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#IdeasForChange Food Security Challenge: Elevating Stellenbosch's Future

​Stellenbosch Network's fifth edition of its #IdeasForChange Challenge will focus on revolutionizing the way we think about food security to inspire innovative ideas and encourage entrepreneurship in our community. Submit your ideas to stand a chance of winning your share of R30,000 in cash prizes and more, to help bring your idea to life.

In the heart of Stellenbosch, a taste of change is in the air. Having been at the forefront of some of South Africa's most transformative initiatives, Stellenbosch has over the years developed many initiatives to help the town secure a sustainable future for its residents. Such initiatives radiate significance, serving as the bedrock for sustainability within communities like Stellenbosch. In this synergy, the quality of life is elevated, fostering a profound and positive impact.

To help identify and uplift visionary entrepreneurs, Stellenbosch Network proudly presents the #IdeasForChange Food Security Challenge, in partnership with the Agricultural Sustainability Education Lab and the Department of Science & Innovation's Regional Innovation Support Programme (RISP). This synergy of minds and expertise seeks to identify, nurture, and celebrate innovative solutions that address food security challenges that are unique to Stellenbosch.

The competition aims to uncover and support the development of innovative ideas, business models, process flows, and technology with the potential to improve food security and the quality of life of citizens, lessen the social and environmental impact of rapid urban development and enhance the sustainability of local ecosystems on which Stellenbosch is dependent.

Our food system under pressure

Despite the developing climate crisis - evident through the increased prevalence of droughts, floods and extreme temperatures - the South African food system is under pressure to produce more healthy food for more people while conserving the environment. Food isn't just sustenance; it's a thread that binds families, friends, and communities together. Regrettably, many among us still lack access to nourishing and affordable meals.

Food security refers to the condition where all people, at all times, have physical, social, and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and preferences for an active and healthy life. It involves ensuring that people have reliable access to an adequate supply of food without compromising their well-being.

Food security is therefore a major area in the realisation of thriving families, societies and economies in South Africa. We welcome all creative and innovative ideas that will help improve food security and develop efficient food systems in Stellenbosch within the following thematic areas:
• Agritech

• Food waste solutions

• Food logistics

 Who can enter?

The challenge is open to anyone living, working and/or studying in Stellenbosch and its surrounds or any business/initiative operating in the Stellenbosch region.

Categories for entry

1. New idea:

This category is for potential entrepreneurs and innovators without an established business, but with a good idea that makes business sense. These ideas should be innovative and financially sustainable and aimed at solving real issues related to improving food security in Stellenbosch. Existing or operational businesses may not be entered into this category.

2. Existing Business/Initiatives:

This category is for existing businesses that provide digital and/or technology-based solutions, to improve food security in Stellenbosch. These businesses might be formal or informal and for-profit or non-profit. Regardless of the nature of qualifying businesses, these businesses should be revenue-generating, have the potential to become self-sustaining entities, should not be donor-dependent (e.g. charities), or be a limited-timeframe project.

To enter, submit your ideas here.

About Stellenbosch Network:

Stellenbosch Network is a cross-sector and inter-disciplinary membership organisation that brings people together from industry, government, society, and academia with the aim of sharing ideas, fostering connections, and encouraging collaboration and partnership for inclusive economic growth for the greater Stellenbosch area.

About Agricultural Sustainability Education Lab:

The Agricultural Sustainability Education Lab is an agricultural innovations ecosystem enabler positioned for awareness, competencies development (i.e. communication, collaboration, and critical thinking) and agency towards sustainable systems transitions in the agricultural sector. It is a pedagogically inclusive, multi-disciplinary and cross-national environment that enables both collaborative inquiry and momentum in a sustainable and resilient agricultural sector.