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News

  • Nigerian VC fund 440 announces Deal Weekend Lagos

    This August, Nigeria-focused venture capital fund 440 will host a 24-hour event called Deal Weekend Lagos where startups will compete to receive equity investment of between US$100 000 and US$250 000. The event has so far confirmed the following investors: Kresten Buch of 88mph, Chika Nwobi of L5Lab, Elo Umeh of Twinpine Mobile and Bastian Gotter of iRoko. Buch, who's also the co-Founder of 440, explains that the initiative generally looks to support small teams that lack experience and the network necessary to quickly grow their businesses. He adds: "The selected startups will be at the frontier of the evolving mobile/web industry...

  • Barclays Africa launches accelerator for health and fintech startups

    Barclays Africa today announced the launch of its Tech Lab Africa accelerator programme aimed a startups in the health and fintech spaces. The programme, which will bring in a crop of 10 startups, is just the latest example of a big financial institution trying to ramp up its efforts in the entrepreneurial space. “In order to compete, Barclays Africa needs to connect, shape and scale with these new industry players. We are looking for big, fresh ideas that promise to shake things up - be this in the financial services industry, the health sector, or anywhere else,”...

  • My Business Expo gears up for small business showcase in Port Elizabeth

    Small business is big business, according South Africa's National Small Business Chamber (NSBC). Committed to supporting SMEs across the country, it's inviting business to showcase and learn about the evolving industry in Port Elizabeth on 13 August at My Business Expo. Aiming to be the largest of its kind in world, the seventh extravaganza of its kind hopes to see thousands of entrepreneurs, small businesses and industry-related players from all over the Eastern Cape. My Business Expo also incorporates Business Start-up Expo, Access to Finance Indaba and My Business Seminars. "There are a host of learning opportunities to be had at the...

  • Endeavour South Africa accelerator celebrates success rate at JSE

    The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), in association with Endeavor South Africa, recently showcased the success rate of its early-stage, black-owned businesses -- some of which have doubled their number of employees over two years. Endeavor is an initiative which supports over 1 000 High-Impact Entrepreneurs from nearly 700 companies across the 23 markets where it operates. Over the last 10 years, it has identified and supported more than 60 high-growth entrepreneurs. It's also developed the Excelerator programme, which works with black-owned businesses. Selected founders for the Endeavor Excelerator Programme in 2012 gained access to a business road map, an advisory board,...

  • SME Empowerment Challenge to support African innovations with up to $70k

    International heavy-weights Ford Foundation, World Economic Forum and the Hague Institute for the internationalisation of Law (HIIL) are collaborating to provide a lucky few innovative startups and SMEs in East and West Africa up to US$70 000 in seed funding. Based in the Netherlands, HIIL is a advisory and research institute for the justice sector with a mission to connecting bottom-up justice innovations with support and funding internationally. The Innovating Justice Challenge is in support of a variety of initiatives around the world including Kenya's Ushahidi; Access to justice for women in Kenyan property disputes; Legal aid for LGTBI community in...

  • uAfrica’s ecommerce awards celebrates 10th year anniversary

    South Africa's largest ecommerce competition, The South African eCommerce Awards, is celebrating its 10-year anniversary. Founder of the event, uAfrica (previously known as Jump Shopping) thinks this will be its biggest year yet. The awards were designed to recognise ecommerce stores that capture the public eye, give the best service, and have the best website, among a couple of other things. According to uAfrica, the event has seen year on growth with the addition of more and more entries each year. The South African eCommerce awards were introduced as part of uAfrica's South African eCommerce Conference in 2013. Andy Higgins, Managing Director...

  • Triggerfish officially launches search for Africa’s next big storyteller

    South African animation studio Tiggerfish, together with Disney and the Department of Trade and Industry, today announced the launch of Story Lab, a programme that aims to unearth South Africa's next big animated hit. Now 20 years old, Triggerfish is responsible for two of South Africa's biggest ever animated feature hits in the shape of Adventures in Zambezia and Khumba. The Cape Town-based studio is now looking to put out a feature film a year and Story Lab is a part of that strategy. The initiative, which is open to anyone who is 21 years and older and a...

  • Hong Kong VC firm Nest expands to Nairobi to support continent’s talents

    Hong Kong VC and incubation firm Nest has recently announced its expansion into Africa, connecting local talent with Asian investors abroad. Founded by Simon Squibb in 2010, Nest is described as Hong Kong’s only private, full service startup ecosystem. The firm has also partnered with major Asian banks such as DBS Bank as well as insurance provider AIA Group Limited. Located at Kenya’s popular co-working space, Nairobi Garage, Nest Nairobi is headed up by managing partner Aaron Fu who previously worked as regional digital strategy lead for Africa at Standard Chartered Bank. Fu says in a recent press release that the office...

  • Organic online shop Faithful to Nature bags R10m from Silvertree Capital

    Are you a fan of organic products? Well, finding them at the right price at the right time might soon just become a tad easier for South Africans. South African online shop Faithful to Nature, which specialises in organic products, has completed a round of funding from Silvertree Capital valued at over R10-million. The deal, which was facilitated by global boutique investment advisory firm U-Start, includes financial investment to grow marketing spend and expand operations beyond consumer-focused online sales. In addition, Silvertree and other companies within the Silvertree portfolio will support Faithful to Nature on topics including online marketing, IT systems, logistics...

  • BizSpark’s Dream Big campaign sets out to inspire startup culture in SA

    The South African government’s National Development Plan outlines that 90% of new jobs will be created through entrepreneurship and the expansion of companies by 2030. Microsoft trying to help drive this vision. Supporting small business with access to tools and mentorship, Microsoft BizSpark SA programme has around 1 665 SMEs under its wing. Of those, six companies have been chosen to become part of the Big Dream programme, which hopes to inspire a culture of entrepreneurship among the country's youth. "The Dream Big campaign is really there to highlight entrepreneurial success stories from all different backgrounds," explains Alex Fraser, one of...