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Entrepreneurship

  • Game-changing lessons African startups can learn from Snapchat’s IPO

    On March 2, Snap Inc, the company that owns messaging app Snapchat, was officially listed on the US stock market for US$17 per share – a feat that was described as the biggest since Facebook went public. With the initial public offering (IPO), the company was valued at US$24-billion while founders Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy became multi-billionaires. Not many knew one tiny but crucial piece of information about the achievement: the company has yet to make profit. It also had an arguably bigger problem in that its young users are unhappy and are switching to other apps, such as...

  • Global Student Entrepreneur Awards to support young entrepreneurs

    The Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA), a global initiative of the Entrepreneurs Organisation (EO) is aiming to support young local entrepreneurs. "The GSEA awards allow us to identify and help nurture the aspiring entrepreneurs of tomorrow," said member of the EO, Ross Drake in a press release to Ventureburn. "South Africa is in need of entrepreneurial talent, people who can identify gaps and provide solutions thereby contributing to growing and improving our economy. "We are committed to helping entrepreneurs grow their businesses and believe the students who are just starting out need as much support as they can get," Drake continued. Recently the...

  • Insights from Private Equity in Southern Africa Conference

    The Southern African Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (SAVCA) recently held the annual Private Equity in Southern Africa Conference. The event was centred around "Fruitful Partnerships," which looks at private equity and venture capital managers partnering with businesses for growth. "Collaborations between private equity managers and institutional investors mobilise capital from international and local sources for productive deployment; the teamwork between private equity managers and investee companies builds better businesses, which in turn creates new employment opportunities and shapes healthier communities," says CEO of SAVCA, Erika van der Merwe, in a press release to Ventureburn. Investments by the numbers Apart from anything,...

  • 9 mobile apps for an organised entrepreneur

    With only 24 hours in a day and too much work to manage, multitasking is crucial for an entrepreneur. The growing technology and super-smart smartphones help you in staying organised and enhance productivity through great value apps. This is done through efficient mobile apps. Below are a few absolutely essential mobile apps that every startup entrepreneur must use to streamline the daily business activities and increase efficacy. 1. Evernote Compatibility - Android and iOS Price - Free Even though several similar apps are available in the market, Evernote is still indispensable. The app allows you to create digital notebooks, and helps in keeping track...

  • The failed startup: a narrow-minded view [opinion]

    Recently, I published an article about 17 South African startups to watch out for 2017. The piece included a range of well-known companies that achieved some pretty amazing things in 2016, such as Zoona, OfferZen, and Rainfin. Among those included was micro-jobbing platform M4JAM, which had to be sold last year. Apparently, this has caused some consternation among a few readers. I think it's time to add in my two cents to this topic. What spurred me on to write this opinion piece was the culmination of two tweets by the same author (and without mentioning names in order to avoid...

  • Why don’t more entrepreneurs have a disaster recovery plan?

    Your business depends on its IT infrastructure to exist, even if you’re in a more traditional industry. You’re relying on computers, mobile devices, spreadsheets, documents, and mass stores of data to keep your business running effectively. Have you thought about what might happen if everything was suddenly wiped out? What if a fire took out the majority of your physical storage devices? What if a cyber criminal was able to seize control of your servers and hold them hostage? A real threat As many as 50 percent of small businesses have been breached in some way within the last 12 months,...

  • The rise of the remote workforce: A South African perspective

    With the rise of broadband technology and a global move towards the pursuit of a healthy work/life balance, the number of employees working remotely has increased exponentially over the past couple of decades. Studies have conclusively shown that this more flexible approach to enterprise has had an enormously positive impact on employee engagement, enabling greater productivity and saving costs to both businesses and their workforce. Despite the evident success of this worldwide trend, South African enterprises have been rather slow in keeping pace, with relatively few organisations implementing structures conducive to working remotely. While it seems counterintuitive when considering international...

  • How entrepreneurs can think like venture capitalists

    As an entrepreneur involved with two highly successful full-stack technology businesses, I spent fifteen years curiously wondering how venture capitalists make decisions. When I wasn’t focused on delivering value to customers and employees, I focused on how I could demonstrate that value to VCs in order to raise capital. Often the process felt like it was shrouded in mystery—conjuring images of tribal gatherings, Shark Tank-like voting sessions and perhaps an Ouija board or two. Even after I secured capital with several of the best firms, I still felt like an element of luck was involved. Now that I find myself on...

  • What makes hubs successful?

    For the past two weeks, I have been based at Impact Hub Accra to assist the team with business development as well as conducting research as part of my master’s in African Studies at Leiden University. As similar hubs continue to emerge across the continent, I seek to investigate the role hubs and innovation centres play in facilitating the pathways of its members. To explore this I have chosen to use Impact Hub Accra as a unique case study. My research focuses on how this particular hub advocates the trajectories of entrepreneurs, notably ‘social’ entrepreneurs. I will spend the next...

  • Is your startup ready for flextime?

    If you're looking for ways to raise productivity and reduce overhead at your startup, you might have come across the term 'flextime'. This is a concept in which workers are offered the option of flexible hours and increased opportunities for telecommuting in an office setting. The employee is primarily in charge of setting his or her own hours, with management approval. Flextime is often used in corporate settings to raise productivity and employee morale. Firms and their staff have found it to be an efficient strategy, and many startups are encouraged to adopt the pattern. The policy is an appealing company...