Are you looking for business opportunities in informal settlements?

The Genius Of S.P.A.C.E team is looking for implementation partners to set up and run businesses that use waste streams as value-creating inputs.


We have been hard at work with the Genius Of S.P.A.C.E project and have completed our first phase. This was the implementation of our grey water infrastructure and initial solid waste management.

We are now entering the next phase where we appoint our Solid Waste management partner(s), which could be YOU.

About the Genius Of S.P.A.C.E project:

In 2013, the Western Cape Government’s Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning (DEADP) contracted our team to design a technology for improving the quality of water in the Berg River. The Genius Of Place project. The project will help to clean stormwater from the Langrug informal settlement and treat the water using plants and animals from the local area. The project is part of the WC Government’s Berg River Improvement Programme (BRIP)

In 2015 the Berg River Bioremediation and the Genius of Place projects were combined into the Genius of SPACE (Systems for People’s Access to a Clean Environment) project. The project is being lead by DEADP in partnership with DEDAT. Stellenbosch Municipality has been an active partner through the development of the projects. The project is the first of its kind, applying biomimicry thinking and methodology (nature as inspiration for solutions) to the development of infrastructure that is alive, in an informal settlement in Africa.

See these videos: here, here & here

As part of the 110% Green initiative, the WC Government’s Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDAT) contracted our team’s for the Genius of Place project. We looked at how natural ideas can inspire us for managing solid waste and greywater challenges in the polluted Berg River catchment. The Langrug informal settlement was chosen as a focus area for the work.

For further info & resources

  • Call For Proposal detailed Timeline - here
  • Summary document - here
  • Solid Waste characterization/audit - here 
  • Langrug Eco Precinct concept - here 
  • Feasability study (from first phase, Genius Of Place) - here
  • CoCreate micro-enterpise report - here

Call For Proposal timeframe



Ready to apply? Fill out this form.  Interviews will follow for shortlisted candidates.

Remember: the idea for your business is fundamental, but it’s a team’s ability to execute that brings one idea to market successfully while similar ones die on the vine.  We’re looking for teams who have both a grea idea and have the ability to succesfully implement their business.



  1. Where is the Genius Of S.P.A.C.E project located? The Genius Of Space project is being done in the Langrug informal settlement, in Franschoek, Western Cape, South Africa.
  2. Are you only wanting solutions to Solid Waste? No. We are addressing both the Solid Waste and Grey Water streams but the primary focus here is Solid Waste.
  3. Are you looking for sanitation solutions? No. There are other organizations working on providing a sanitation solution to the Langrug informal settlement.
  4. What kind of teams are you looking for?  Teams/companies with a proven track record and a sustainable business model.
  5. We're already a company/We've already received funding.  Can we still apply? Yes, you can still apply.
  6. Can I apply with multiple ideas/solutions?  Yes, you can submit multiple applications, although please be advised that it would be better to submit one strong application rather than several average ones. So, be thoughtful: if you have 2 very strong ideas and the team could execute both successfully, then we will give both full consideration.
  7. Do I need to have a business plan already?  No, you do not need to have a business plan; however, it would assist your application.
  8. Is there an age limit or minimum?  No, we won’t discriminate based on age; the project  will abide by all local labour laws around age minimums.
  9. How will you decide which teams/companies are selected?  There will be a committee that will select the final teams/companies. The selection committee will consist of Genius Of Space stakeholders and external evaluators.
  10. Who gets a stake in our company? How much equity do we have to give up for the opportunity received?  We will not be taking any equity in your business.
  11. Do I have to operate as a for-profit company to apply? No. We will consider all legal entities, with preference to those showing a sustainable business model.
  12. Do we have to live in Langrug?   No. However, we are looking for teams with a strong local presence, who will be based in or around Langrug/Franschoek and will draw on employees/team members from the Franschoek area.
  13. What is the timing of the program?  The application process opens at the end of October 2016 and closeses on Monday, 21 November 23h59 (GMT +2). The screening will be done on a rolling basis as we receive the applications.
  14. Shortlisting and final selection dates? We will decide on the shortlisted applicants on 30 November 2016 and make the final decision based on our due-diligence of the shortlisted companies on 16 December 2016.
  15. Will you sign an NDA?   No, we will not be signing any NDAs. It’s not just about the idea, it’s about the team who can execute on that idea. We hope to have many applicants apply  and we need to be able to quickly screen applicants without legal hurdles. No one on the screening committee will be competing with you or submitting their own application - only in selecting and supporting the applicant's.

More Questions?  Please reach us at: hello@greenhousesd.com