Investec Takes SA Education Startups to Singapore

Every year Investec through En-novate,  formed by Dan Brotman and Natan Pollack in early 2016, in partnership with Investec, takes entrepreneurs from various industries to leading cities across the world to expose them to the very best in their chosen field.

Past excursions have seen entrepreneurs being taken to Israel, Silicon Valley, Helsinki, Rwanda, Cape Town, Germany among other cities. Gareth Cliff, one of the beneficiaries of the program said, “It was a whirlwind itinerary of meetings, workshops and experiences. The idea behind the trip was that the benefits would spill over into businesses in South Africa. The whole trip was an eye-opener, but the highlight was meeting Roelof Botha, a partner at venture capital firm Sequoia Capital and possibly the most powerful South African in Silicon Valley.”

 

What is this iniative all about?

South Africa like many other countries has challenges with its education systems in both Basic and Higher Education. Many entrepreneurs do not realise that an education crisis can translate into business opportunities. As a means of growing and supporting entrepreneurs within this sector as well as enabling the entrepreneurial ecosystem, Investec CSI will be embarking on a global exposure programme to Singapore (12-19 October 2018) with the best of South African entrepreneurs in the education sector who are invited to apply.

Investec CSI has a strategy and strong focus on education as a means to provide an opportunity to those who have the aspiration to proceed beyond Grade 12 and achieve a decent pass rate in Maths, Science, and English.

Why Singapore for Education entrepreneurs?

From being among the world’s poorest, with a mix of ethnicities, religions, and languages, Singapore has overtaken the wealthiest countries in Europe, North America, and Asia to become the number one in education. The country recruits its teachers from the top 5% of graduates in a system that is highly centralised.

Latest global education league tables (PISA – test designed by education experts around the world, used to determine whether a student can apply what they have learned in school to real-life situations ) have ranked children in Singapore as the top performing pupils in the world for maths, science and literacy skills.Other factors that have contributed to Singapore’s successful education environment include:

  • Many pathways to provide for differentiated learning. The education system in Singapore is designed in a way to provide students with different learning dispositions and preferences, with different learning profiles.
  • Responsive to change and system. The system of education in Singapore is responsive both to local and international landscape changes. In order to prepare students to be relevant with the times and be able to contribute to the country’s economic development, the system proactively responds to such changes. Since 1965, the system of education in the country has undergone 4 iterations.
  • Clear goals of education. One of the most distinctive strengths of the education system in Singapore is clear identification and articulation of the desired outcomes of education. Such an attitude helps to create the national curricula, to adopt different pedagogies, as well as to ensure the high level of preparation and professional development of teachers.
  • The role of teachers and other stakeholders. Any high-performing education system in the world has good quality school leadership and teachers as its key components, and the Singapore system is no exception. The main role of school leaders is to transform the learning environment and empower teachers to be innovative and creative, as well as being nurturing to the students.

Apply for the exposure programme

Entrepreneurs are encouraged to apply for the programme, are those who are in the sector and have operations and processes that are based in South Africa. Please ensure that your business meets the criteria below before applying.>

The application process is set to open on the 23rd of July 2018.Email: En-novate

Tel: +27 11 286 8385

Apply for the programme if:

  • You are the owner/entrepreneur of the business
  • Your business is operating for at least 18 months
  • Your business is within the education sector
  • Note: Businesses should demonstrate innovation education sector either through their business process, use and/or integration of technology or have a unique and differentiated business model in order to be considered. Your business should be locally based, registered, for-profit and operating to grow the South African economy and market.

Applicant criteria

  • Entrepreneur should be a South African citizen or permanent resident under the age of 40
  • Entrepreneur must not have attended a previous Investec sponsored or En-novate trip
  • Applicant must be the entrepreneur/owner of the business and not an employee
  • Applicant should be a ‘full-time’ entrepreneur
  • Business must be a South African based, for-profit business in the education sector
  • Business must be operational for at least 18 months and not in ‘ideation’ phase and must have an innovative business model in order to be considered.
  • Business turnover must be under R50m per year.

Other selection factors

  • The commercial viability of your business. Does it affect Investec and En-novate’s ability to market and facilitate relationships, investment opportunities and future global exposure trips with the host country and partners?
  • The nature of your business. Are the business and you the entrepreneur, those that Investec would want to invest in and promote based on Investec’s values and philosophies as an organisation?
  • Completion of due diligence. The final round of candidate selection and acceptance to the programme is conditional upon successful completion of a due diligence process, which is verification of all information supplied by the candidate.

Check to see if you meet the application requirements

  1. Demonstrate clear systemic and long-lasting business strategy and how this is being achieved or how this can be achieved through the business model.
  2. Have a financial strategy and plan to show good business governance and planning.
  3. Demonstrate effective accounting and financial systems.
  4. Demonstrate an effective plan for the business’s long-term growth and sustainability.
  5. Demonstrate how business could scale its operations.

Three-step application process

  1. Eligible candidates should complete an online application form (applications open on 23rd July  2018 and close on 10th August 2018)
  2. Successful first round candidates are invited for a face-to-face interview. Candidates must be available for interviews on the 20th August and or the 21st August 2018.
  3. Selected candidates for the programme is subject to successful completion of a due diligence process which entails verification of information supplied by the applicant.

About the selection panel

The diverse selection panel has representation from Investec, En-novate and other organisations and persons of relevance and interest to the sector and programme.

We aim to ensure that the process and turnaround times move swiftly, remain fair, objective and transparent. This is achieved provided all documentation and processes are followed.

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