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News

  • Sweep South concludes Series-A round with Black Coffee for ‘seven-figure’ sum

    One of SA's biggest music icons DJ Black Coffee has invested in domestic hiring platform SweepSouth during its Series-A funding round. "We connected with him (Black Coffee) through one of our investors and he liked the business model, he liked the growth of the company, he liked what we were trying to accomplish in empowering women and empowering domestic (workers)," said Aisha Pandor in an interview with Ventureburn." The Series-A round was led by international retail solutions company Smollan and also include Draper Darker Flow, Identity Development Fund Managers and CRE venture capital. The startup will use current investments to grow throughout SA, continent While Pandor...

  • SA startups get ready: Seedstars World applications to open later this month

    Applications to global competition for emerging markets Seedstars World will open to SA startups again when the initiative returns to South Africa later this month. Seedstars World will hold events in Johannesburg on 26 May and in Cape Town on 8 June, with the top applicants to be invited to the finale hosted at the Standard Bank Auditorium in Johannesburg on 29 June. The SA leg of Seedstars World is being held in partnership with Standard Bank and other local partners such as Enel, Microsoft4Afrika, Orange, Merck, TRECC and Deloitte. Other local partners include Entrepreneur Traction, PayU, Seedspace, Simodisa and Startup Grind. To be eligible to apply for the...

  • GSMA announces top startups in Ecosystem Accelerator Innovation Fund

    Digital disruption has proven to be a challenge that mobile operators seem to be struggling with, according to a recent GSMA report. This disruption, caused by many startups, could be leveraged by those same startups to scale. It's this mindset that the global cellular standards body, GSMA, has launched the Ecosystem Accelerator Innovation Fund to help startups take advantage of the current disruption. "Nevertheless, these mobile operators face a plethora of challenges. Sustainable competitive advantage in the telecommunications sector is becoming increasingly difficult to achieve. Likewise, while startups are vital forces in both the innovation ecosystem and the wider economy, the majority...

  • Women have more advantage over men, says top SA female entrepreneur

    Women in South Africa have more of an advantage over men when it comes to starting a business because of the large number of business support programmes available to them, says a top SA female entrepreneur. Finfind CEO Darlene Menzies has been selected along with five other women by the World Economic Forum (WEF) as the continent's top female entrepreneurs. "I think that we have a bit more of an advantage over men in this country in terms of starting a business from all the different accelerators and programmes," Menzies, whose web platform helps small businesses to source finance, told Ventureburn. Read more: Finfind initiative...

  • Desert Startup Bootcamp launched in Tshwane

    Youth-run educational organisation Speak Afrika, along with the Charities Aid Foundation Southern Africa (CASA) and the US Embassy in Pretoria, have launched the Desert Startup Bootcamp in Tshwane this week. The Desert Startup Bootcamp was co-founded by Mandela Washington Fellows Mhlanganisi Madlongolwana and Sam Beckbessinger. "This is particularly close to my heart as I come from these communities where access to markets and mentors is a big challenge for startups," said Madlongolwana in a statement. The bootcamp will select 55 aspiring entrepreneurs from 180 applicants from Tshwane and will put them through a three-month "experiential learning programme". The Desert Startup Bootcamp aims to 'create a vibrant culture of...

  • SAB’s Social Innovation and Disability Empowerment Awards now open

    The South African Breweries (SAB) Foundation is calling on social entrepreneurs who are involved in assisting disadvantaged South Africans, to apply for its Social Innovation and Disability Empowerment Awards. The awards are split into two categories: Social Innovation Awards -- Aimed at social entrepreneurs, institutions as well as social enterprises that already have prototypes or an early-stage business tackling social issues Disability Empowerment Awards -- Seeks to award entrepreneurs and enterprises which have developed innovative solutions which improve access to the economy for disabled people. The application process opens early next month and can be completed by visiting the SAB Foundation website. "We define social innovation...

  • Union Bank, CcHub launches the Centenary Innovation Challenge

    The Union Bank of Nigeria has partnered with the Co-Creation Hub (CcHub) to launch the Centenary Innovation Challenge with entries closing 19 May. It comes as the Union Bank celebrates its 100th anniversary with the theme "Celebrate, Impact and Lead". The bank aims to find innovative startups and offer them support to address the country's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The challenge is open to university students, software developers, entrepreneurs and academics from Nigeria. The Union Bank CEO Emeka Emuwa recently addressed the partnership at a press conference held last week. In his address Emuwa said the bank is committed to being at the leading edge of innovation,...

  • Africa regional conference to spotlight future financing solutions

    Over 500 financial representatives from more than 45 countries will next month come together for three days to tackle various issues affecting African businesses when secure financial messaging service Swift hosts its African Regional Conference (Arc) in Abidjan in the Ivory Coast on 16-18 May. The conference will take on the theme of "Financing for the future" and will also look at how African countries can diversify their economies to promote more sustainable growth. "Holding the Swift African Regional Conference in Côte D’Ivoire (the Ivory Coast) illustrates the strength and stability of the country’s economic and business environments and the dynamic role it is playing in Africa’s development," said the...

  • South Africa’s FSB to rule on crowdfunding by June 30

    South Africa's Financial Services Board (FSB) has set a date of 30 June by which it plans to rule on whether to craft specific rules or not for equity crowdfunding, an FSB spokesman said this week. This follows the completion of a research report by the FSB on crowdfunding. FSB internal communications coordinator Thandolwethu Masango told Ventureburn however that the report on the FSB’s research would not be made public. “The research was meant to assist the FSB to get insight into how other jurisdictions are supervising crowdfunding activities and which piece of legislation would be applicable in governing the said activities in...

  • Exclusive: ‘Government won’t match private sector in R1.5bn SME fund’

    The SA government has no immediate plans to match the R1.5-billion that 48 large companies have committed to the SA SME Fund, National Treasury Director-General Lungisa Fuzile told Ventureburn today. Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa pledged during the launch of the fund in May last year that the government would match any contribution made by the private sector. However Fuzile, who sits on the fund's board, said the government will instead look to improve coordination between the state and private sector, while stepping up its existing funding and business support to small businesses. "It is not clear from a fiscal point of view...