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All posts by Matthew Alexander

  • eCommerce MoneyAfrica: mobile and digital intelligence in SMEs

    The eCommerce MoneyAfrica Plenary session commenced yesterday with many insightful talks on ecommerce and fintech. Google SA's country director, Luke McKend, and principal analyst at Forrester, James McCormick, spoke on the importance of mobile systems and digital intelligence for SMEs and corporates. "It's about the process, it’s about making sure your businesses can speak to each other, it’s about making sure you have the logistics right. All the big hard stuff, it’s about getting that right," said McKend. He further stretched his point by explaining the importance of the relationship between mobile and financial systems. "I'm doing all these different things with my phone. There...

  • eCommerce MoneyAfrica Confex kicks off in Cape Town

    Ventureburn recently attended the third annual eCommerce MoneyAfrica Confex in Cape Town, featuring a range of notable speakers. Ventureburn editor Graham van der Made chaired the morning session, as well as a panel on the potential for ecommerce in the South African and larger African markets. The morning session covered Uber and Airbnb's global success, and various digital strategies that companies could incorporate to keep up with their customers. Luke McKend, country director for Google SA, was the first speaker, covering the importance of mobile in e-commerce. The eCommerce MoneyAfrica Confex aims to cover a wide-variety of issues and solutions facing e-commerce "I'm doing all these different things with...

  • Google’s Launchpad Start to empower African SMEs

    Internet giant, Google has opened applications for its Launchpad Start programme which aims to empower innovative SMEs. The week-long bootcamp will see 20 startups participating in the programme, taking place in partnership with JoziHub from 27 to 31 March 2017. The Launchpad programme will focus on various subjects including UX and UI, product strategy, technology, business development, marketing and presentation skills. Each day of the programme will focus on a different subject and will include one-on-one mentorship, presentations and various amount of technical work. According to Google, there will be no fee for startups selected to be a part of Launchpad Start. Google...

  • Fintech Innovation Africa roadshow to kick off in Cape Town

    One of SA's largest accelerators, Sw7, in partnership with the law firm, Webber Wentzel, will launch their roadshow, known as the Fintech Innovation Africa. The roadshow will launch in both Cape Town and Johannesburg during the week of 27 February 2017. "Innotribe’s Startup Challenge for Africa plays an important role in finding the continent’s most exciting young companies, bringing them together with the financial sector," said the head of Middle East, Turkey and Africa at SWIFT, Sido Bestani in a press release to Ventureburn. Fintech Innovation Africa will act as a runway event for the SWIFT Innotribe Startup Challenge which will be held...

  • Applications now open for Anzisha Prize youth entrepreneurs awards

    Applications for the Anzisha Prize, an award celebrating Youth Entrepreneurs who've made their mark on SA, are now open. It was established by the African Leadership Academy (ALA) along with the Mastercard Foundation. 15 entrepreneurs between the ages of 15 and 22 will have the opportunity to win a share of US$100 000 and receive ongoing consulting services as well as access to a network of global leaders. "Finalists for the Prize win far more than access to a share of the pool of US$100,000 in prize money, they also access a business incubation fellowship aimed at growing their business and supporting...

  • RainFin concludes 30% equity transaction with LeBashe

    Fintech solution RainFin has announced the conclusion of a 30% equity transaction of an undisclosed amount with The LeBashe Investment Group. "After reviewing a host of investment opportunities, we think that there is an excellent strategic fit between RainFin’s unique value proposition and potential to scale, and LeBahse’s vision to build a pre-eminent black-owned financial services business, which is accessible to all," said spokesperson for LeBashe Investment Group Warren Wheatley. LeBashe's portfolio already consists of a diverse portfolio of stakes in Capitec, and Aluwani Capital among others. As of the end of November, LeBashe has revealed that its asset position stood in excess...

  • Entrepreneurs to compete for Agripreneur of the Year title

    The Global Agripreneurs Summit will see innovative 'agripreneurs' compete at the third Future Agro Challenge (FAC) Global Championships during the Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC). The competition and take place on 12 -15 March in Johannesburg and will host entrepreneurs in the food, agriculture, and aggrotech, all of whom will compete for the title of Agripreneur of the Year. In a space of three years, the FAC has gained support from more than 60 countries and five continents, to identify viable solutions for food supply chain challenges. "The food chain is broken. We need a bottom-up approach to identifying new and sustainable solutions to current and...

  • FarmDrive receives investment from the Spark Venture Fund

    Agricultural fintech startup, FarmDrive announced an undisclosed investment amount from Safaricom's Spark Venture Fund. The financial boost from the fund will go toward supporting their next scaling opportunity by building FarmDrive's credit-scoring model. It will also be used to enhance the HR base within analysis, research, and insight generation. "In an era when market uncertainty is creating new challenges for the agricultural sector, mobile-based technology solutions like FarmDrive can empower farmers with the critical access to finance and to help expand their access to other essential services," said Safaricom's CEP, Bob Collymore in a press release. FarmDrive aims to provide smallholder farmers with...

  • Wits Campus Personal Navigator Challenge now open

    The Wits Campus Personal Navigator Challenge is now accepting applications for the first of an annual series of four challenges. It is lead by the Johannesburg Centre for Software Engineering (JCSE) with sponsorship from the Carl and Emily Fuchs Foundation (CEFF). The Personal Navigator Challenge will focus on ways to help students with visual and physical disabilities move around their campuses. Those entering will also be assisted in transforming their idea into a viable startup. It will have approximately over 100 entrants benefitting from further training as well as the opportunity to participate in a weekend-long hackathon. The top 10 participants will receive a three-month membership in the Tshimologong...

  • Gambian Youth Empowerment project to tackle youth unemployment

    The European Union (EU), the International Trade Centre (ITC), and the Gambian government, have teamed up to launch an initiative to combat youth unemployment in Gambia. The Gambian Youth Empowerment project is a four-year initiative that benefits from €11-million from the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa. The programme will aim to support the local Gambian economy by firstly enhancing the self-employment opportunities for youth through vocational training, as well as the creation of SMEs. Secondly, the programme will create and improve opportunities for employment within various sectors through value addition and internationalisation. The Gambian Youth Empowerment programme aims on providing youth with opportunities within...