innovations. Firmly rooted in sustainable agriculture, Smartroots offers unique biofertilisers that not only enhance yields but also uphold environmental values. This biological approach holds transformative potential, especially benefiting smallholders and those practicing organic farming, by bolstering soil fertility, minimising chemical dependencies, and optimising water efficiency.
A paradigm-shift in conventional toothpaste, Earthly Toothpaste has reimagined and transformed toothpaste into sustainable tablets by removing water from the equation. Amidst a landscape dominated by non-biodegradable packaging, Earthly Toothpaste caters to eco-conscious consumers and stands poised to address the considerable challenge of plastic waste from conventional toothpaste tubes. With the power to significantly curtail landfill and ocean pollution, Earthly Toothpaste is setting new industry benchmarks in sustainable packaging.
Veggie Crisp introduces innovation to the realm of sustainable snacks, employing patented technology to convert fresh produce into delectable crisps. Catering to high-income consumers in pursuit of healthier options, Veggie Crisp’s presence in established retail outlets and its successful export track record substantiate its market acceptance.
At the intersection of state-of-the-art, cutting-edge technology and agriculture, Arable Grow pioneers optimised indoor crop cultivation solutions. Addressing the escalating demand for locally sourced, premium-grade produce, Arable Grow’s technology-driven farming methods promise faster growth cycles and heightened resource efficiency. Arable Grow’s technology holds exciting transformative potential, particularly in regions grappling with water scarcity and adverse climate conditions, ultimately fostering accelerated growth while curbing water consumption and thereby revolutionising urban farming and sustainability practices.
With an emphasis on sustainability through next-generation materials and methodologies, Sustainabuild embodies a holistic approach to construction. Tailored for Africa’s burgeoning urbanisation, Sustainabuild’s distinction lies in championing renewable materials over resource-intensive conventional alternatives. As rapid urbanisation persists in Africa, their eco-centric solutions take on paramount importance. Sustainabuild’s vision involves redefining the construction landscape, offering structures that transcend mere durability to embrace environmental friendliness, aligning seamlessly with the imperative for sustainable urban development.
“Promoting and nurturing green entrepreneurship is not just a responsibility, but a vital step towards securing a sustainable future for our planet. We’re thrilled to partner with The Anglo-American Foundation on this transformative initiative. Together, we can amplify the impact of early-stage green startups, fostering innovation that not only generates economic growth but also addresses pressing environmental challenges. This partnership is a testament to our shared commitment to shaping a brighter, greener and more prosperous world.” – Nick Allen, Managing Director, Savant.
Savant’s science and engineering incubation and venture capital arms help technology businesses from product development through to scale. Savant’s mission is to invest in African hardware and deep-technology companies, underpinned by science and engineering innovations, and providing founders with an ecosystem to market-test their domestic innovations, internationally.
For more information, please visit https://www.savant.co.za/
About the Anglo-American Foundation:
The Anglo-American Foundation is an independent charity, founded by Anglo American, empowering young people to create a greener, fairer future. We put young people at the heart of everything we do, giving them the tools to create a positive impact and unlock their potential. We collaborate with organisations around the world to create economic opportunity, build resilience, and give young people a voice.
For more information, please visit https://www.angloamericangroupfoundation.org/