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Innovate Durban Funding Map

PAN collaborated with Innovate Durban, an entity established by eThekwini Municipality, and local innovators to develop a map of innovation funding in South Africa. An updated version of the map has been developed in October 2022.


The process of developing the funding map sought to involve local innovators in the process, by introducing them to different funding instruments and by workshopping ways of collecting funding information. The process followed three main steps. These were implemented over a period of 4 months as a rapid evidence review, validation and information collection:

  1. Framework and initial map: Researchers from the HSRC reviewed reports and research on innovation funding. Based on this review they developed a framework of potential funding instruments, and populated an initial funding map with potential contacts.
  2. Innovator add and validate: Local innovators were invited to assist with adding to and validating content in the initial funding map. This stage included two 1-day workshops to review potential funding instruments and explore ways of collecting information on potential funding sources.
  3. Integrated (living) map: Additional content and feedback from innovators was integrated into a final map, which Innovate Durban intends sharing and updating with regular input from partners.

Funding map dashboard

An updated funding map was developed in October 2022. A presentation on the funding map analysis was made at a webinar in August 2020.

Funding map framework and clusters

The final framework identified over ten possible instruments that either fund innovation activities directly or subsidise costs associated with innovation (including costs associated with finding funding). A consolidated list has been developed for the updated funding map:

  • Commercial funding: Investors who are wanting to make maximum profit by investing in your business
  • Impact investment: Investors who are willing to make a smaller profit or no profit if your business has a social impact
  • CSI funding: Corporate social investment (CSI) funders who are mainly interested in a social impact
  • Crowdfunding: Raising funding from a lot of individuals who each provide you with a small portion of the total required
  • Procurement: Requests for proposals or quotes from government and businesses
  • Invoice financing: Up-front payment for invoices you have issued to customers
  • Funding advice and training: Advice and training on business management, developing proposals and pitching to investors
  • Bursaries, internships and training: Funding for individuals who want to pursue further training, skills development or education
  • Other innovation resources: Subsidies and vouchers for legal advice, technology development, office space, certification or equipment


The joint mapping exercise has now identified over 1000 funding-related contacts relevant to African innovators. These contacts were clustered according to:

  • Maturity of innovation they support, from early (such as angel investors or government grants) to late (such as growth financing or private equity)
  • Scale of funding they provide or support access to, from small to large.