Next trip

Financial services innovation

Singapore: 13 – 20 July 2018

The introduction of new technology into the financial services sector, such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, cryptocurrency, digital banking and machine learning, will significantly change the way humans transact in the near future. Traditional banks are embracing these new technologies and are working closely with start-ups to service many more customers (including millions of unbanked South Africans) and provide customised solutions to the financial realities of the 21st century.

  • Why Singapore for Financial Services Innovation entrepreneurs?

    Ranked as the second leading FinTech hub in the world by Deloitte, Singapore has made financial technology one of its top priorities. The local FinTech ecosystem has largely benefited from strong governmental support - funding to the value of USD 225 million. This extensive level of support has so influenced some of the world’s largest tech firms and banks to open innovation labs in the city-state.


    Between 2011 and 2015, the Singaporean government allocated USD 16 billion to help accelerate research, innovation and enterprise landscape, enabling local start-ups to employ over 300,000 people. The amount of investment poured into Singapore-based start-ups comprises 19% of
    venture funding in Asia, beating out Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong.

  • 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.

  • 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 in the financial services innovation sector
    • Note: Businesses should demonstrate innovation within the financial services 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 as financial services innovation. 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 financial services innovation sector
    • Business must be operational for at least 18 months and not in ‘ideation’ phase and must have an innovative business model within the financial services industry 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. Final round candidate’s 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 30 April 2018 and close on 18 May 2018)
    2. Successful first round candidates are invited for a face-to-face interview. Candidates must be available for interviews on the 31st May and/or the 1st June 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.