In 2021, the Global Young Innovators Programme offered forward-thinking, entrepreneurial individuals from across the UK and South Africa, a platform to join forces, ignite ideas, and co-design solutions that can help solve some of the greatest challenges facing our global community.

The Global Young Innovators Programme and the #IdeasMeanBusiness campaign empowered 18-30 year-olds from the UK and South Africa to utilise innovative thinking to design products or services as a solution to five of the greatest challenges facing South Africa, with the vision to scale globally.

This nine-month programme started with 47 inspiring young people, all with the drive to turn their ideas into a business reality. Each young innovator received tailored mentorship from an Innovation Champion and attended a series of highly informative virtual events to equip them with the tools to build a sustainable business.

From there, thirteen projects from joint collaborations were awarded up to £10,000 in grant funding to develop their ideas further.

From sustainable fashion to FinTech software, innovation is at the heart of each of these projects with a mission to solve global issues. We are proud to have supported this amazing programme, providing tailored mentorship and informative virtual events to equip them with the tools to build a sustainable business. Meet some young global innovators and learn about their amazing achievements.

Swyft Lab

Swyft Lab is a swap, thrift, and upcycling fashion brand that promotes sustainability as well as promoting home-grown youth creativity in Johannesburg. The creators of Swyft Lab, Sibusiso and Chantelle both come from creative backgrounds and have been building a similar brand concept individually. With both creative minds alike, they found a way to merge their brand concepts together to create Swyft Lab for the benefit of social and sustainability progress in Johannesburg.

Rounds Payment Gateway

Rounds Payment Gateway is a backend software company, enabling the movement of money between e-wallets. Their APIs and tokens connect to early-stage FinTech companies to allow them full control of their apps and payment systems. The software enables young start-up companies to accelerate their growth and limit their chances of failure during the early-stage development. Their target customers are rural communities in South Africa, where payment infrastructures are quite limited.


Find out more about our ESG strategy and commitments here.