Google announces R25 million Impact Challenge South Africa

Registered South African charities and NGOs could win $250 000 for innovations that can improve lives.

If you work at an NGO, a non-profit organisation or charity, Google has some good news for you.

The search engine giant has announced the Google Impact Challenge South Africa, putting out the call for NGOs, non-profit organisations and charities to submit innovations and ideas that can improve lives. Google says its committing $2 million (R25 million) in grants for ideas that the Challenge’s judging panel deems worthy of being funded.

The judging panel includes the likes of HuffPost SA editor-at-large Ferial Haffajee, Google SA country director Luke Mckend, singer and entrepreneur Yvonne Chaka Chaka and TV personality Maps Maponyane.

“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,” he added.

Applications are open from today and applicants have until the 4th July this year to get their entries in. The judging panel will then deliberate over the entries and select twelve finalists, three of which will $250 000 in funding as well as technological aid to bring their idea to fruition and mentorship through Google’s NGO network.

A fourth entrant from the remaining nine will also be eligible for $250 000 as well, although this last winner will be decided through a public vote, which opens on November 4th and closes on November 25th.

The eight runners-up will receive $125 000 in funding for their ideas as well as the aforementioned support from Google. Ideas don’t have to be technology based, although Google says that obviously this is encouraged. Past winners from around the world include smart cameras for wildlife conservation,  solar lights for off-grid communities and a smartphone app to help to protect women from domestic violence.

  • Applications are open now until July 4th, and non-profits can apply online at The Impact Challenge homepage.





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