South African Media Innovation Program (SAMIP) Innovation Challenge 2017

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South African Media Innovation Program (SAMIP) is looking for innovative South African projects and organisations for the SAMIP Innovation Challenge.

Application Deadline: 31st October 2017

Eligible Countries: South Africa

To Be Taken At (Country): South Africa

About the Award: The SAMIP Innovation Challenge is for South African projects and organisations that are building news and information products that engage and inform local/underserved communities, by:

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  • searching for new ways to connect people with information,
  • exploring new business models, distribution mechanisms and/or revenue generation opportunities, or
  • creating platforms within existing news outlets for citizen reporting through mobile technology

Type: Entrepreneurship


  • new projects just getting off the ground, for which the applicant has initial evidence of a user need.
  • specific and actionable ideas for a novel product or service – product or working demo doesn’t necessarily have to be built yet – funding can be used for MVP. (Capability requirement)
  • products or services that have shown initial success/viability, and applicants are looking to scale up

Selection Criteria: Projects should address one or more of the following focus areas:

  • Digital Native Products: New approaches to collecting news and information, and to reporting, storytelling and distribution that embrace the possibilities of technology
  • Reaching rural communities: Innovative approaches to reach and empower people outside of major urban areas, and those generally underserved by existing news media.
  • Engaging people in official languages that are underserved: Attempts to engage and distribute content to communities in vernacular languages that are underserved.
  • Technology innovation for distribution: New media technology for local news that can find ways to distribute all forms of media in a cost-effective and sustainable way.
  • New Revenue opportunities: Innovative solutions to revenue challenges that media companies face – how can we open up new revenue streams to make media organisations more sustainable and independent.
  • Transition to digital: Finding and implementing solutions, products or processes that assist legacy media to transform their businesses.

Number of Awards: About 5

Value of Award: 

  • A total of ZAR 3 million of grant funding is available to support independent media (covering existing companies, non-profits, and new ventures) in South Africa.
  • This is the initial disbursement of the total funding available through SAMIP – the South Africa Media Innovation Program.
  • SAMIP is a 3-year long program that will provide capacity building and financing to independent media in South Africa.
  • The aim of the program is to promote innovation within the media sector, and also foster new voices.
  • Winners will be selected by the SAMIP Advisory Panel, subject to approval by the MDIF Board of Directors.
  • Cash Prize: Up to ZAR 500,000 (*depending on budgets, we will consider smaller projects that apply)
  • In addition, winners will be admitted to SAMIP and benefit from capacity building:
    • on-going strategic advice, (expert advice)
    • tailored one-to-one consulting, (mentorship)
    • targeted group training designed to help participants’ financial viability and audience reach (training)
    • further funding, if approved by Advisory Panel, based on favourable initial results

Duration of Program: 3 Years

How to Apply: Apply now

Visit the Program Webpage for Details

Award Providers: South African Media Innovation Program (SAMIP)


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