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  • Tony Elumelu Foundation welcomes 1k entrepreneurs to Pan-African bootcamp

    What's being dubbed the largest ever gathering of emerging entrepreneurs on the continent, the Tony Elumelu Foundation's (TEF) two-day bootcamp session will host 1 000 selectees from the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme from 10 to 12 July in Ota, Nigeria. "We hope The Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme can catalyse and encourage other African business leaders to empower emerging entrepreneurs. If we all come together with requisite resources we can make a significant difference," said Tony Elumelu, the founder of the US$100-million Pan-African entrepreneurship initiative at a recent press conference. Selected out of a total 20 000 entrepreneurs from across the continent, the 1...

  • Online business network introduces ‘Small Business Toolkit’ for SA SMEs

    South African online business network OpenTenders this week introduced its Small Business Toolkit which aims to connect entrepreneurs with relevant opportunities as well as encourage networking. Developed by South African entrepreneurs and founders of OpenTenders Madoda Khuzwayo, Sivu Maqungo and Mnive Nhlabathi, the trio have compiled over 5 000 pages geared to teach entrepreneurs and small business owners the basics of starting and running a sustainable business. The toolkit is divided into 10 chapters covering the following topics: how to register a business, drafting a business plan, legal compliance, marketing plan, finance, as well as a myriad of templates that entrepreneurs...

  • Ventureburn survey sheds light on SA’s tough, but pioneering startup industry

    Stuart Thomas, Matthew Buckland and Graham van der Made contributed to this article. Startup life isn't as glamorous as it’s sometimes made out to be, according to a new survey by Ventureburn. Employees and founders of startups are often paid below-market salaries, get close to zero benefits and are subject to high-pressure environments. Moreover, just 17% of startups are profitable, with only three percent of startups making it to the sought-after venture capital investment stages. But this begs the question: why is creating and working for startups an increasingly popular option? Although entrepreneurs will make it big if their startup succeeds,...

  • No surprise: funding the biggest hurdle for SA’s startups

    Over the past couple of years, there have been plenty of funding successes for the South African startup scene to celebrate. Just this year, WooThemes exited to WordPress holding company Automattic for a rumoured US$30-million and bike radar company iKubu was bought out by Garmin for an undisclosed sum of money. But within the context of the space as a whole, those big deals are few and far between. What about the smaller companies? Is there enough funding for them to survive and thrive in a country that isn't always seen as friendly toward small businesses? The results of the 2015 Ventureburn...

  • SA’s startup industry: all the stats and numbers you need to know [Infographic]

    The Ventureburn Startup Survey is packed with insights, from the shifting demographics of South Africa's startup landscape to a reaffirmation in the belief that funding is a major challenge for most entrepreneurs. The survey indicates a surge in black entrepreneurship and that just under half of all startups are created by founders in their 20s. The survey also confirms that the home of startups is the Silicon Cape, with just under 59% of all startups indicating they reside in the Western Cape. It's a lot to digest. That's why we've put together this infographic, which gives you an overview of...

  • Working for SA startups may be exciting, but often not that glamorous

    If startup life offers low-pay accompanied by a tough culture, why then do people still go work for them? The answer may be that, for some, the challenging and flexible work environment of a startup is more important, not to mention working with someone who's driven to become a pioneer in his industry. The Ventureburn Startup Survey, which aims to uncover the "true picture of the South African startup landscape", partnered with First National Bank (FNB), investment advisory firm Clifftop Colony and analytics company Qurio, to recently poll just under 200 tech startups. Each of the 200 startups were asked...

  • What do South Africa’s startup founders look like, and what drives them?

    South Africa's startups scene may be small compared to that of the US, yet the country has produced some amazing global success stories. Entrepreneurial superstars with South African ties such as Mark Shuttleworth and Elon Musk are often highly regarded for their pioneering spirit, but does that carry through to the rest of the South African startup space? What are the majority of the country's entrepreneurs driven by and what do they look like? The Ventureburn Startup Survey, which aims to uncover the "true picture of the South African startup landscape", partnered with First National Bank (FNB), investment advisory firm Clifftop...

  • Go big or go home: SA startups need to scale fast to survive

    South Africa's startups are ambitious. They have to be. A Ventureburn survey found that the majority want to dominate (41%) their target markets. When we also consider that most (75%) companies expect to run out of funds within the next 12 months, it adds weight to the notion that lean tech startups should scale fast to become sustainable. But for South Africa's startups, it's a matter of go big or go home. The Ventureburn Startup Survey, which aims to uncover the "true picture of the South African startup landscape", partnered with First National Bank (FNB), investment advisory firm Clifftop Colony and...

  • Innovate much? SA Innovation Summit competitions might be just for you

    The SA Innovation Summit is back this year, showcasing some of the country's most exciting talents and ideas in Cape Town. While the eighth event of its kind will host a range of speakers and exhibit the latest innovations from across different industries, it's also inviting inventors, entrepreneurs and companies to pitch their ideas and businesses. There will be two competitions at the SA Innovation Summit this year: The PwC Pitching Den and The Inventors’ Garage. There are two categories for the PwC Pitching Den catering for startups as well as emerging companies with tech-enabled solutions. Startups have a chance to...

  • Rwanda’s Think adds 4 new startups to its accelerated incubator

    Think, a Rwandan-based startup accelerator, has recently added four new startups to its new programme. Taking place over the course of three months, entrants in Think Accelerated will be part of a high-intensity offering. The programme hopes to be faster and more immersive than its standard six-month course. Having launched in 2014, Think, based in Kigali, Rwanda, aims to incubate tech startups with digital solutions that can scale across Africa. The decision to add a three-month fast-track offering, while still continuing the core six-month version, allows entrepreneurs to return to their home markets after the intense session. Entrants will receive financing, strategic...