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Entrepreneurship

  • 7 key lessons I’ve learnt about raising capital from VCs [Part 1]

    The following is an adapted version of a talk done by Clive Butkow from Grovest at the Gordon Institute of Business Science at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. Butkow boasts 28 years of management consulting experience at Accenture. Currently non-executive director of Grovest, he is also supporting and mentoring technology businesses, assisting them in driving growth. I want to share with you what I have experienced from sitting on both sides of the table on how you increase your chances of raising capital for your business. One of the most frequent questions I get as a mentor to entrepreneurs...

  • 7 ways your startup can protect employees in the workspace

    No one used to think twice about heading into work. However, the reality of our world today is that anywhere can be dangerous, including the place where we spend most of our days. Recently, a gunman ran rampant at the Navy Shipyards. There were gunshots near the White House. These acts are horrible demonstrations of violence, and they are happening too frequently. Along with worrying about the mentally ill, your employees could also be harmed as a result of natural disasters or other similar situations. Many people, however, do not believe these types of situations will affect them. As the...

  • Entrepreneurship accelerator seeks to tackle youth unemployment in SA

    Following the launch of its pilot last year to tackle unemployment, South African accelerator New Ventures Studio is calling for new applications. Aimed at aspiring entrepreneurs between the ages of 16 and 35, the programme consists of an intensive eight-week entrepreneurship course. Participants will have the opportunity to secure a spot in the Studio Incubator said to be worth R150 000. In 2015, 19 participants ended up graduating from the programme while four will be selected to join the incubator. "It has been a productive and effective amount of learning, being a team player, allowing other candidates help structure my business," says 23-year-old...

  • How your startup can make a fresh start in 2016

    The start of a New Year is always a great time to re-evaluate your business plans and operations, and ask yourself if there’s anything you could do better. Here are a few ideas for getting a good start to 2016: 1. Set your goals for the year ahead During the first few days of the New Year, take a bit of time to think about your goals for the calendar year ahead. Focus especially on the aspects of your business that you neglect in the busyness of day-to-day survival. Do you want to target new customer segments? Fix up your ageing IT setup? Hire new...

  • 4 reasons startups should consider virtual offices

    In the virtual world of today, it is actually surprising that brick-and-mortar offices and stores still exist. With all of the modern technology that is available, it seems a real office could be ditched by just about every business, and choose a virtual office instead. Some business owners already have made the switch, while others are holding onto their real office or storefront for dear life. Like anything else, virtual offices do have downsides to them. However, given all of the benefit that they provide, you really should strongly consider whether the virtual office is something your business should switch...

  • Nigeria’s top 5 startup moments of 2015

    Barring last-minute announcements, it is safe to say the curtains have been drawn on the 2015 startup year in Nigeria. Like previous years, the startup ecosystem in Africa’s powerhouse continues to record year-on-year growth and 2015 was not an exception as new products and startups were launched in the outgoing year. There were also several developments in the startup space that got everybody talking for an unusually long duration. At the outset of 2015, many industry watchers were not sure how the industry would play out considering the fact that it was an election year in Nigeria and the result...

  • Ventureburn’s 2015 top 10 podcasts that you have to listen to

    One of the exciting things at Ventureburn in 2015 was visiting startups in their offices -- be they shared spaces, artsy dens or a cluttered mess. Apart from capturing images of these liars of innovation, we sat down with some of the most intriguing startup founders and spoke to them about their ventures and the industry they operate in. As you sit at home during these December holidays, contemplating quitting your job and starting a business, these podcasts can offer much needed personal stories from startups founders. 1. Special Podcast #1: Jacques Coetzee chats with Mark Forrester from WooThemes Earlier this year...

  • What you need to know about growing your marketplace

    If you’re a new startup, or contemplating starting out, odds are you are thinking of creating something as a “two-sided platform.” That is, a platform-based business where you connect service givers to customers -- think Practo or Redbus. Now, if you’re starting out, you’re probably thinking, but how do I overcome our daily challenges to get there? The question gets all the more relevant in India now, as 2016 is going to see some major cold feet from investors. That means no more easy money, and no more “if I’m a startup, someone will fund me” assurances. Only those with solid...

  • 4 tips startups need to keep in mind when raising first round funding

    Being a startup founder can be downright challenging. Whether it is developing a sound business plan, building a team, or acquiring customers, you will be dealing with a sheer number of hurdles. Moreover, if you’re not backed by an elite accelerator, getting your startup off the ground can be an uphill battle. Raising money for your company requires you to think strategically. Failure to take care of this aspect can lead you in the "valley of death" -- a term used in the startup circles representing the failure experienced in acquiring venture capital for a startup. In fact, according to Josh...

  • Invest in training your employees — 6 ways it will pay off for your business

    In a difficult economic climate, the training and education budget is often one of the first areas of the business to suffer cutbacks. After all, training can be expensive, takes people away from the work they’re paid to do and often delivers benefits that can be hard to quantify. But it’s worth remembering that every business with a payroll in excess of R500,000 pays a Skills Development Levy to the government for each employee and can claim back a portion of that amount in the form of training grants. Why leave that money on the table when you can use...