Young, female entrepreneur working at her laptop

Entrepreneurship programmes

Growth through innovative thinking

Investec supports the growth of young South African entrepreneurs by providing global exposure and support initiatives, in order to help grow the South African economy and create employment opportunities.

What is the Nextwork Global Exposure programme about?


The programme offers young South African entrepreneurs exposure to global business thinking. Investec CSI identifies a specific sector and global destination leading within that sector. A week long carefully curated itinerary is crafted for a group of young entrepreneurs who are selected to participate in the programme and gain global exposure. The aim is for them to return to South Africa with global insights, learning, innovation, potential partners, collaborations, funders and markets for their product or service.

Thank you for applying for our 2020 Nextwork Global Exposure Programme. Applications are now closed. We’ll be in touch.

Act locally, think globally

Investec wants to grow the South African economy and society. To achieve this we focus on two key areas, education and entrepreneurship. Our Global young entrepreneurs’ programme provides a platform that exposes South African entrepreneurs to global business thinking.

Exposure trips abroad

Every year Investec sends a group of young entrepreneurs from various sectors to specifically selected countries in order to gain global exposure. Each itinerary provides them with opportunities to network and to engage with venture capitalists, funders and captains of industry. The aim is for them to return home not only stimulated and inspired, but also with a list of potential partners, funders and markets for their product or service.  

Nextwork Global Exposure programme

Are you interested in further information on our Nextwork global exposure programme?

Videos from previous trips



San Franciso



Financial services innovation - July 2018


Textile manufacturing - May 2018

San Franciso

Renewable energy - July 2017


Steel manufacturing - April 2017

Young Entrepreneurs Programme Offering:

  • Programme Objectives at a glance

    1. Grow entrepreneurial networks by creating business contacts between South African entrepreneurs and their international counterparts.
    2. Facilitate access to people of inspiration and industry-specific knowledge. 
    3. Showcase social and for-profit entrepreneurship approaches which provide insights into how businesses can be a force for good in society.
    4. Expose how technology and new methods of thinking can be applied to improve business.Showcase the best of South African entrepreneurs and initiate engagement with potential investors, companies and other stakeholders.
  • Interested? Check if you qualify

    1. South African citizen under the age of 40
    2. The business must be operational for at least 2 years or more 
    3. Business turnover must be under R50M per year
    4. The entrepreneur must be a “full time” in the business and have a stake / ownership in the business
    5. The business must be a South African based, for profit business.

Startup School

Startup School, supported by Investec, was founded by some of the country’s most successful entrepreneurs with the aim of facilitating and encouraging entrepreneurship in South Africa.

Startup School, supported by Investec, was founded by some of the country’s most successful entrepreneurs with the aim of facilitating and encouraging entrepreneurship in South Africa.

Some statistics claim that 1 in 10 local businesses will not survive the first year. South Africans are entrepreneurial, but many lack the basic experience, education and capital to realise their dreams. Startup School aims to nurture and support these entrepreneurs, so that their business ideas can be successfully launched and sustained. 

Managed by a qualified team of experts within their respective disciplines, Startup School goes beyond the theoretical principles of simply building a business. The online entrepreneurship courses are supported by a strong team of education, coaching and startup specialists. Together, they share a passion for enabling entrepreneurs, and building a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem in Africa.

“One cannot argue that a significant driver of growth in any economy is lead by entrepreneurial individuals. For this reason it is now the time to embrace and strive towards a maker society; a society with an entrepreneurial mindset.”

Jared Kruger, Head of Education at Startup School.


Startup School: What we offer our entrepreneurs

Startup School courses are accessible online and offer an integrated approach. The interactive courses are coupled with business coaching and mentorship from industry leaders. This helps learners to acquire theoretical knowledge and equips them with the entrepreneurial expertise they need for sustained success and development. 

The Entrepreneurship Course

The Entrepreneurship Course is the flagship course that runs over a 12-week period. It contains interactive learning activities that help guide entrepreneurs all the way from business ideation phase through to presenting their final business plan to investors.

Successful applicants, who are accepted into this 12-week programme, will also have the opportunity to engage with top business coaches and industry mentors and become eligible to receive funding and assistance in launching their business. 

Marketing Deep Dive Course

This fairly new offering immerses entrepreneurs into the strategic discipline of marketing, teaching them the importance of developing a needs-focused mindset that will filter down into other aspects of their business. This practical course also equips entrepreneurs with useful marketing tactics for their business that they will be able to implement right away.

Mentorship & Business Coaching 

Startup School’s puts a strong emphasis on guiding, supporting and nurturing students through their entrepreneurial journey. Therefore, a big part of the Startup School entrepreneurship programme relies on mentorship and business coaching from reputable industry experts. 

During the course, the entrepreneur will go through a process of signing up for a mentor, articulating their primary business interests, as well as their expectations from a mentor. Using this key information, the Startup School will then pair up the entrepreneur with the best possible mentor.

If you would like to find out more information about the curriculum at Startup School, or would like to sign up as a mentor, get in touch with them today. 

Young Entrepreneurs alumni

The main aim of having the alumni is to bring together young entrepreneurs that have been part of the various global trips focusing on a number of sectors such as tech, education and agriculture. Through the alumni programme, these young entrepreneurs will be given a platform to meet other leading fellow SA entrepreneurs in their sector and catch up with fellow programme participants from previous trips.

Get in touch

Find out more about our many entrepreneurship initiatives