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Entrepreneurship

  • Why Africa needs more critical media to cover lively tech startup sector [Opinion]

    A day doesn't seem to go by without news of another big deal in the tech startup sector in Africa. In a continent where war, famine and corruption have long grabbed the headlines, the nascent tech startup sector is a ray of light. Yet the lack of critical media and indepth coverage on the startup sector (or on small business in general) has helped forge the myth that tech entrepreneurship is little more than something fun and playful that those who can't get a real job get into. Too often media only highlight the glam of the sector -- making it look like...

  • Six takeaways from Jack Ma and his speech to African tech entrepreneurs

    Last week, Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma spoke at what is arguably one of the most important tech events to have taken place so far this year on the continent. In his speech on Wednesday in Johannesburg, Ma challenged African entrepreneurs to look at problems as opportunities, called on governments to create tax policies that are favourable for startups and entrepreneurs and announced plans for his $10-million African Netpreneur Prize initiative. In case you missed his speech (which can still be streamed online), here's what stood out: 1.When everything is ready, it's too late One of the main highlights of Ma's speech was the recurring theme on...

  • Tertiary education one of founding blocks of entrepreneurship – MEST head [Q&A]

    Tertiary education is one of the founding blocks for entrepreneurship. So, believes Victoria Jackson (pictured above), senior community manager at MEST Africa. "Access to the support and knowledge transfer of tech ecosystems and innovations must be available to all," said Jackson, speaking to Ventureburn ahead of the MEST Africa Summit which takes place between Monday and Wednesday next week (18 and 20 June) in Cape Town. Now in its tenth year, the organisation -- which offers a seed fund, incubator and graduate-level training programme  -- has trained over 250 graduates with a further 60 set to graduate its fully-funded year-long training programme in...

  • African universities not connected to ecosystem as they should be [Q&A]

    Earlier this month 90 innovation hubs from across the continent endorsed the African Innovation Policy Manifesto in Kigali, Rwanda. The declaration covered seven key areas including education. The manifesto called on African governments to recognise that education is "the most critical factor to accelerating innovation, digital and socio-economic transformation". The document further recommends that governments, as part of a three-pronged approach to stimulating research and development R&D and innovation across the continent, invest in R&D, and redesigning curriculum. Read more: 90 innovation hubs endorse the African Innovation Policy Manifesto But, what role should academic institutions play in Africa's digital innovation revolution? The following Q&A is...

  • Don’t assume every market in Africa is the same cautions Zoona co-founder

    Entrepreneurs looking to grow their business in Africa should not assume that the market in every country on the continent is the same. So, says Brett Magrath, the co-founder and chief product officer of domestic money transfer service Zoona. "Everyone will tell you that no market in Africa is the same, and as entrepreneurs we don’t always listen to what everyone says, and you think you can kind of take on the world," said Magrath (pictured above), while speaking at a MEST Entrepreneur Soapbox Session last week (18 May) at the MEST Incubator, In response to a question that the incubator's community manager Victoria Jackson...

  • GEM looking into questionable data says director

    Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) executive director Mike Herrington says he and his team are looking into the accuracy of various data in its annual global report. This, after the GEM team discovered that several of the 54 countries surveyed in the year's report - released in January - had seen significant changes in the rate of entrepreneurship for adults that the report tracks. In Malaysia the total early stage entrepreneurial activity (TEA) rate rose by a massive 16.9% from 2016 to 2017 – from 4.7% to 21.6%. The rate measures the number of adults between 18 and 64 involved in starting or...

  • Craig Wing’s six tips on launching new projects, dealing with setbacks

    Having founded two startups -- including a visual aid company Focal Point Engineering and cleantech firm Cleantech U -- and led several enterprise projects, serial entrepreneur Craig Wing is no stranger to setbacks. Wing's most recent project, Hackr House -- a Johannesburg "live-in" tech entrepreneur development programme failed to take off in February as scheduled -- and the founder is back at the drawing board, working on the project's next steps. Read more: Why Joburg’s HackR House stands empty a month after intended launch These are moments founders dread -- and perhaps define how good an entrepreneur you are -- when your startup...

  • Funding your startup: Ventureburn lists the SA investors delivering [2018 update]

    For entrepreneurs wanting to find early-stage funding, this is the article for you. As there is generally a veil of secrecy surrounding funding and startups, there is often smoke and mirrors in the industry, with many claiming to be "investors".  Ventureburn has sifted through the South African landscape and brought you the investors that are putting the money where their mouths are, and investing in the startup industry. Make sure to keep checking back on this article. We will constantly be updating it with new funds as the startup space grows in South Africa. Also, with your comments and suggestions we hope...

  • Angel investor Patrick de Zeeuw on picking investors and keeping them happy

    Things are going great and some investors have expressed interest in your startup. But how do you as a founder know if an investor is the perfect fit for your business? The first thing to do is to carry out a due diligence exercise on any prospective investor, says Startupbootcamp co-founder, serial entrepreneur and angel investor Patrick de Zeeuw. Ventureburn caught up with De Zeeuw -- the former CEO of Dutch media giant Endemol -- at the Startupbootcamp Cape Town demo day which was held last week at on Thursday (30 November) in the city. He's founded online media and gaming company 3Circles Media and...

  • Alan Knott-Craig Junior’s book – Seven attributes of a hero [Extract]

    Entrepreneurs are society's new heroes. In this third extract from his new book, tech entrepreneur Alan Knott-Craig Junior unpacks some of the attributes that make an entrepreneurs a hero. With permission from Knott-Craig — the founder of Project Isizwe and former Mxit head — Ventureburn is serialising parts of the entrepreneur’s new self-published book 13 Rules for Being an Entrepreneur which is now available via his website http://bigalmanack.com. Ventureburn is also giving away five copies of the new book. See below for details. Here’s the third extract — taken from the third chapter titled “Seven attributes of a hero”. See the first extract here and the second one here. 1. Be Hungry Are...

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