Top Menu

  • Uhambo Foundation Awards
  1. 1

Recognition Of Impact

Our commitment to finding new ways to positively influence change for children with disabilities, has motivated us to define, create and develop a unique organizational structure that promotes inclusion at all levels. This visionary leadership and the significant social impact we have been able to make with our partners, advocates and funders has given us global recognition of these achievements.

Cape’s Premier’s Entrepreneurship Recognition Awards 2016

Social Enterprise

PERA awards were launched for the first time in 2013 in the Western Cape as an initiative of the Department of Economic Development and Tourism which honours excellence in entrepreneurship.

Shonaquip and Uhambo received the award in the ‘Social Enterprise’ category. This category recognises an organization which meets a social challenge or need. From a total of 333 entrants, our social enterprise was selected as one of 11 category winners out of 33 finalists.

The award was presented by Premier Helen Zille at a ceremony at the Century City Conference Centre in Cape Town on 23 November 2016.


SAB Foundation

Disability Empowerment Awards 2016

The SAB Foundation Social Innovation Awards was launched in 2011 as part of the SAB Foundation’s primary focus to ignite a culture of entrepreneurship in South Africa. The competition recognises the work of entrepreneurs who are finding innovative business solutions to challenges facing some of South Africa’s most vulnerable people like women, youth, the disabled and those living in rural areas. It serves as a catalyst for social change in rural communities through its investments in innovative products and services. The Disability Empowerment Awards were established in 2016 by the SAB Foundation in recognition of the increase in the number of innovations providing solutions for people with disabilities.

The aim of the SAB Foundation Social Innovation Awards Programme is to help upscale and commercialise the innovative solutions of the winners.

Shonaquip’s Lala Positioner took first place. The product is designed for children with physical disabilities and manages their sitting, standing and lying posture over a 24 hour period. This helps them maintain joint motion for more healthy living.

Cape Chamber of Commerce

Exporter of the year 2015

Shonaquip was the overall winner of the ECIC/Cape Chamber of Commerce Exporter of the Year competition.
Established in 1804, the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry is the oldest member-based business organisation in Africa. It is mandated to serve, enable and lead business. This is achieved through a multitude of services, networking opportunities as well as robust advocacy on behalf of business.

The annual Exporter of the Year Competition celebrates the vital role exporters play in the economy of the Western Cape. The competition is designed to honour and promote large and small businesses that have proved their excellence in tough international markets and to inspire other ambitious companies to export their goods and services.

Watch the Exporter of the Year Award Entry:

Design Indaba

2014 Innovation Award

This recognises our Madiba2Go Buggy, a rugged and adaptable mobile seating system, especially suited for young wheelchair users living in challenging rural environments.

The seat has been designed so that its thin profile becomes almost invisible once the child is seated, shifting the visual focus to the child and enabling better socialisation and inclusion.

Click here to read more about 2014 Innovation Award on the Design Indaba website

Other Social Enterprise Achievements:

  • The Inaugural Disability Empowerment Awards in 2016 by the SAB Foundation, were established in recognition of the increase in the number of innovations providing solutions for people with disabilities. Our dLala Positioner, designed for children with physical disabilities to manage their sitting, standing and lying posture over a 24 hour period, took first place.
  • National Disability Rights Summit Award 2016
  • Zero Project Best Practice Award 2016
  • IWEC Awardees 2015
  • Cape Chamber of Commerce Exporter of the Year 2015
  • Ashoka Fellow 2012
  • Shoprite Checkers SA Woman of the Year 2011
  • National Disability Rights Summit Award 2016
  • Zero Project Best Practice Award 2016
  • In October 2015, Accelovate, a partnership between Jhpiego and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), concluded its first Design Challenge to address the lack of appropriate postural support devices (PSDs) for wheelchair users in low-resource settings. Shonaquip’s Design team entered a new product, a trunk side support, and was one of three award winners for this challenge.  
  • IWEC Awardees 2015
  • RESNA (Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Soc of North America) Honorary Fellow Award 2014
  • Design Indaba 2014 Innovation Award for the Madiba2Go Posture Support Buggy
  • Western Cape Entrepreneurship Recognition Awards 2013
  • SAB Foundation Innovation Award 2012
  • Impumelelo Innovation Award Social Enterprise of the Year 2012
  • Shoprite Checkers Woman of the Year 2011 – Socio-economic business developer
  • World Economic Forum – Outstanding Social Entrepreneur - South Africa 2010
  • Winner of the Ernst and Young Social Entrepreneur Awards 2009
  • Schwab Foundation Fellow 2009
  • Endeavor Global Entrepreneur 2008
  • NPI productivity award Western Cape and National 2008: Emerging business sector
  • BWA regional business award 2008: Social entrepreneur
  • SEDA Technology awards 2007: Best performing IT intervention
  • Schwab Fellow 2010
  • National Productivity Institute 2006: Small business award
  • SANLAM business owner of the year, April 2005
  • Louis Volks Humanitarian Award 2005, Lions Club International
  • Proudly South Africa, Company of the Year Merit Award
  • Louis Volks Humanitarian Award 1995, Lions Club International
  • ISAAC 92 BCI Consumer Award


