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News

  • 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...

  • Tony Elumelu Foundation selects 1000 African entrepreneurs for programme

    The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), has announced the selection of 1000 African entrepreneurs to join the third cohort of the foundation's USD$100-million TEF Entrepreneurship Programme. According to TEF, the programme saw over 93 000 entrepreneurs from over 55 countries applying, which was double the amount of applicants in 2016 and four times the amount of applicants in 2015. The selected entrepreneurs will be trained and mentored over the next nine months to develop a solid business plan. Following their training, the cohort will be eligible to receive seed capital of up to US$10 000. The TEF will aim to facilitate the development of...

  • Why did 22seven founder leave Old Mutual? [Exclusive]

    News broke earlier this week that 22seven would finally be absorbed into Old Mutual, following the app's acquisition in 2013. It was also confirmed that co-founders Christo Davel and Kenny Inngs would be leaving the business as a result. Now, Davel has explained the reason for his departure in an interview with Ventureburn. "It was just a differing of long-term strategies, mostly..." Davel explained in a telephonic interview, confirming that it was a mutual agreement. "Oh yes, it was a very amicable agreement between us and Old Mutual." Davel confirmed that 22seven was looking for buyers last year, elaborating on the process. 22seven co-founder Christo...

  • Old Mutual brings 22seven in-house, founders leave

    Old Mutual made headlines back in 2013 when it acquired personal finance app 22seven for an undisclosed sum. At the time of the deal, both companies said that 22seven would be absorbed into Old Mutual's plans to deliver digital support for customers. Now, the parent company has announced that it will be "bringing its wholly-owned 22seven operation closer to its in-house digital strategy without interrupting the current online offering to customers". However, the move will also see co-founders Christo Davel and Kenny Inggs departing the business. In a press release to Ventureburn, Raymond Berelowitz, Director of Customer Solutions at Old Mutual, elaborated on the news. "We are...

  • SA ranked as a top entrepreneurial nation [report]

    According to the newly issued Entrepreneurial Ecosystem of South Africa: A Strategy for Global Leadership Report, SA is one of the top countries in Africa for entrepreneurship. SA was ranked number two out of 30 countries in the sub-Saharan African region. It was also ranked 55 out of 137 countries surveyed globally, which was followed by Namibia, Gabon, and Ghana. The report was created by the Global Entrepreneurship and Development Institute (GEDI) and SEA Africa. It was commissioned by the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation and the South African Breweries (SAB) Foundation. According to the press release, the report was not only issued in...

  • CiTi, FinTech Circle to launch ‘FinTech Academy Africa’ in SA

    The FinTech Academy Africa, a joint initiative by FinTech Circle and Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi), is set to launch in SA on 24 and 25 April, in Johannesburg. The academy is geared toward CEOs and the like who have a limited amount of time on their hands, but who still would like a deeper understanding of best practices in fintech. The two-day curriculum has been designed to deliver a comprehensive understanding of important areas surrounding fintech in a short amount of time. CEO of CiTi, Ian Merrington commented on the joint effort in a press release to Ventureburn. "Board directors and...

  • Venture Capital continues to grow in SA

    Interest in SA venture capital (VC) has seen steady growth. This growth in interest could translate into expanding opportunities for investors as well as entrepreneurs, according to the CEO of the Southern African Venture Capital (SAVCA) and Private Equity Association, Tanya van Lill, who commented on the Global Entrepreneurship Congress. "South Africa's venture capital (VC) ecosystem is evolving, with more fund managers entering the industry and growing investor interest in the asset class. This increased activity is generating positive spinoffs for local, innovative entrepreneurs seeking funding," said van Lille in a press release to Ventureburn. SAVCA recently launched their VC Survey, tracking...