How we work

We aim for maximum social impact.

We help and inspire young talent to develop, start and sustain their business.


Socionext offers a five-day accelerated workshop that teaches people how to come up with, start and sustain a business. Does that sound fast? Yes, it does! but it leads to real and lasting results.

Watch one of our participants

We focus on social innovation and entrepreneurship, and take participants through a step-by-step process: from the first ideas through prototype design and the development of a realistic viable product.

Learning by doing

Participants learn how to test the critical assumptions which underlie their business models with real customers. This way they can see if their business case can actually be successful.

This rapid approach significantly shortens the product development cycle. That saves time, money and other resources. And it’s fun! ! From the first day on, our participants realize that they can make their dreams of being entrepreneurs come true.

What can be achieved

In 2015 and 2016 Socionext prototyped and tested its program with more than 1500 participants in all kinds of places: at rural universities and in rural and peri-urban townships in five provinces, across South Africa and Botswana.

Within three to four days participants are selling and getting feedback and orders from real customers. Supported by local mentors trained and supervised by Socionext, businesses are developed, pivoted where needed, registered and grown.

Who can benefit

Our program was developed over four years at the University of Amsterdam and at the Copenhagen Business School. Our methodology means we can customize our program to the needs of our partners and clients.

As a result the program is not only for projects that try to tackle youth unemployment in South Africa, but also for institutions such as universities and education agencies that try to promote talent amongst their students and members.

Surprising results

In a recent survey (February 2017) of 250 participants in our 2016 program for unemployed youth in rural and peri-urban areas in some of the poorest areas of South Africa, where unemployment is up to 60% among youth, we found some surprising results.

Of the 99 people who responded to our survey, more than 41% are still active in the businesses started during our program in 2016. A further 18% have started other businesses. 12% have found employment and 10 % have gone back to school or started university studies

“I came here with no idea that today I will leave a different person, motivated and inspired to venture into social entrepreneurship. My thinking has been completely transformed and I have had a life changing experience.” - Thuto Thawa


Always include:

  • Understanding and application of the Business Model Canvas
  • Effective prototyping, development of Minimum Viable Product
  • Actual testing with real customers and stakeholders
  • Co-creation and Pivoting
  • Validation of business cases
  • Presentation and pitching skills

And in a growing number of cases:

  • Sustainable businesses
  • Employment creation
“An experience I will never forget. I came to the workshop without any entrepreneurial skills and came out as a business man. Socionext changed my way of thinking. Great!“ - Siyabong Zwane


We have more than 6 years of experience implementing our program for different target groups in the Netherlands, Denmark, Georgia, South Africa and Botswana.

1500 participants succeeded in creating innovative business ideas that they could accelerate and test with real customers within only 5 days, validating their businesses and often generating their first sales and contracts.

Even if some never become entrepreneurs, they learn essential work-place skills, such as presentation skills, teamwork and the confidence to think outside the box.


Developed at the University of Amsterdam and the Copenhagen Business School

Our program was developed over a period of four years (2010-2014) at the University of Amsterdam (the Netherlands) and at the Copenhagen Business School (Denmark). We were one of the earliest adopters at European Universities of this new approach to entrepreneurship. Recently, our program was accredited at Rhodes Business School.


University students.

Existing and starting entrepreneurs

Unemployed youth (18-35 years old) with only secondary education and no entrepreneurship experience.