The Southern Africa Innovation Support Programme (SAIS 2) is back at the SA Innovation Summit (SA Innovation Summit – Expanding Horizons #SAIS2021) this year to host their flagship event, the Annual Southern Africa Innovation Forum (ASAIF) 2021. This year, SAIS 2 is celebrating successes and lessons learnt during the programme’s run under the theme Pushing Boundaries: Pathways to Growth in Entrepreneurship Ecosystems.

ASAIF brings together business, government, donors, NGOs, and communities around issues of entrepreneurship and youth, and catalyses partnerships for action. In this way, ASAIF raises stakeholders’ collective awareness of best practices in innovation ecosystems, contributing to more inclusive business and employment.

ASAIF 2021 will feature these sessions:

Expanding Entrepreneurial Ecosystems in the SADC Region

In this session, the panellists will investigate gaps in the entrepreneurial ecosystem in SADC, and discuss the different roles ecosystem actors play to make the ecosystem work and grow. The panellists will also discuss how and why organisations choose to expand into other markets beyond their own ecosystem, and the circumstances that allow them to do so.

Steps to Take Before Entering the Market

This session will focus on exploring how entrepreneurs and organisations can pilot, test, or validate their solutions to get their product or service to market. It will also explore how someone can determine whether there’s a need for their product in their target market and predict the profitability of their chosen business venture.

Support Instruments for Expanding into New Markets

ASAIF’s third and final session will delve into how an organisation can expand its product/service offering into another market, and look at what support instruments and mechanisms can be used to successfully establish business operations in a new environment.

About SAIS 2

SAIS 2 is a regional development initiative supported by Finland’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs in partnership with the ministries responsible for science, technology, and innovation in Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zambia as well as the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Secretariat. The programme supports the growth of new businesses by strengthening innovation ecosystems and promoting cross-border collaboration between innovation role players in Southern Africa. It applies three tools to further these aims: innovation funding, capacity building, and knowledge and networking. For more information, please go to

Do not miss out on the SA Innovation Summit 2021 – Expanding Horizons programme, grab your ticket here