Lenovo has extended its partnered with Ashoka, a global organisation dedicated to promoting social entrepreneurship, to inspire the next generation of changemakers in South Africa.

With a shared vision of creating a global community of Changemakers and Kind Cities, Lenovo and Ashoka aim to equip young individuals with the necessary tools, resources, and mentorship to become leaders in driving social impact social innovation.

Lenovo has donated $100 000 to Ashoka to accelerate innovation and support initiatives based in Guadalajara, Mexico; Puerto Princesa, Philippines; Salta, Argentina; and Johannesburg, South Africa. Ashoka themselves have invest about $5-millio to support social entrepreneurs and projects in South Africa.

South Africa is one of the top three tech hubs in Africa.

With a robust infrastructure, skilled professionals, and a growing pool of startups, the country has attracted major technology companies, entrepreneurs, and investors. This has resulted in the establishment of numerous tech hubs, incubators, and accelerators across the nation, fostering an environment of creativity, collaboration, and technological breakthroughs.

However, even with this progress, the country is faced with social and economic inequalities, where disparities in wealth, education, and opportunities persist. To address these issues, the tech community in South Africa is working towards inclusive innovation, using technology to bridge divides and create opportunities for all.

Lenovo and Ashoka are partnering to harnesses the power of technology as a tool to advance social innovation and build a more equitable society where everyone can contribute to solutions. This collaboration builds on Lenovo’s Kind City initiative, a crowd-sourced vision for a more empathetic and empowering future, and on Ashoka’s ‘everyone’s a changemaker’ initiative, which believes in the power of the social entrepreneur to activate others’ changemaking potential to make a positive impact in their communities.

At an event recently, Lenovo and Ashoka showcased two Ashoka Fellows:

* Thembiso Magajana is the co-founder and CEO of Social Coding SA, leveraging technology to bridge the digital divide and empower marginalised communities. Social Coding has provided digital skills training over 5 000 young people in 45 schools since 2016.

* Claire Reid is the inventor as Reel Gardening, a simple, cost-effective, and convenient way to grow vegetables, herbs, and flowers from seed. It empowers communities throughout South Africa to implement their sustainable food projects, contributing to alleviating food shortages and fostering self-sustaining communities. With an emphasis on user-friendliness and education, Reel Gardening has already impacted over 2-million people.

Lenovo’s Kind City initiative has been expanded through the partnership with Ashoka and its network of changemakers.

“We are honoured to partner with Ashoka and recognise Social Coding SA, amongst others, as impactful organisations. These organisations share our commitment of driving socioeconomic inclusion and creating smarter technology and Kinder Cities for all,” says Jane Govindsamy, CSI champion at Lenovo South Africa.

Collaborating with 250 change institutions and fostering alliances with 300 partners across more than 95 countries, Ashoka champions the universal pursuit of a brighter future, where the power to make a difference lies within everyone’s grasp.

“With its inception in 1980, Ashoka has stood as a guiding light, uplifting over 4,000 remarkable system leaders. Additionally, it has nurtured and supported over 100 young changemakers, who serve as extraordinary ambassadors of the “everyone a changemaker vision,” says Stéphanie Schmidt, partnership director at Ashoka, Africa.