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Entrepreneurship

  • 3 key strategies for starting your own online business

    Ever wanted to start a business, but are simply not sure where to start to minimise risk or expand your network? If a lack of access to capital was the biggest challenge for entrepreneurs until now, history is being kind. With the lowest barriers to entry in the global online market, the time to launch an idea for profit on the net is ripe. Here are three considerations for launching an online business. Each is with a view to minimise risk, maximise your network and begin asking the right questions to determine your strategy. Invest minimally if...

  • 12 emerging market startups to watch

    Emerging market startups are coming into their own and increasingly appearing on the radar of mainstream venture capitalists in established markets. Skype recently announced its interest in investing in Chinese startups. The VoIP service is not the only player seeking a slice of the emerging markets pie - the list of startups grows everyday. Here are 12 of the many companies staking their claim in up and coming emerging markets: DianDian, China DianDian which means "bit by bit" was founded by Chinese business man Jack Xu. Prior to starting this venture, he was managing RenRen and Kaixin, two Chinese Facebook clones,...

  • How to do market and competitor research that wins investment

    Regardless of whether it’s an angel investor or venture capitalist you are approaching, every funder will narrow things down to one major question: “Who is your target market and who are you competing against?” This is the warning of Alex Fraser, who drives home the fact that preparing a market and competitor analysis is a vital part of any business plan or pitch deck. Fraser is based at at InvenFin, an early stage capital company. She says she often receives business plans with no competitor analysis, leading her to request one from entrepreneurs with the need for more information. It’s...

  • An international perspective on SA startups [NetProphet]

    Angel investing came accidentally to UK-based Permjot Valia. As the sales and marketing director of Ernst & Young, he became involved in their entrepreneur programme, which in turn led to his new career of investing in startups. By his own admission, Valia’s success rate is a statistical anomaly: while an average of only 3% of investors successfully exit a startup via an IPO, the first company he invested in went public within just seven months. Visiting Cape Town this week to work with local entrepreneurs, Valia shared his experiences, garnered over the course of his 25 or so investments,...

  • 38 emerging South African tech entrepreneurs to watch [Part I]

    The technology space is particularly notable for the amount of entrepreneurial activity it attracts. The word "startup" has become almost synonymous with the tech and online space and there are thousands of entrepreneurs that run small and large companies that are carving out niches for themselves. The high amount of entrepreneurial activity in the tech sector may be explained by the fact that the costs of starting an online business are low. You don't need a factory or heavy-lifting equipment to start an online business, and the people found in the sector are highly skilled. Also, we all know about the...

  • Coming soon: A homegrown tech entrepreneurship guide

    All rising economies need a helping hand to achieve greatness. Economies that wish to thrive in today's fast-paced world of changing commerce and enterprising initiative need enterprising people. Entrepreneurship is a crucial part of any society on the rise, especially where technological infrastructure is lacking. The Entrepreneurship Guide website will go live on 12 May, in conjunction with the project launch at the Net Prophet conference in Cape Town. The South African entrepreneurial landscape is fast becoming a busy one. A sizeable number of South African entrepreneurs have graced the international stage with their ideas and flourishing success stories, though many...

  • Young Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and their unethical ways

    The film "The Social Network" has helped to make startups popular among young people the world over. It's just one factor inspiring new generations of entrepreneurs hoping to succeed through innovation and hard work. But are they learning ethical ways of doing business? The more we find out about Mark Zuckerberg and his behaviour during the early days of Facebook, the more he reveals a cavalier attitude to ethics. And other founders of successful startups also have shown questionable ethics. Take Mark Pincus, the CEO of Zynga, the social gaming company behind Farmville. His behaviour was documented by Mike Arrington in Techcrunch: Scamville:...

  • Reid Hoffman’s ten rules of entrepreneurship

    You may not have heard of Reid Hoffman, and if you were introduced to him you might be forgiven for underestimating him. With his scruffy jeans, his coke bottle glasses, and his excited giggle he may be mistaken for a common or garden nerd. But Hoffman is a key member of what is called - only partly in jest - the PayPal mafia. Hoffman was a founding board member at PayPal, and was...

  • 6 tips for startup success

    Rob Stokes is an entrepreneurial successes heading a multi-national agency, Quirk eMarketing. His company delivers marketing solutions for businesses and brands that seek to engage with connected audiences. Quirk has grown from a one man agency working out of Rob's home to an international business with headquarters in Cape Town, Johannesburg and London. In just under a decade there are now over 80 "quirkstars" across the 3 offices, with the main production...

  • Village Telco: Addressing the issue of rural connectivity

    In the words of African telecommunications expert Steve Song, Village Telco is "an easy-to-use, scalable, standards-based, wireless, local, do-it-yourself, telephone company toolkit". He’s just put out a new video making it very clear just how useful this system is. The team over at Blinktower has done an exceptional job of creating a short, concise and eminently understandable video of what Village Telco is. The Village Often, we get caught up in our high tech wizardry and get overly excited about the newest Android app or the best new web app built in African Megalopolis #5. And by “we”, I mean “I”, since...

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