Innovation and entrepreneurship can change the economic narrative of this country
Standard Bank Enterprise Development

Innovation and entrepreneurship can change the economic narrative of this country - Jayshree Naidoo

Africa is increasingly taking its place on the global stage as a continent of growth and opportunity. Yet critical challenges remain, particularly the need to create a significant number of jobs for the continent’s booming population, and the need to build a cadre of home-grown business leaders able to access global markets and drive growth in a sustainable and inclusive manner. For this reason, African entrepreneurship is central to Africa’s future prosperity.

Standard Bank has strategically positioned their incubation programmes to respond to the challenges that are faced by small businesses. More than just the funding challenges which SMMEs face there are challenges relating to market access and skills. The incubator has thus become the place of learning and growth for start-ups.

“Incubation is a way of life for the bank and we believe that entrepreneurship can change the narrative of our country” Jayshree Naidoo.

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 has taken its approach to small business incubation to the next level. “Innovation and entrepreneurship are two sides of the same coin” – Jayshree Naidoo – Standard Bank Incubator Head commented as she delivered a key speech at the 4th Annual Africa Enterprise Development & Entrepreneurship Investment Agenda supported by Transnet held in Sandton on the 21st and 22nd of June.

“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,” said 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

Jaishree Naidoo joined other renowned speakers including Makhosazana Masilela – the Executive Manager at Transnet, Thozamile Gwanya – The CEO of ECRDA, Sifiso Ndwandwe – CEO of Catalyst for Growth, Dionne Kerr – CEO of Siyakha Implementation Partners and Teresiah Simelane – GM for Enterprise Development at The Innovation Hub.

“The discussions were relevant and vital and centred on the critical issues relating to SMME growth and support and to devise solutions around job creation in the country” said Calisto Kondowe, the Senior Research Analyst at Global Invest Group – an advisory company that focusses on economic growth and development.