“Be the catalyst for change, the disruptor of norms, and the architect of a better future. Embrace the power within you to challenge the status quo, break barriers, and forge new paths. By positively disrupting systems, we pave the way for progress, innovation, and a world where everyone can thrive. Let your actions inspire others to join the journey of transformation, creating a legacy that shapes a better tomorrow for all.”



I hold various positions across multiple organisations, including Founder of Drifter Brewing Co. and Cape Evergreen Cannabis (consultancy, which facilitates South Africa's first-ever digital cannabis club). I also serve as a Director of Bature Brewery in Nigeria, the fastest-growing beer brand in West Africa. Additionally, I am involved with Drifter Brewing Systems, Drifter Brewing Company, Cape Evergreen PTY, Market Garden Initiative (NPO), and Soup-a-Heroes (NPO).

Nicholas Bush, 34, is a serial entrepreneur with a huge passion for business growth in Africa, with a primary focus on the beverages and manufacturing sectors.

He holds various positions across multiple organisations, including founder of Drifter Brewing Company and Cape Evergreen Cannabis Farm and Under the Table Cannabis Club (a consultancy that facilitates a digital cannabis club) and director of Bature Brewery in Nigeria, a fast-growing beer brand in West Africa.

Nicholas is also  involved in nonprofit organisations, the Market Garden Initiative and Soup-a-Heroes, which provided more than two million meals during the Covid-19 pandemic. He has a successful track record of equity raises for several businesses at different stages of growth and is a firm believer in pushing individuals to exceed their perceived boundaries and reach their fullest potential, with the belief that there is no growth in the comfort zone.

Nicholas is also an adventure enthusiast and enjoys paragliding, sailing, rock climbing, flying planes and cold-water swimming with his dog. “Our innovative strategies, commitment to quality, and community-centred initiatives have positioned us as refreshing change-makers in the sector,” he says. Nicholas has designed and built breweries that have gone on to win prestigious awards, including Zwakala Brewery in Limpopo and Devil’s Club Brewery in Alaska.

  • BSc, Mechanical Engineering (University of Cape Town)
  • SACS Matric class of 2006
  • Certified Yachtmaster Offshore Captain, capable of operating vessels up to 200 tonnes 
  • IKO Kite Surfing Instructor 
  • MSDT PADI Scuba Diving Instructor
  • World record holder for the longest cold water ocean swim 
  • Toastmaster International Level 5 speaker
  • Paragliding licence 
  • Working towards completing a fixed-wing pilot’s licence.

My entrepreneurial journey has been sprinkled with numerous awards and milestones that showcase my dedication to excellence, innovation, and social impact: World Record Holder: Accomplishing the world record for the longest cold water ocean swim with my furry sidekick has not only made me question my sanity at times but also exemplifies my determination, perseverance, and boundary-pushing attitude. African Beer Cup Winner: This prestigious award is a testament to my passion for brewing the finest beer in Africa. It’s an honour to have our brewery’s creations acknowledged for their quality, artistry, and unique flavours – a great excuse to raise a glass in celebration! Industry Recognition: As co-founder and director of Drifter Brewing Systems, Drifter Brewing Company, and Bature Brewery, I’m proud of the recognition we’ve earned for our rapid growth and celebrated reputation. I’ve designed and built breweries that have gone on to win prestigious awards, including Zwakala Brewery in Limpopo (winning the best beer in South Africa – my recipe) and Devil’s Club Brewery in Alaska. Our innovative strategies, commitment to quality, and community-centred initiatives have positioned us as refreshing change-makers in the sector. Social Impact: I’m a firm believer in giving back, and my involvement in community-focused projects, like the Market Garden Initiative and Soup-a-heroes, has been incredibly rewarding. Our efforts to provide over 2 million meals during the COVID-19 pandemic not only warmed hearts but also filled stomachs, reinforcing our dedication to social responsibility and community support. Toastmaster International Level 5 Speaker: Climbing to Level 5 in Toastmasters International has been a journey of growth in effective communication and leadership. It showcases my capacity to captivate and inspire audiences, making sure they leave with something to think about, and perhaps a chuckle or two. These collective accomplishments are a testament to my unwavering pursuit of excellence, innovation, and positive change across the African continent. I am grateful for the recognition I’ve received and remain steadfast in my mission to break barriers, foster growth, and contribute wherever I can.

One cherished childhood memory that has propelled me to high levels of achievement is sailing and racing small yachts with my dad every weekend in South Africa. Braving cold waters, long days, and strong winds, these experiences ingrained in me the invaluable lessons of perseverance, resilience, and the importance of never giving up. They cultivated a relentless determination within me to push forward, regardless of the challenges I encounter.

If I could share some wisdom with my younger self, I would say this:

Embrace Failure: Understand that failures and setbacks are vital learning experiences. Treat them as stepping stones on your path to success, shaping your character and personal growth.

Trust the Process: Recognize that success requires time and effort. Have faith in your abilities and the growth process. Be patient, stay focused, and persist through obstacles, knowing that consistent small steps can result in significant achievements.

Adapt to Change: Welcome change and be adaptable. Life is filled with surprises and unexpected turns. By embracing change with an open mind, you can uncover new opportunities and unlock the hidden potential within yourself.

Nurture Relationships: Foster and invest in meaningful connections. Surround yourself with positive, supportive people who encourage and inspire you. Collaborate, learn from others, and create a robust network of mentors, colleagues, and friends.

Prioritise Self-Care: Focus on your physical and mental well-being. Achieve balance in your life by nurturing your health, enjoying hobbies, and pursuing passions outside of work. Remember that self-care is vital for your happiness and success, not just an indulgence.

Embrace Lifelong Learning: Cultivate a curious mindset and never stop learning. Be open to new ideas and perspectives, continuously seeking personal and professional development opportunities to broaden your horizons and stay relevant in a rapidly evolving world.

Believe in Yourself: Have faith in your abilities and trust in yourself. Know that you have the strength to overcome challenges and reach your goals. Celebrate your achievements along the way, and remember that self-belief is a powerful force driving you forward.

In essence, I would advise my younger self to view failures as opportunities, trust the journey, be flexible, cherish relationships, prioritise self-care, embrace continuous learning, and maintain unwavering self-belief. By adhering to these principles, you can navigate life’s challenges with resilience, determination, and a sense of fulfilment!

In five years, I dream of a South Africa flourishing with prosperity, equality, and unity. I envision a nation where opportunities abound, providing everyone with access to quality education, healthcare, and basic necessities. I see a society that cherishes diversity, fosters inclusivity, and derives strength from its collective spirit. In this future, entrepreneurship and innovation are the driving forces behind economic growth and job creation, ensuring sustainable livelihoods for all. I imagine a country deeply committed to preserving its natural resources, embracing environmental sustainability, and implementing responsible practices. Ultimately, I hope for a South Africa where every citizen feels empowered and has a sense of belonging, playing an active role in the shared success of our beautiful nation.

View previous winners from 2018 to 2022

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