Subz Pants and Pads get financial boost

2018-02-07 06:00

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SUBZ Pants and Pads, the KwaZulu-Natal-based organisation that sells patented reusable sanitary pads, was accepted into the SAB Foundation’s Social Innovation Fund and Accelerator Programme aimed at fast-tracking social purpose businesses.

Sue Barnes, founder of Subz Pants and Pads and its non-profit extension, Project Dignity, said she is honoured to have been accepted into the SABF Social Innovation Accelerator and Fund Programme.

“This is a huge injection of knowledge and funding for Subz Pants and Pads to grow and upscale the business,” said Barnes.

“I will be guided and mentored through this process, as Subz is on the brink of explosion into the market, not only in South Africa but throughout Africa. The plan is to upscale the business by focusing on empowerment development and employment. I am very excited that Subz Pants and Pads has been recognised as a business to contend with.”

This innovative programme was opened up to previous winners of the SAB Foundation’s Social Innovation Awards, which have been held annually for the past seven years.

In 2015, Subz received the award which recognises organisations with workable business solutions to social problems. However, despite the mentorship that accompanies the Social Innovation Awards, the SAB Foundation realised there is very little early stage funding for social innovation companies beyond the competition.

“It’s incredibly difficult for these organisations to apply for traditional funding because there is often no compelling business case in the early stages. However, these models are critical to support as they are finding innovative and sustainable ways of solving social problems,” said SAB Foundation director Bridgit Evans.

“That is why the foundation decided to select 12 high-performing award winners who have persisted in their commitment to social innovation despite the obstacles faced.”

Subz Pants and Pads was one of the 12 former winners chosen for the acceleration programme which will support the participants with the necessary skills and funding to allow the business to thrive. The business acceleration programme will include:

• constructing a social or environmental impact case;

• market access, sales and distribution;

• strategic planning;

• financial modelling and planning;

• writing an investment case to secure funding;

• pitching to investors; and

• connecting with partners in the business ecosystem, including multinational companies, NGOs and governments.

This strategic support will ensure the business is able to secure additional rounds of funding from other investors after the three-month programme.

Financial investment from the SAB Foundation will be in the form of grants and interest-free loans ranging from between R500 000 to R2 million.

For more information on Subz Pants and Pads, visit www.subzpads
— Supplied.


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