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News

  • 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...

  • SA startup get\Worth to disrupt online car market

    A Cape Town startup is looking to change the way customers buy and sell cars on the internet, by using machine learning and what it says is a unique payment model. The startup launched its platform last month after trading for six months to gain proof of concept. Get\Worth co-founder Mark Ridgway – a former CEO of TransUnion Receivables – says the company was able to conclude about R20-million in deals through the platform in March. The startup's model is different from other online car dealers such as CarZAR.co.za and WeBuyCars.co.za. 'We think this is almost first world. No one is providing a...

  • Close to fifth of Joburg, Cape Town startup founders are immigrants

    Almost one in five startup founders in Cape Town and Johannesburg are immigrants, reveals a new report. The 2017 Global Startup Ecosystem report, released by StartUp Genome last month, reveals that 18% of founders in Cape Town and 17% in Johannesburg are immigrants – slightly under the average of 19% for the 56 cities measured by the report. In comparison, just four percent of founders in Lagos, Nigeria are immigrants -- significantly below the 46% that are immigrant founders in Silicon Valley. Of the emerging market cities measured, Shanghai tops the list with 36% of startups founded by foreigners. Other notable cities...

  • SA procurement rule change will be a boost for startups

    Startups that do work for the government are in for a major boon with a new procurement rules coming into effect this week that will see 30% of state procurement directed to small enterprises, says Silicon Cape director Alexandra Fraser. Fraser says the revised Preferential Procurement Regulations, which were gazetted in January and came into effect on 1 April, would provide a "stepping stone" for small firms and startups that wish to do work for government. They make provision for government departments, municipalities and state agencies to ensure that those bidding for contracts of R30-million or more subcontract at least 30% of the value of...

  • ‘Shortage of VC funding, not of black entrepreneurs’

    The US has no shortage of black entrepreneurs. The shortage rather is one of funding for black entrepreneurs, says Monique Woodard of 500 Startups. Woodard, speaking at Startup Grind Cape Town last week Friday as part of a fireside chat, made the statement in response to a question from an audience member who asked why there was a shortage of black entrepreneurs. "So, I don't think there's... comparatively, in the space... there's not a huge shortage of black entrepreneurs. There's a shortage of black entrepreneurs getting VC funding," Woodard told the audience. The 500 Startups representative and Black Founders co-founder expanded on the topic. Monique Woodard of 500 Startups says...

  • Geeks on a Plane: A night out in Cape Town

    Wesgro in partnership with Silicon Cape hosted The Geeks on a Plane dinner in Cape Town last night in honour of the participants of the initiative. The planned speakers for the evening consisted of the CEO of Wesgro, Tim Harris; director of Silicon Cape, Alexandra Fraser; MD of 4di Justin Stanford; CFO of Zoona, Keith Davis and investors Monica Brand Engel and Doug Galen. In Harris' opening remarks, he touched on the significance of what Geeks on a Plane is trying to achieve. "What you’ve done as geeks on a plane, is gone to see for yourself," referring to the misconceptions people usually...

  • Creditinfo Group, Alternative Circle join forces for financial inclusion

    Credit information and risk management solution Creditinfo, has signed a USD$1.1-million agreement with Nairobi-based mobile financial solution Alternative Circle, to facilitate financial inclusion within Africa. Creditinfo's seed capital and expertise in both classic and alternative credit risk management will allow Alternative Circle to access data that it otherwise couldn't. "Seeing the turn that the credit risk management industry has been taking during the past few years, we are being proactive in finding alternative ways to create data which can be added to the 'classic' historical data on consumers held via our credit bureaus all over the world," said the founder and CEO of Credit...