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  • OPIC to finance Unreasonable Capital with US$5-million

    The US government's Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) has announced their  support of Unreasonable Capital, to the tune of US$5-million. Unreasonable is a venture capital firm which invests in emerging startups across Africa, Asia and Latin America. Their main focus is assisting startups which address social and environmental issues while still showing promise of being profitable and scaleable. OPIC's president and CEO, Elizabeth Littlefield commented on the investment in a press release. "OPIC is delighted to support Unreasonable Capital as the fund invests across several regions and in a variety of sectors, from energy access to financial technology, that will have a positive development...

  • 2017 applications now open for Street Business School

    The Street Business School, a Johannesburg-based institution for entrepreneurs, is taking applications for 2017. Ten students are selected for the programme per annum. Their studies will be fully funded and they'll have an existing business to "take and break" over the period of three years. According to a press release sent to Ventureburn, the school "offers practical opportunities to aspiring entrepreneurs by giving selected candidates the chance to build startups and gain commercial business experience in a real-world setting". "We have launched Street Business School, the first-ever school for entrepreneurs, with the aim of creating more opportunities for young South Africans. We...

  • RainFin adds new R100m Business-to-Retail loans to its product offering

    Fintech startup, RainFin has added crowdfunding and lending options to its platform in the form of Business-to-Retail loans. Amounts of up to R10-million will be handled through the service. This new offering will allow companies of varying sizes to borrow from a range of sectors, such as the retail market, asset managers, institutional lenders, and even their existing customer and supplier bases. "The Business-to-Retail product leverages RainFin's technology to significantly reduce the cost burden associated with traditional loan origination, which in effect enables alternative capital providers and individuals to price loans based on the true economic cost of lending," says the chief commercial officer...

  • Swedish startup accelerator programme is looking for global applicants

    Swedish-based Fast Track Malmö is looking for startups from around the world to participate in its startup accelerator. It will be based in Malmö, Sweden and will be held at the Minc startup hub. Interested startups will need to have a product that is scalable globally and use tech in some way. Those who are accepted will receive between R450 000 to R750 000 to run the startup and free office space with access to around 300 people and 40 companies. The startups will also have access to mentors, investors, angels, and a global network of resources. Fast Track Malmö is a joint project by Minc, ALMI...

  • Blue Label Telecoms announces new SME accelerator programme

    Telecoms company Blue Label Telecoms and Blue Pencil Management (Blue Pencil) have launched a business accelerator programme. The programme will grant SMEs access to necessary funding, networks, market opportunities and skills to help them become commercially successful. Blue Pencil helps small to medium-sized enterprises channel development, as well as investment and acceleration services. This, in conjunction with Blue Label's access to funding and infrastructure, will help boost participating businesses' growth. "Many small businesses struggle to take off and thrive after the incubation phase – by increasing their chances of success and through the right interventions we can help them to have a positive...

  • Jungle Ventures raises $100m fund for Southeast Asia and beyond

    Singapore-based venture capital firm Jungle Ventures announced today it has completed fundraising for its second fund, achieving its target of US$100 million. That’s ten times larger than Jungle’s previous US$10 million fund, which closed in 2012. It had raised around US$65 million in September 2015. Jungle Ventures founding partner Amit Anand tells Tech in Asia part of the new fund has already been deployed, in investments like Thailand’s Pomelo, Singapore’s Tradegecko, and Indonesia’s FinAccel. The VC doesn’t reveal the total amount that has been invested from the new fund so far. New investors include Temasek Holdings, Singapore’s National Research Foundation, and European media...

  • Startup Genome calls for global startup survey respondents

    Global startup exposure company Startup Genome, is looking for entrepreneurs to complete its 2016 Global Startup Ecosystem survey. According to Startup Genome, they "assess each and every response and team up with governments, investors, and other partners to drive positive change in your city". All of the answers will be compiled and released in 2017. The company has also stated that those who complete the survey will "get access to rewards such as free and discounted services from Zendesk, Foundersuite, Olark, Amazon AWS and others". SA startup industry initiative, SiMODiSA is a partner of Startup Genome. The survey can be completed here. Feature image: Kevin Gill via Flickr.

  • TenaCiTi, Dutch Consulate in startup training drive

    The TenaCiTi "people + potential programme", in partnership with the Dutch Consulate, provides growing businesses and their employees with adequate training to get them workplace ready. "The TenaCiTi programme is essentially trying to meet the needs of people development that are essential to small businesses and helping small businesses essentially to grow and flourish," said TenaCiTi's internship programme manager, Alexis Pillay, at a TenaCiTi event this week. "Often small businesses are able to get funding for their organisation. They're also able to get a lot of support when it comes to their ideas development but very often there is not a lot of...

  • SAB crowns its KickStart Boost 2016 entrepreneur winners

    SAB (South African Breweries) has crowned the three winners of its KickStart Boost 2016 youth entrepreneurial programme. Inga Vanqa (33) (pictured top right) was awarded top honours for his business, Inga Vanqa Quantity Surveying and Project Management, and was awarded a R500 000 grant for further investment. The company offers green building consulting and construction project management, being based in Queenstown, Eastern Cape. Second place went to Pravashen Naidoo (33) who was awarded R400 000 for further investment. His company, e-Waste Africa, is based in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu Natal and specialises in the disposal of lamps and bulbs in an eco-friendly way. During the programme, e-Waste...

  • Our Q&A with Stellenbosch Digital co-founder Stephen van der Heijden

    Stellenbosch Digital is an organisation based north of Cape Town, which aims to connect Stellenbosch's digital community. It holds monthly events, which feature prominent speaks talking candidly about their experiences in business. Ventureburn recently had a chance to catch up with Stephen van der Heijden (pictured above right), co-founder of Stellenbosch Digital, to ask him about the organisation, the local community, and its plans for expansion. Ventureburn: How did the idea for Stellenbosch Digital come about? Stephen van der Heijden: Renier (the co-founder) and I both studied at Stellenbosch University and ended up working in Technopark together. We noted how much opportunity for...