About the awards

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.

Paul Harris
Endeavor Board Member

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.

What the FNB business
innovator of the year will gain

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?

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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?

Selection criteria

The selection criteria for these awards are based on Endeavor’s entrepreneur selection model, which caters for scale-ups. Below are the set criteria.

Business criteria

  • It has a minimum annual turnover of R10-million.
  • It is founder led.
  • It is a unique business. The entrepreneur owns the Intellectual Property for the products, model or service of the business. It cannot easily be replicated. It is not a “me-too business”, such as a consultancy or agency.
  • It has the potential to grow exponentially.
  • It has successfully raised the capital it needed to get to this point.
  • It is scaleable, in other words the business has the potential to grow and become a market leader.
  • It has a business model that is repeatable in any country/region.

Business owner criteria

He or she:

  • Is ambitious and wants the business to become a market leader.
  • Embodies the qualities of a local and global role model.
  • Is open to feedback and mentorship.
  • Is humble and committed to paying it forward.
  • Is mature enough to appreciate the power of Endeavor’s global network.

Facilitated by Endeavor South Africa, the selection criteria of the awards focus on businesses that are able to meet the following standards:

Development impact:

Exhibit high-growth potential and the capacity to add substantial economic value by creating a number of high-value jobs.

Business innovation:

Demonstrate real innovation that has the potential to change the way an industry operates locally and/or internationally.

Fit with FNB and Endeavor:

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.

The Process

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.

FNB Business innovation awards 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.

About endeavor

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:


  • Through the selection process.
  • By inspiration and example of a global network of business leaders.
  • By peer pressure (role modelling).
  • Custom Advisory Board.

For more information on Endeavor, visit www.endeavor.co.za


2015 judges

2015 finalists

2015 winner

Cynthia Mkhombo


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 Vacy-Lyle

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.

Catherine Townshend

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 Busetti

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 Arrand

Howard is the Provincial Head for FNB Business in Gauteng. He has previously participated as an international panel member of the Endeavor Entrepreneur process.

Cynthia Mkhombo

Everlytic is a digital communications company that solves the problem of letting their clients send out bulk email and mobile communication to their customers.

Genex Insights is focused on providing research insights to its customers. The focus is on three main areas: marketing research, customer experience measurement and online media analysis.

GreatSoft CRM is a cloud-based solutions company that develops and implements technologies specifically for the accounting profession to maximise their profitability.

inQuba is a company offering technology and services aligned with creating positive customer experiences and engagement.

Merchant Capital was launched to provide working capital solutions to entrepreneurs that are different from what typical business owners get access to; there is no interest rate and there is no fixed repayment term.

Smoke CCS has developed a software solution – Eyerys – that makes it possible for companies to listen to customers at every touchpoint. This helps companies build more profitable businesses driven by the voice of the customer.

SPARK Schools was founded with a mission to provide access to high-quality education for all South Africans at a more affordable rate.

Congratulations to Bruce Morgan, founder of GreatSoft CRM on being awarded the FNB Business Innovator of the Year 2015

FNB Business is proud to be associated with an innovative company like GreatSoft CRM, which is contributing to the growth of our economy through high-quality job creation as a high-growth scalable business.

We salute your vision, dedication and commitment to building a successful business that competes on a global platform.

We look forward to watching GreatSoft CRM grow and succeed in the future.

Contact us

For any queries, email us at innovationawards@fnb.co.za

Be the next FNB Business
Innovator of the Year.

Terms and conditions apply.

Be the next FNB Business
Innovator of the Year.

Terms and conditions apply.

Entries closed

Entries closed