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All posts by Daniel Mpala

  • ‘Percentage of women in tech sector has declined from 40% of professionals’

    The percentage of women in the local IT sector has declined from a level of 40% of professionals in the 1980s claims Cape Town entrepreneur Lorraine Steyn. A 2014 survey by the Joburg Centre for Software Engineering (JCSE) of 711 IT practitioners revealed that only 21% of ICT jobs are held by women. "If we're cutting out 50% of the population from those career opportunities, well I'm pissed off, I want to see the girls in there," said Steyn, speaking at a Startup Grind event at Workshop 17 in Cape Town last night. Steyn, the CEO of Khanyisa Real Systems (KRS), challenged businesses to be more flexible...

  • XAfricaMart.com marketplace launches with a transaction fee of just 1.2%

    Online B2B marketplace XAfricaMart.com was launched yesterday in Johannesburg, with its CEO Stephen Oehley claiming that the marketplace has one of the lowest transaction fees in the market for suppliers. The marketplace which is aimed at small and growing businesses, will offer sellers and customers a secure payment platform that mitigates online trading risks and non-delivery. Sellers are charged a 1.2% sales success fee. This compares to Amazon which charges a fee of 3.9% for international transactions, eBay which charges a fee of 3.5% or 10% depending on the number of goods listed on the site and Alibaba which charges a 5% fee. XAfricaMart.com also seeks to network businesses up...

  • Seedstars, Enel seeking energy entrepreneurs for Africa Energy Prize

    Global startup competition Seedstars  in collaboration with Enel Group, a global power company, have announced the creation of the Africa Energy Prize. The competition, which is aimed at African startups, is looking for startups that focus on increasing energy access. The collaboration, which was announced on 7 July, will form part of the existing annual Seedstars World Competition.  Seedstars and Enel representatives will evaluate startups' business models and the Enel team will announce the top finalists in December at the RES4Africa event. The winner will be announced at the global Seedstars Summit in Switzerland in April next year, whereupon they will enter Seedstars' three-month growth...

  • Q&A: Cape Town entrepreneur Lorraine Steyn laments shortage of women in tech

    Software development is a well-paying career and more women should be involved in the sector, laments Cape Town entrepreneur Lorraine Steyn. "I'm very sad about the falling number of women in software development, particularly. It is a well-paying career, requiring creative and analytical skills," says Steyn co-founded software development company Khanyisa Real Systems (KRS) in 1987. Steyn, KRS's CEO, will be in conversation with Guillaume de Smedt tomorrow at the next Startup Grind event, Women in Tech, in Cape Town at Workshop 17. Lorraine Steyn says she's sad about the falling number of women in tech Ventureburn caught up with Steyn to pick her brains on a...

  • Kenyan startup M-Shule gets investment from Engineers Without Borders

    Canadian seed-stage investor Engineers Without Borders Canada (EWB) yesterday announced a cash investment worth $40 000 in Kenyan edtech startup M-Shule. M-Shule is an SMS and web-based learning management platform which makes use of artificial intelligence to design tailored learning experiences. It was designed to handle 144 million primary school students across Sub-Saharan Africa and was launched in January in Nairobi, Kenya by Claire Mongeau. In an email interview with Ventureburn, Mongeau said although they currently operate in Kenya, they intended to expand into East Africa by 2019 and throughout Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia in subsequent years. "We are excited and thrilled to work...