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Entrepreneurship

  • Q&A with Hannah Clifford, general manager of Nairobi Garage

    The Nairobi Garage is one of Africa's largest co-working spaces. Since its launch this time last year, the company has hosted a range of events and partnered with Hong Kong VC, Nest among other happenings. Ventureburn recently had a chance to talk to the general manager of Nairobi Garage, Hannah Clifford. We picked her brain on co-working spaces and the need to join them, as well as the role they play in the startup community. Ventureburn: What bare basic services should a co-working space offer? Hannah Clifford: Internet first and foremost. Security is important. Meeting rooms and areas to hang out - the point of...

  • AlphaCode attracts over 1000 members

    Fintech accelerator AlphaCode has reached over 1000 members in a single year. The Rand Merchant Investment (RMI) initiative has seen eight member-to-member deals and invested R9-million into 11 various black-owned businesses through their partnership with Bank of America Merrill Lynch. AlphaCode has also invested in Merchant Capital, which provides alternative working capital for SMEs in SA. "The Rand Merchant Group has a history of partnering extraordinary entrepreneurs who have built disruptive, successful businesses such as RMB, Discovery and OUTsurance," said senior investment executive at RMI, Dominique Collett. Companies that joined AlphaCode cover various sectors of industry. These range from lending, payments and financial literacy to blockchain...

  • 6 lessons startups can learn from the corporate world

    Many books and articles have been written on what corporates can learn from startups — how to build an agile culture, foster creativity in the team, and ship products quickly. However, the opposite is also true in many cases. There are areas that a startup can learn from a well run corporate. Implementing these lessons early on will help a startup immensely along its journey to be a large well-managed company. When I moved from a corporate life to the world of startups, what took me by surprise was the similarities between the two regardless of some fundamental differences. In the...

  • From garages to high rises: what to consider when moving into your first office

    While a startup can survive in a basement or garage for a few months, there eventually comes a time when you'll need to move into your first real office. When this time comes, will you know what you're doing? Moving into your first office isn't as simple as finding a building you like and leasing it out. There's a lot that goes into a real estate transaction – whether you're purchasing or renting – and you need to be prepared to deal with all of the issues. Specifically, you'll want to think about the following: 1. Location From a very practical perspective,...

  • Are Africa’s innovation hubs helping innovators realise their full potential?

    Much has changed in Africa since 2014 when oil-rich nations began to see their incomes slide and the global recovery began to falter. During these years of change, African governments redoubled their focus on economic diversity and innovation, which we know go hand-in-hand. Yet in the context of a region that continues to suffer from high levels of poverty, disparate infrastructure and young capital markets, Africa's entrepreneurs continue to face an uphill struggle. Africa needs to accelerate enterprise – it is a region that is set to become the youngest population on the planet, hungry for economic success; stymied...

  • Entrepreneurs: recruitment advice for startups

    Hiring skills for a young and inevitably small company is tough. In fact, many businesspeople say that when you hire your first employee, it is the start of a new era in your company. A lot rides on the first few hires being the sort of people that have both the ability and the mindset to take your business to the next level. The process of finding the right talent is a job in itself, and the consequences can be critical to the success of your business. So I'll focus on ways to minimise recruitment headaches, with the question: how...

  • 7 reasons why everyday communication with your team is important

    The modern office environment has changed a lot in recent years. The employees themselves are different than they were ten years ago. This means that all of the important things such as company culture, policies, values, norms, rules, operation methods etc. are also different. As a result of these changes, and many others, the importance of flawless communication within a business organisation has grown quite a lot. Especially today, when employees need to communicate both in person and via technology. It doesn’t matter if a company uses a simple project management tool. If employees don’t communicate well using it, its...

  • Ventureburn editor chats to fintech experts in fireside chat

    Ventureburn recently sat down with members of 22Seven, Yoco, and the Bitcoin Foundation at the Spin Street House Seedspace Fireside Chat, in partnership with PayFast. The talk, moderated by Ventureburn editor Graham van der Made, covered a variety of fintech topics, a third of many themed fireside chats for the Spin Street House co-working space. The panel consisted of the product manager at 22Seven, Sam Beckbessinger; co-founder of Yoco, Katlego Maphai; and executive director of the Bitcoin Foundation, Llew Claasen. Maphai also spoke about the word 'fintech' itself, which has arguably become a catch-all term. What is fintech exactly? "When we started this venture (Yoco) the word didn't...

  • 7 books that all entrepreneurs must read without delay

    If you look at some of the leading entrepreneurs, you will find that they didn’t make a fortune out of thin air. They have different success stories, which can be attributed to the fact that they took the road less travelled and followed smart approaches to reach where they are today. As an entrepreneur or a founder, I am sure that you can relate to their success stories and want to make it big just like them. For this, all you need to do is step into their shoes and know the secrets to their success by reading the following...

  • 5 reasons to build your personal brand before your business

    Most entrepreneurs understand the power of personal branding, but some see it as a peripheral or secondary development in relation to the actual business they’re building. On the surface, this makes sense, because personal branding supports a company, and the business is what generates the revenue. So it’s natural to want to prioritise the company over everything else. If you’re building a firm from scratch, however, it’s worth considering the option of investing in a personal brand before you start to creating the actual business operation. Thousands of entrepreneurs have already done this, resulting in multi-million dollar enterprises. Why would it...