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Innovation is a theme that remains central to FNB’s business philosophy. We believe that innovation is a key driver of business growth and scaleability, and that it contributes to our philosophy of creating a better world through high-quality job creation. Because of this belief, we thought it necessary to develop a platform where innovative businesses in South Africa are recognised.
The FNB Business INNOVATION Awards, supported by Endeavor, are a real opportunity for high-impact entrepreneurs to unleash their potential. Endeavor’s extensive experience in working with high-impact businesses is perfectly complemented by FNB’s commitment to innovation. This is a necessary platform for every business that has an ambition to become a successful global business. We challenge established businesses to enter the awards to inspire them to think bigger.
FNB Business, in partnership with Endeavor SA, is proud to announce that entries for the FNB Business Innovation Awards 2016 are now open.
These awards aim to recognise and celebrate the efforts of those high-impact entrepreneurs who have embraced many challenges to create world-class, innovative companies that continue to forge unique ways of doing business.
We, together with Endeavor South Africa, will be selecting high-growth, founder-led entrepreneurs who have the potential to become part of Endeavor’s international network of innovators, business leaders, entrepreneurs, investors and academics.
The prize for the FNB Business INNOVATION Awards 2016 is an all-expenses-paid trip to attend the prestigious Endeavor International Selection Panel (ISP) in Boston. The FNB Business Innovator of the Year will have the opportunity to pitch their business to a credible panel of global business leaders, meet top investors and rub shoulders with their peers from around the world. Pending feedback from the panel about their business and capability as a global entrepreneur, the winner could walk away with the international recognition and prestigious title of an Endeavor Entrepreneur.
Finalists will also have the opportunity to attend the ISP at their own cost.
What is the process for becoming an Endeavor Entrepreneur?
The Endeavor International Selection Panel (ISP) selection process is akin to a two-day immersion course in business practice. The insight and wisdom that panellists bring to the process never fail to inspire candidates and observers alike. Whether they are chosen or not, entrepreneurs describe the selection process as a life-changing experience that provides them with the tools to take their businesses to the next level.
The process takes place over two days. During Interview Day, candidates “pitch” their businesses to a panel; and the panel responds with a series of probing questions relating to finances, talent management, corporate strategy, general business administration, marketing, etc. Once the panel has sufficient information about the candidate and the business, it is able, on Deliberation Day, to consider the suitability of the candidate.
The questions panellists will want to answer are: is this business truly innovative; is it scaleable; can it create a large number of jobs; will it contribute to the economic growth of the country; and is the entrepreneur a role model who will help to sustain the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the future?
The selection criteria for these awards are based on Endeavor’s entrepreneur selection model, which caters for scale-ups. Below are the set criteria.
He or she:
Facilitated by Endeavor South Africa, the selection criteria of the awards focus on businesses that are able to meet the following standards:
Exhibit high-growth potential and the capacity to add substantial economic value by creating a number of high-value jobs.
Demonstrate real innovation that has the potential to change the way an industry operates locally and/or internationally.
Be interested in accepting advice and support from FNB and Endeavor, as well as contributing to the Endeavor network.
Factors such as brand and reputation, stakeholder relations and goodwill, environmental sustainability, social responsibility and quality of governance are all taken into account.
Entries are now closed. The inaugural winner will be announced in June 2016. Below is the process that will be followed, which starts with the stringent Endeavor Entrepreneur selection process.
*Note that should you enter the FNB Business INNOVATION Awards, you will need to make yourself available for all the stages of the process, including the gala awards.
Endeavor South Africa is the leading supporter of high-impact entrepreneurs around the world. By high-impact they mean individuals with the biggest dreams, the greatest potential to create companies that matter and grow, and the highest likelihood to inspire others. They are the only organisation to focus on the scale-up, not the start-up, because that is where Endeavor believes the highest job and wealth creation happen.
FNB partnered with Endeavor as they are leading the global movement to catalyse long-term economic growth by selecting, mentoring and accelerating the best high-impact entrepreneurs around the world. Once selected, Endeavor Entrepreneurs are provided with customised support from a volunteer network of 2 700+ global and local business leaders who serve as mentors, advisors, connectors, investors and role models.
