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  • African incubator encourages social entrepreneurship to improve young lives

    Ventureburn readers from Chad, DRC, Rwanda, Senegal and Tanzania might find this compelling. GSM network Millicom, operating under the Tigo brand, and non-profit organisation Reach for Change, are launching a programme to improve the lives of children in the aforementioned African countries, through social entrepreneurship -- creating innovative solutions to society's most pressing social problems. Social entrepreneurs with the strongest and most promising ideas will be invited to join a three year incubator programme where they will work on transforming their ideas into sustainable ventures. The entrepreneurs chosen to join the incubator will receive salary funding as well as mentoring...

  • Company Office

    SA consumers doing their product homework before purchase

    At a time when most consumers are spending conservatively, with a hawkish eye on every last Rand, value for money has become paramount. Long gone are the days when people sign on to mobile contracts on a whim, or buy insurance products at the behest of a smiling salesman. With deep-seated economic and political uncertainty prevailing, consumers are looking to inform themselves as best they can before spending a cent. “The good news for sceptical South Africans is that a host of new and sophisticated digital tools are coming online, giving people much-needed access to information,” says Ryan Marx, CEO...

  • 20+ Chinese eCommerce players you should keep an eye on

    eCommerce is a massive industry in China. This sector presently generates revenue close to 2 trillion RMB ($315 billion) and there are plans set by the authorities for the industry to hit 2.8 trillion RMB (US$441-billion) by 2015. There are thousands of eCommerce sites in the Chinese market, where literally almost anything can be bought online. So which ones have made the biggest impact in China’s online shopping space? We have shortlisted over 20 eCommerce sites below which we think you should look out for. 1. Taobao.com Alibaba-owned Taobao is no stranger to eCommerce industry. The C2C giant sells almost everything, literally, from notebooks...

  • Jump Shopping is now uAfrica.com, widens eCommerce scope

    Jump Shopping, the popular South African comparative shopping service, has been rebranded as uAfrica.com The company has been operating in the eCommerce space since 2004 and aims to cover all aspects of eCommerce. This includes price comparison through uPrice.co.za -- essentially a rebranded version of Jump Shopping -- as well as friendly domain name registration and management services through uWeb.co.za -- uAfrica.com is an accredited co.za domain registrar with Uniforum South Africa. The company also provides eCommerce consultancy to eCommerce businesses, conducts eCommerce research and eCommerce training. Andy Higgins, founder and former Managing Director of Bid or Buy, teamed up...

  • Beauty subscription startup rubybox receives funding from HPV Africa

    Rubybox, the innovative, try-before-you-buy beauty subscription startup, announced that it has received funding from venture capitalist Hasso Plattner Ventures Africa, for an undisclosed sum. As part of the investment, rubybox is acquiring GlamBox SA, its major current competitor in the local beauty box market, making rubybox the dominant player in South Africa. “We are thrilled about the investment as we’re certain it, together with our 360 degree approach that pairs trial and education which leads to re-purchase, will help us grow rubybox to be the leading content-driven eCommerce beauty site in South Africa,” says Sylvia Gruber, rubybox co-founder and CEO. Ventureburn...

  • A closer look at GE Software: a rising startup in Silicon Valley

    One of the largest startups in and around Silicon Valley is GE Global Software in San Ramon, California, a brand new division of giant General Electric, built from scratch into an organization of 400 engineers, growing to as many as 800 software engineers and researchers by year end. Betting big on software is a key business strategy for GE. The business group's annual revenues were more than $142 billion in 2012. In 2008 they were nearly $180 billion. Software businesses have high profit margins especially if they can be applied across a large user base. Software is a far more...

  • Attention tech gurus: change a budding entrepreneur’s life with Business Bridge

    There are fervent entrepreneurs out there, hungry for your entrepreneurial knowledge. Business Bridge, a not-for-profit organisation, is attempting to start a movement which enables experienced business people, entrepreneurs and business school alumni, the opportunity to share their knowledge on aspects related to starting and running a business, with entrepreneurs in historically disadvantaged communities. Founded by Professor Michael Hay at London Business School, Business Bridge developed a scalable model for delivering high quality, low cost business education to thousands of people for whom access is otherwise denied due to cost or lack of local provision. The initiative aims to help bridge...

  • Why SA companies should be focusing on mCommerce

    Technology has transformed consumers’ lives, with shopping centres and the opportunities to spend now being brought to your PC, tablet and even your phone. With eCommerce on the increase in South Africa, such as with the latest online retail offerings by the popular fashion house, Mr Price, as well as Zando -- the online-only shopping site with international roots -- companies’ chances to leverage these opportunities online are growing. Not surprisingly however, according the Boston Consulting Group, a report published earlier this year, shows that SA’s eCommerce offering was growing at a surprisingly slower rate (12.6%) than the...

  • 1 million African entrepreneurs by 2020 says African Entrepreneur Academy

    When we took a look at entrepreneurial hub No Picket Fence, we discovered a group of individuals fervently engaged in sharing their entrepreneurial experiences. Google Hangouts have been a staple for the No Picket Fence community to learn from, and engage with, successful South African entrepreneurs. Today, No Picket Fence is putting these recorded Hangouts front and center as part of its newly launched African Entrepreneur Academy initiative. Michael Cowen, co-founder of No Picket Fence is bullish on the initiative. “Our objective is to give African entrepreneurs all the skills they need to create their own successful business,...

  • [Update] Meet the South African finalists for TNW’s Startup World

    Congratulations to Pashash for winning the South African leg of the competition in Cape Town last night. Good luck in San Francisco! Here we go Africa. The African leg of the The Next Web's Startup World competition kicks off in Cape Town today. The startup scene has been abuzz with the announcement that four African cities have been included in Startup World's inaugural tour. The competition will be held in 36 countries across the globe with the specific aim of shining "a light on entrepreneurs in emerging markets." The winners in each of the countries will fly to Silicon...

  • Health and welfare mobile service Impilo is powerful, free

    Impilo is a new mobile service that helps people easily locate health and wellbeing service providers in South Africa. It can also be used to give confidential feedback on the services received at public health and South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) service points. The service is free -- no airtime is required -- and as it is USSD based, it will work on any mobile phone. To use it, simply dial *130*448# and follow the menu prompts. Impilo is the only service of its kinds that has been zero-rated by almost all of the major mobile phone networks in...