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All posts by Staff Reporter

  • Despite teething problems support for small business ‘firmly on track’ says Zulu

    South Africa's small business minister Lindiwe Zulu says three years on since the formation of her department -- which was again criticised by opposition members yesterday for doing little to help the sector -- the government's support for the small business sector remains “firmly on track”. Delivering her department's budget vote in Parliament yesterday, Zulu said despite "teething problems" and a budget which is "far below" what is needed to boost the sector, the department had made a difference to small business support in the country. "Because of our collective and concerted efforts, the majority of our citizens now appreciate the value and contribution of small...

  • Department to help co-operatives, startups to go digital says Zulu

    The Department of Small Business Development aims to help startups and co-operatives to adopt digital technology to grow, Small Business Minister Lindiwe Zulu told MPs today. Presenting the Department of Small Business Development's budget vote in Parliament today, Zulu said her department will help entrepreneurs to build the right digital capabilities. "The 4th Industrial Revolution, characterised by digitisation and automation, is gaining momentum. It will fundamentally change the way is which we live, work, transact and trade. "It thus stands to reason that the small business and co-operatives sector must future-proof their core business offerings and business models, in order to be part of a...

  • Do your commercial drone insurance policies have adequate cover?

    Incidents involving drones can be minor, slightly humorous, or have extremely dire consequences.  From a kiss-cam drone cutting off a piece of a person's nose or a drone spying through the president's bedroom window, to extreme cases such as an engineering drone flying into a crane operator who knocks down a portion of an under-construction building, or a drone dropping weapons or bombs into a prison or flying into the propeller of a 500-passenger airliner. The new drone regulations, which came into effect on 1 July 2015 and form part of the Civil Aviation Regulations, place an obligation on those with commercial drone...

  • 87% of SMEs in SA prefer to work with tech-savvy accountants – report

    More than four in five SMEs prefer to work with accountants who understand technology, according to a survey of over 600 South African accountants and SME owners conducted by Xero, in partnership with World Wide Worx. Most accountants (88%) think that in-depth knowledge of technology and automation will be crucial to the success of the profession within the next three years. Professionals will need to upskill, and 80% of accountants acknowledge that they’ll need some kind of training in the next five years to adapt. Respondents identified mobile technologies (59%), automation (29%) and AI (22%) as some of the most exciting new innovations, although...

  • Department to look into setting up sovereign innovation fund – Pandor

    The Department of Science and Technology plans to this year develop a business case for the setting up of a sovereign innovation fund, Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor said today in Cape Town. Delivering her budget vote address today in Parliament Pandor said her department would work together with the departments of trade and industry, as well as economic development and small business development and other interested parties on compiling the business case. She said the fund is a priority for public-private funding partnerships aimed at commercialising innovations from the public and the private sector. Pandor added that this year the Technology Innovation...

  • Economic, political malaise has dented SA’s entrepreneurial spirit – GEM report

    South Africa has been well known for its entrepreneurial spirit. The incredible successes of businesses like Discovery, Black Like Me, Nandos and most recently, Get Smarter, have encouraged many South Africans to see starting their own businesses as a desirable goal. But it’s not enough. This year's Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) – which annually surveys the state of entrepreneurship in over 60 countries  – has revealed that significantly fewer South Africans believe that they have either the opportunity or the capability to start their own business. The study found that only 37.9% of South Africans believe that they have the required skills...

  • Nigerian accelerator opens applications for residencies to female entrepreneurs

    Applications are now open for the 2017 She Leads Africa (SLA) accelerator, a three-month programme designed to identify, support and fund the next generation of Nigeria’s brightest female entrepreneurs. SLA’s 2017 accelerator will take place in four locations across Nigeria - Abuja, Lagos Island, Lagos Mainland, and Kaduna. The 2017 accelerator will consist of week-long residencies in the four locations where entrepreneurs will receive training from the SLA team and business leaders and experts. During the residencies, entrepreneurs will be guided on business strategy, growth, marketing, finance and distribution. They will also receive a host of on and offline training as well as an opportunity...

  • Over 100 nominations received so far for inspiring SA women in tech initiative

    Since opening a call to nominations last month for its Inspiring Fifty South Africa initiative, the Kingdom of the Netherlands has received over a 100 nominations for “Inspiring South African Women” working in the different spheres of the technology and innovation sector. Inspiring Fifty is a Dutch based non-profit organisation that showcases inspiring female role models in the technology industry in the Netherlands, France, Europe and in Nordic countries. Each year the initiative honours the 50 most inspiring women in the technology sector with the aim of providing a platform that brings more visibility to the achievements of women in the innovation and technology...

  • Apply to be featured on 702, Cape Talk radio acceleration programme

    Startup founders looking for an opportunity to be exposed on national radio and to be coached by well-known talkshow host and entrepreneur, Pavlo Phitidis should apply now. Phitidis runs the business accelerator programme every Thursday on 702 and Cape Talk with Nedbank. The aim of the Business Accelerator programme is to talk about businesses on air and make listeners aware of them, as well as help accelerate their growth in 2017. The programme is looking for companies that make a difference to consumers, operate in SA, and have an annual turnover of less than R150-million. Every week Phitidis, who runs Aurik Business Accelerator, brings on 30 businesses drawn from Johannesburg and...

  • PiggyBank, Olivine Technology awarded $50,000 in funding from Village Capital

    Nigerian startup PiggyBank.ng and Kenyan startup Olivine Technology have each scored $50,000 in funding from investment firm Village Capital, following the conclusion of FinTech Africa 2017, a three-month investment readiness programme. The programme was organised in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation and the DOEN Foundation with support from VC4A. The two companies were a part of a cohort of seven peer companies. PiggyBank.ng allows Nigerians to save small sums of money through an automatic savings process by working directly with financial institutions, while Olivine Technology has created ASiM, a mobile app that serves as a point-of-sale and stock management solution that connects multiple distribution sites seamlessly with their respective...