  • Design of durability test bed completed to evaluate strength of our designs and help promote reliable robust products 2017 in collaboration with ISWP
  • Design of 2 custom joggers to assist two participants, Chaeli Mycroft and Anita Engelbrecht, participate in Two Ocean Marathon (56km) and Comrades UltraMarathon successfully in 2017
  • The SV14, an accessible open-source sail boat, enjoyed its successful maiden voyage under sunny skies in Table Bay Harbour in 2017. The project was conceived by Simonis Voogd Yacht Design, to make sailing an affordable inclusive, safe and enjoyable activity for people living with mobility disabilities.
    Shonaquip developed a pair of custom seats that could withstand the rigours of independent sailing, while providing comfortable appropriate seating support for each occupants, helping raise awareness on the importance of inclusive sporting activities and using our seating designs skills to support disability.
  • Extend relationships with emerging  markets in Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Uganda and Georgia during 2016
  • Participation in the Plan International Disability Conference in Nepal December 2016
  • Uhambo was given special mention for the Ndinogona “I Can” programme for Extended Service in the field of children with disabilities at the South African Early Childhood Development (SA ECD) Awards in Cape Town on Wed 4 May 2016. The awards aim to promote the ECD sector and emphasize the importance of investing in early learning.
  • UCT disability sensitization introduces lecture series for Social worker students. This expands our current seating workshops for allied health and other students.
  • Collaboration with Plan International – Mozambique’s and  Solon – Swaziland team on Ndinogona Stimulation Program
  • Outreach Seating Clinics and training programmes carried in Rural KZN on ACSA
  • Hosted Mandela Washington Fellowship Program student 2016.
  • Social enterprise hosted a group of students doing  PG Diploma in Disability Studies UCT 2016 for practical work
  • Uhambo hosted special education teacher interns from New Hampshire and Vanderbilt University in US. in 2016
  • Dec 2016 Move into new integrated office in Wynberg, for the first time housing Uhambo, Shonaquip, factory and administrative/managerial staff in the same building.
  • ShonaTech started up as a wheelchair & hospital devices repair shop under the Empowerment Through Enterprise Trust
  • Participation in South African National Disability Rights Summit 2016
  • Participation Annual Rolling Hills Event (Madwaleni)
  • Participation International Day of Persons with Disabilities
  • Implementation City of Cape Town Vulnerable Child Project 2016
  • DSD Household Survey Beaufort west 2015
  • RuResa Conference Presentations 2014-16
  • WHO basic wheelchair services training package delivery 2014/7 (Zimbabwe/Botswana) – co-trainers
  • 2013 New modular device wheelchair and buggy design marketed
  • Facilitation of Wheelchair stakeholders Roundtable 2013
  • Participation Afrinead 2013
  • 2013 Household Survey Mfuleni Vredenburg Diazville
  • Implementation of Premiers Project
  • Inclusive Healthcare Innovation Summit GSB 2013
  • World economic forum Africa 2011 - Impact Investing Public Panel on Balancing the Bottom Line (How can investments be structured to help social ventures improve financial performance while maximizing social impact)
  • World Economic Forum on Africa 2010 – Ideas Lab
  • Participation as The Empowerment  Through Partnership Trust with WCRC and Motivation Africa in design of the Provincial Government of the Western Cape (Department of Health) Basic Professional Wheelchair Service Delivery Programme  Nov 2010
  • Graduate School of Stanford Business – case study (case no. E355, 2009)
  • ILO National Conference 2009: A Social Enterprise Development model in South Africa
  • National Department of Education: “Barriers to Learning”
  • Graduate School of Business, 2008 Women of Africa: “Power in Unity” speech
  • 1st Stellenbosch Symposium On Evidence To Action 2007
  • CBR African Network and WHO Congress participation
  • Pan African Wheelchair Association, Moshi, Tanzania: “Seating and positioning – transforming wheelchair design and manufacture”
  • Consultant and service provider to WCRC – DOH Western Cape providing community outreach seating clinic services (2000 – 2007). Ongoing in Western Cape 2014-2017
  • Consultant and service provider to DOE – National Inclusion policy
  • Consultant and service provider to DOH – National Health tender
  • South African representative of the Pan African Wheelchair Users Association
  • South African project partner with Motivation UK and DOH Western Cape
  • Contributor and peer reviewer to the International workgroup on guidelines for wheelchair distribution in developing countries - WHO
  • ISPO and USAID (2006 – 2008)
  • Endeavor Global Social Entrepreneur 2008
  • Regular contribution to OTASA National Congress; SANDT conference
  • Founder and Trustee of Empowerment through Partnership Trust – DPO / incubator for community projects (1992 -2007) (incorporating WUFSA – Wheelchair Users Forum SA )
  • Partnerships Across Sectors: “The development of a sustainable model for the management of seating services and delivery of mobility and assistive device in the Western Cape”. Joint presentation with F Ebrahim-Abbas, E Scheffler
  • Neuro Rehab AGM guest speaker Feb 2007: “24 hour therapy where there are no therapists – building sustainable seating services”
  • ISPO / WHO Bangalore 2006 Presentation: “The implications of postural support products and services”
  • Founder member of the Forum for Inclusive Education Western Cape (1994 – 2005)
  • Founder member of INTERFACE - Augmentative and Alternative communication (AAC) systems for people with disabilities - a National organization working with people who have speech and communication problems (1987 – 2000)