Standard Bank Incubator breaking new grounds for entrepreneurs in South Africa

2015-10-23 00:00:00.0

The Standard Bank Incubator was launched in order to speed up the growth and success of start-ups and early stage companies. Since its launch, it has also provided a platform for these companies to be mentored, trained and provided with business development support. Standard Bank is also in a position to assist incubated entrepreneurs with access to funding that would be difficult to secure without proven products and services. 


“Standard Bank services the greatest market share of business banking accounts in the country. This is not only a great privilege but also a great responsibility for the Bank, who realises that it can potentially help these businesses to be contributors of economic growth in South Africa,” says Jayshree Naidoo, Head of the Standard Bank Incubator. Part of this responsibility means that the Bank cannot afford to just look at its customers through a commercial lens, but has had to rethink its strategy for entrepreneurs, which started with rebranding itself as the Bank for Entrepreneurs. This was followed by a series of programmes geared towards actively supporting the business growth of existing and potential business banking customers. 


The Standard Bank Incubator was launched as a practical support base for businesses, off the back foot of this strategy. Since it was launched, the Incubator has registered a number of milestones including: 

  • Successful Incubator programmes including the Business Incubator, Virtual Incubator, Tech Incubator, and the High Growth Accelerator providing all providing business training, market access and prototyping support, and ensuring the sustainability of business ventures. 
  • The graduation of its first Sw7 Accelerate programme at the beginning of October 2015.
  • 150 alumni with a record of great success stories and traction. 
  • Top 40 graduates from the programme have experienced business growth in multiples. 
  • Global recognition.
  • [if Securing partnerships with international blue chip companies and a partnership with Microsoft BizSpark who provides technical expertise to the companies in the High Growth Accelerator programme.
  • Launching an Open Innovation Lab in October 2015. The Open Innovation Lab will drive an innovation focus and access to markets for entrepreneurs that pitch innovative products and services to the Bank. 

“Breaking into established value chains is challenging. Being part of the Standard Bank Incubator has made this task just a little easier for entrepreneurs, by providing them with access to value chains and corporate networks,” Ms Naidoo adds.

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