Connected Hubs share best practices in innovation support through online and offline training sessions together with international experts. In 2018, they produced the Annual Southern Africa Innovation Forum (ASAIF) a regional platform which is a flagship of the Southern Africa Innovation Support Programme (SAIS 2). SAIS 2 facilitates improved networks through Connected Hubs by connecting actors for a joint cause, providing training skills for a lasting impact in their local innovation ecosystems as well as building trust between the actors across regions.
Connected Hubs activities are set to grow based on learnings from 2018 and scale to include more hubs from the SADC region and beyond. By the end of the year 2019, Connected Hubs will have built bridges between 20 business support organisations across seven countries, supported over 300 early-stage entrepreneurs and strengthened ten early-stage, impact-driven start-ups. Overall hubs have strengthened their skills in start-up coaching and regional collaboration.
In 2018, SAIS partners with Slush Global Impact Accelerator to select one promising start-up per SAIS partner country. These five start-ups are all young enterprises solving a societal problem in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The start-ups join Slush GIA to gain insight in topics ranging from pitching to investor relationships as well as business and product development.