Open call for social entrepreneurs to receive funding worth R1.3-million
Cape Town-based impact-first investment organisation, Innovation Edge is inviting social entrepreneurs to apply for funding worth R1,3 million for projects focused on fatherhood and early childhood development in low-income communities.
Successful Journals interviewed the executive director at Innovation Edge, Llewellyn Fredericks to learn more about the fatherhood campaign and the details it entails for organisations in South Africa.
1. Tell us more about the idea behind Innovation Edge's fatherhood campaign?
LF: This is the second time we have launched a campaign focussed on Fatherhood. The scourge of fatherless households have created challenging generational legacies for many South Africans. This has resulted in negative narratives, which has minimised the impact of involved fathers and father figures. We would like to promote the role of nurturing, involved fathers, through organisations that support them, because their impact on children between the ages of 0 to 6 is tangible and significant.
2. South Africa is in a dire state that needs the intervention of active father's or active father figures in society. How can this campaign improve the state of our communities for the better?
LF: Research has shown that children are likely to benefit from involved fathers in 3 ways: (1) they are likely to enjoy better educational outcomes; (2) their income-earning potential after school is enhanced and (3) they show greater resilience in mental health. Supporting organisations that promote the role of nurturing fathers is one way to change the narrative around the importance of fathers.
Llewellyn Fredericks, executive director at Innovation Edge.
3. Tell us more about the process of applying to receive the funding and support, what do you look for in candidates/organisations?
LF: The first step is to apply online on our website (www.innovationedge.org.za) - the application could be completed in 15 to 20 min. Applications will be open until 22 September 2022 and we will be undertaking a screening process thereafter. To help those with any questions about the applications we will also be hosting a webinar to address any points of clarity to potential applicants. The screening process will involve an internal assessment of the application, an interview with those considered eligible and further due diligence beyond the interview. We hope to make decisions for this campaign at our November investment committee meeting. We are not looking for perfect pitches, but rather social enterprises and enterprising NGOs that are passionate about promoting the involvement of fathers; and unusual suspects that are not traditionally engaged in the ECD sector. We hope the organisations that apply will have a mindset of partnering with us to achieve impact in the sector.
4. Tell us more about yourself, do you have children? How does your role in their lives improve with you being actively around?
LF: I am a very proud father of 4 (2 boys and 2 girls). They range in age from just about 14 to 5 years old - as a parent it is challenging to navigate the requirements of children attending high-school, primary school and pre-school. For me, active involvement has been a necessity - all my children are different and require an individualised approach to my involvement (e.g., my youngest will require 30 minutes of throwing a rugby ball around and that will lessen his anxiety and enable him to open up about how his day was, what he did with his friends, etc. At the other end, my oldest requires an unbiased ear to listen to his theories on Marvel story arcs and his music before he will confess to getting a bad mark in accounting). I am far from perfect, but the immediacy of mindset changes in my children as a result of active involvement provides a real indicator of where my contribution as a parent can be maximised.
5. Some words of encouragement to everyone that is involved (or looking to be involved) in the campaign?
LF: First of all, a huge thank you to everyone considering applying. It is always humbling to bear witness to all the good, impactful work that all organisations in the ECD space are doing. Your impact on beneficiaries is already an incredible assessment of your value - we can't wait to meet you. We are continuously looking for innovative approaches to addressing early childhood development challenges, so please stay close to us, irrespective of the outcomes of this campaign.