ACTIVATE! leading Social Innovation

Often innovation is associated with technology and the “for-profit” sector. However, in the ACTIVATE! Network there are many young people (Activators), who use innovative approaches in addressing South Africa’s most pressing challenges.

ACTIVATE! Change Drivers, in partnership with the SA Innovation Summit, offers a platform for nurturing, developing and showcasing social impact through the first ever Social Innovation Summit. This summit within a summit, hosted by ACTIVATE! Change Drivers, is a platform for social entrepreneurs to demonstrate how taking an innovative approach to overcoming problems can change their communities for the public good.

The Activators who will be showcasing at this year’s summit are just a few members of a network of more than 2500 young people who are using innovative thinking to overcome social ills like unemployment, a lack of skills development, substance abuse and financial barriers to accessing higher education, among a myriad of other social ills.

Meet Social Entrepreneur, Xolisile Malgas

One Activator who exhibited at the 2017 Innovation Summit, Xolisile Malgas from the Eastern Cape founded Mwanga Youth Development Fund. He developed a financial model, the R1 Campaign to overcome financial barriers to accessing higher education while teaching emotional intelligence, financial literacy and developing a savings culture among young learners aged 13-24. The idea is that if a child saves R1 a day from the time they’re in grade 8, by the time they finish grade 12 they would have saved over R100k for tuition fees.

With the aim of overcoming financial illiteracy, Mwanga Youth Development Fund aims to get youth actively involved in the development of a household budget, setting them up for future financial decision making, and directly impacting their socio-economic conditions. Some of the connections Xolisile made at the 2017 Innovation Summit include:

  • Mentorship from Hashveer Singh (ManUp Industries) who also became a non-executive board member of Mwanga. Singh guides strategic thinking for Mwanga and is helping them move into the digital space.
  • Kutlwanong, Centre for Maths, Science and Technology in Mdantsane in the Eastern Cape has partnered with Mwanga to provide emotional intelligence training to learners.
  • Kedge, provides tools to Mwanga to ascertain how they would function in 2030 and what the political, societal and economic impact would be. Mwanga was also offered a 5-day training course in Stellenbosch with The Futures School.

Check out Xolisile’s profile below and stay tuned for more #SISFlashback2017 news from the Social Innovation Summit! 



ACTIVATE! is a network of 2 500 young leaders equipped to drive change for the public good across South Africa. Connecting youth who have the skill, sense of self and spark to innovatively address tough challenges and find creative solutions that can reshape our society.

On social media:

Twitter: @ActivateZA

Facebook: ACTIVATE! Change Drivers

Instagram: Activate_za


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Co-financed by the Federal Republic of Germany through KfW and the DG Murray Trust.

All copyrights reserved for. The data presented here is from a sample of the Activate Change Drivers Network surveyed in 2017. Though efforts were made to make the sample representative of the Network, normal limits of sampled data should be considered in the use of this data. The information contained in this website is for general information purposes only. The information is provided by Siyashesha Leadership Incubator, the managing entity of the A! Change Drivers programmes and A! Change Drivers Network. While we endeavour to keep the information up to date and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information, products, services, or related graphics contained on the website for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk. In no event will we be liable for any loss or damage including without limitation, indirect or consequential loss or damage, or any loss or damage whatsoever arising from loss of data or any benefit arising out of, or in connection with, the use of this website.