Endeavor provides its Entrepreneurs with access to funding, markets, talent and a support system with the purpose of helping them to:
For more information on Endeavor, visit www.endeavor.co.za
Cynthia is an Endeavor Entrepreneur, founder and CEO of Masana, and "one of the most inﬂuential women in business and professional services" according to CEO Magazine.
Michael is CEO of FNB Business. His vision for FNB Business is to become the number one transactional bank for businesses in South Africa. He believes in an entrepreneurial culture and can-do attitude in everything the bank does.
Joining Endeavor South Africa in 2012, Catherine has assisted some of the country’s most innovative entrepreneurs realise their global growth aspirations. She is driven by a determination to create best practice services for optimal entrepreneurial growth.
Claire is a council member of the National Advisory Council on Innovation, a member of FirstRand’s Vumela Enterprise Development Fund’s investment committee and a member of the Gauteng Enterprise Development Board, amongst others.
Howard is the Provincial Head for FNB Business in Gauteng. He has previously participated as an international panel member of the Endeavor Entrepreneur process.
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Congratulations to Bruce Morgan, founder of GreatSoft CRM on being awarded the FNB Business Innovator of the Year 2015
South African CRM software provider GreatSoft (Pty) Ltd impressed the 2015 BIA judges’ panel, earning them the title of winner of the inaugural FNB Business Innovation Awards. The developmental strides made by CEO Bruce Morgan towards realising the company’s ambition of global expansion are a testament to the power of the awards to propel winners towards the achievement of their business goals.
GreatSoft is a provider of its own internally developed customer relationship management systems for tax management, document management, billing and payroll for financial professionals. Despite the competition, they differentiated themselves by making their solution cloud-based, answering their customers’ need for accessibility. This customer-centric stance is just one of the many reasons why GreatSoft stood out as a fit for FNB and the Endeavor network.
Winning the BIA Awards does more than offer a business the opportunity for expansion; it affords momentum for the owners and management, and changes their perceptions of what is achievable. Morgan explains that the gruelling judging process helped them identify aspects of their business strategy that needed to be refined. Being flown to Silicon Valley, San Francisco, afforded them the opportunity to network with judges and fellow entrepreneurs from around the world, gaining insights into the global market into which they hoped to expand.
The results have been shifts in goals from doubling over two years to tripling over four to five years and the staff headcount has grown from 55 to 75. Increased focus on acquiring valued staff and developing talent through their internship programme has improved their capacity, which has become imperative as the group's combined revenues are 40% higher than a year ago and they intend to double revenues into Q3 and Q4 of 2016.
Howard is the Provincial Head for FNB Business in KwaZulu-Natal. Some of his experience lies in marketing and lending to all segments from large, institutional corporations to the emerging entrepreneur.
He has previously participated as an ISP judge in the Endeavor process, and also served as a judge/convenor of judges for the EY World Entrepreneur Awards.
As the current Head of Sales at FNB, Marcel is responsible for new sales and client value management.
He is passionate about the role that technology can play in driving insightful new venture creation in South Africa, and is involved in several local entrepreneurial support initiatives.
Cynthia Mkhombo is the founder and current CEO of Masana Hygiene Services, a contract cleaning company which she started in 2004. In 2010, CEO magazine called her "one of the most influential women in business and professional services".
Mkhombo has established herself as a true innovator in the contract cleaning industry, constantly developing new techniques and methods that set Masana Hygiene Services apart from other cleaning companies. She has managed to grow the business from just seven employees in 2004 to over 2 050 employees today.
Raymond currently serves as an Investment Executive at Remgro Limited, utilising his extensive local and international experience as a specialist in various fields in the financial services industry.
His focus is on promoting entrepreneurship, and in particular, mentoring emerging young business leaders.
Joining Endeavor SA in 2012, Catherine has assisted some of the country’s most innovative entrepreneurs realise their global growth aspirations.
She is driven by a determination to create best practice services for optimal entrepreneurial growth.
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