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  • Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology is calling all SA tech entrepreneurs

    The Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) is looking for SA techies and entrepreneurs to join their next group of trainees. The programme aims to provide its trainees with hands-on software development training, an opportunity to start and grow their own business with access to global markets, as well as mentoring from executives from global software companies and the opportunity to solve real-world business problems. Thanks to the Meltwater Foundation, the next cohort of MEST trainees will also be eligible to receive seed funding of US$50 000 up to US$100 000. In addition to SA, recruitments will also be taking place in Ghana, Kenya, Cote d'Ivoire...

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    Faster and Free Connectivity as Tshwane WiFi upgrades to 15mbps and reaches unprecedented penetration

    The City of Tshwane has recently upgraded the maximum speeds on its Free WiFi network to 15mbps (megabit per second), Project Isizwe has confirmed. To date the average speed for users has been 7mbps. The network has grown to 633 sites over the past 18 months, resulting in economies of scale that can be passed to citizens in the form of faster WiFi speeds without any additional cost to the City. “The provision of free access to the internet promotes social inclusion, stimulates growth, and supports learning through the accessibility of digital education material,” said Tshwane Executive Mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa...

  • Fintech company Entersekt shows phenomenal growth

    Over the past twelve months, fintech company Entersekt has handled over one billion transactions, with 60-million of those coming from South Africa. The company handles mobile solution and authentication solutions, with offices in Africa, Europe, and North America. "Our growth is testament to Entersekt's solid operational and technical expertise, and it also reflects a growing recognition worldwide of the immense benefits of digital banking and secure online channels," says CEO of Entersekt, Schalk Nolte, in a press release to Ventureburn. Read more: 3 key startup lessons from Entersekt’s Dewald Nolte "The financial services sector is recognising the importance of providing seamless and secure online security...

  • d.light raises US$10.5-million in funding

    Solar energy enterprise, d.light has raised a combined US$10.5-million in funding from Norfund (US$5-million in equity) and Beyond the Grid and the Shell foundation (US$5.5-million in grant funding). "Norfund invests in profitable and sustainable enterprises that contribute to economic growth and poverty alleviation. Access to energy is a key input for development, and we believe energy mix for the foreseeable future also will include off-grid solutions, in particular for rural households and businesses," said head of clean energy investments of Norfund, Mark Davis in a press release. "As the leading provider of off-grid solutions in emerging markets, d.light is a good...

  • Lulalend CEO on fairer finance opportunities for small businesses

    As we’ve mentioned before, SMEs are the lifeblood of the South African economy – providing for over 60% of employment across the country. But it’s not easy being a small business and trying to grow when there are constant hurdles that you have to navigate around. According to a recent report commissioned by The Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) one of the many challenges, and probably the biggest of all, is access to finances and credit. The struggle has always been that traditional lenders are risk averse and the reality is that small businesses are a high risk. Because of their...

  • Startup Grind Cape Town to host David Campey, Roger Norton at next talk

    The first Startup Grind Cape Town event, which takes place on 19 January, will feature Lean Iterator co-founders David Campey and Roger Norton. The pair will be talking about the accelerator, which focuses on teaching entrepreneurs about lean business models, as well as taking questions from the audience. According to the accelerator's website, the company "differs from a traditional accelerator model. We focus on moving you rapidly through iterations of your idea, instead of trying to just make you grow up faster." Read more: Start Here: a book for entrepreneurs by Roger Norton Tickets for the event will be R60 per person for...

  • Is market research a lost art for entrepreneurs?

    In decades past, entrepreneurs didn't have nearly as much access to data and information. Yet, that didn't seem to stop them from doing market research. They would pore over whatever information they had and tirelessly seek out more. The roles seem to be reversed today. There's more information circulating around the internet than ever before, yet it seems like fewer entrepreneurs are taking the time to determine market viability prior to launching startups. Market research matters Launching and growing a successful business can ultimately be simplified down to two key components. First, you need a valuable product or service that satisfies a...

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [16/01/2017]

    Looking to get into the South African startup scene or scratch up on some of your skills? Well, you’ve come to the right place. There are loads of competitions, networking sessions and workshops happening around South Africa and the rest of the continent (namely Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana) that we’ve rounded up to make your life a bit easier. This article is part of a weekly series that highlights all the top startup competitions, networking sessions, workshops and conferences around South Africa, and the greater region. If you have any event recommendations for us to add to the list, or...

  • WumDrop launches Deliver 2 Me, new address-free delivery option

    Startup courier service WumDrop, has launched a new offering, allowing parcel deliveries without the need for an address. The service, which the company calls Deliver 2 Me, uses the receiver's phone and its real-time location. It will also allow users to choose a time for the delivery to take place. "What makes this technology remarkable is its scalability. Deliver 2 Me isn't locked into a native mobile app like most geolocation services - it leverages the increasingly powerful suite of features found in mobile browsers to deliver an accurate delivery location to the driver, and a clean, easy to use interface to the...

  • JA Youth Enterprise Development Programme for women now accepting applications

    The Junior Achievement (JA) SA, a non-profit organisation, has opened its Youth Enterprise Development Programme, which is set to begin on 6 February 2017. Selected participants will be taken through the 20-week learning programme, which consists of three-hour theoretical and practical sessions taking place twice a week. The participants will be taught various aspects of running a successful business, namely business theory, market research, basic computer literacy, financial and business management as well as sales and marketing. Workshops will take place around SA at various community centres near Gauteng, the Western Cape as well as Limpopo. Those wanting to apply are required to...

  • Applications still open for Barclays fintech accelerator 2017 programme

    For fintech startups, applications are still open for the Barclays Techstars Accelerator programme, which takes places from 9 May to 2 August in Cape Town. Out of all the applications, 10 startups will be selected for the 12-week programme. They will receive training and mentorship from the bank and Techstars as well. "The Barclays Accelerator, powered by Techstars, is proud to open its doors in Cape Town, offering a gateway into many of the fastest growing global economies," writes the programme. The Barclays Techstars Accelerator programme will fund up to US$45 000 per startup and takes between a 6 to 8% equity share. "We are interested...

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