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  • Raru, Pargo deal lets you collect your online shopping from a store near you

    Launching only a year ago, South African ecommerce store Raru continues to add more functionality and offerings to its platform, in order to find its competitive edge. By integrating with Pargo's pick up points service, Raru clientele can now collect orders from one of over 200 stores in the country. This option, according to Raru, "is also a more cost-effective option for many regional areas, and in many cases offer convenient after hours collections." Interestingly, Pargo found that 33% of the parcels are picked up after hours. The pick up system is simple: an ecommerce store gives the parcel to Pargo,...

  • Ampion, Merck accelerator to foster health-tech startups in Africa

    Pan-African entrepreneurial initiative Ampion has teamed up with German pharmaceutical Merck to launch a health-tech accelerator in Nairobi, Kenya. The new health-tech accelerator is designed to offer startups customised support from Merck’s Innovation Center in Germany, along with operational and scaling mentorship and the potential to secure pilots with "key global players". Read more: Ampion Venture Bus: an NGO’s mission to drive impactful innovation in Africa In a press statement, Merck project manager Alexander Hoffmann explained the value of technology in these fast-growing markets: "For us at Merck, the support of healthcare technology on the continent is important not just in terms of...

  • Magento, Shopify, WooCommerce: which ecommerce platform works for you?

    Online portals are a must for every business model now. Being online can bring great benefits to new business owners who want to get their hands dirty, so to speak, and offer their products to a wider audience. The decision build an online store is therefore a natural one. The really difficult part is choosing the best ecommerce platform? And if you're a non technical person, well that only makes the task more daunting. There are hundreds of solutions available for developing ecommerce sites using various platforms. However, each solution has its own distinctive features that can meet the needs of...

  • Cisco Capital introduces low rate financing programme for SA SMEs

    Financing solutions provider Cisco Capital recently launched its Easylease Low Rate Financing programme in South Africa, which it says is in line with the multinational IT giant's commitment to help SMEs access new-generation technologies. Through a series of monthly repayments, the Easylease programme seeks to help small businesses finance their networking solutions, manage cash flows and take advantage of new Cisco technologies. It also offers a 12-month interest-free repayment option. Read more: 5 important trends that show Africa’s venture scene is on the rise "Through Easylease, we enable customers to acquire their desired Cisco solution so that they may enjoy the benefits...

  • 702, CapeTalk Small Business Awards offer over R1m in prizes

    South Africa's 702 and CapeTalk Small Business Awards have kicked-off. Nominated small businesses from across the Western Cape and Gauteng will stand a chance to win their share of over R1-million in prizes. The annual initiative is part of a collaboration between radio broadcasters 702 and CapeTalk and online accounting and payroll provider Sage One. With its mission to recognise local small businesses' achievements and provide them with the support they need to grow, Small Business Awards encourages listeners to nominate the most impressive companies recognised over the last year. Last year, 702 awarded Book Express the regional winner. Founded in...

  • This incubator is on the look-out for talented black entrepreneurs

    The Riversands Incubation Hub is on the lookout for talented black entrepreneurs to join its accelerator programme. The hub, which has been built specifically to encourage black entrepreneurship and is funded by Century Property Developments and The Jobs Fund, officially opened in March 2015. To be eligible for the full incubation programme, businesses need to: Be 51% black-owned Be viable and operating with a potential for growth Be entrepreneurial and ability to execute on ideas Suit the Hub model and markets Satisfy the Hub’s ratio of cost and risk to benefit Create economic opportunity for the surrounding area. Read more:...

  • These companies will make any business feel like a startup

    So your business has been around for a few years now. Things aren't as much of a panic as they once were and the general chaos of startup life seems to have settled into something more generally manageable. Thing is, with the average lifespan of businesses dropping all the time, it takes a hell of a lot of hard work to build something with a lasting legacy. But even if you find yourself comparing your business to companies that have been around for decades, you can rest easy in the knowledge that there are companies that make them look...

  • Inside Nigeria’s bustling startup world — where the real ‘hustlers’ live

    Earlier this week, Ventureburn unveiled DEMO Africa’s top 30 startups for 2015. While attention is being given to Ivory Coast whose startup scene is making its debut this year on the DEMO Africa stage, the fact that no one was surprised to see Nigeria having more startups than any other country this year, just like last year, is giving credence to the notion that the startup ecosystem in Nigeria is booming. And it’s not just because of Nigeria’s large population. Below are a few of key characteristics I've picked up over the years, defining the West African country's as one of...

  • Pivot East 2015 crowns 5 best mobile startups in East Africa

    Going on its fifth year, regional pitching competition and conference Pivot East 2015 has revealed the top mobile startups of East Africa this week. Ranging from mobile categories in entertainment to enterprise, four of the winning companies hail from Kenya and one from Rwanda. Apart from the recognition, the five winners will receive a 12 months free service of up to 10 000 Kenyan Shillings per month in Angani credits, while all the other finalists will receive a three-month free service for up to 5 000 Kenyan Shillings per month in Angani credits. As listed in the announcement, below are the winning...

  • 6 tips for kickstarting your first ecommerce site

    Joining the world of electronic commerce may seem daunting if you’re running a small business, but it is easier than ever to get up-and-running with a digital storefront. And with consumers looking for online convenience, allowing them to browse, order and pay online can give your business an edge in a competitive market. Here are a few ideas on how to get started: 1. Begin with a business plan If you’re thinking about taking your business online, you should start by drawing up a business plan for your e-commerce site. Think about your value proposition and how it could translate into the...