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  • Exclusive: ‘Government won’t match private sector in R1.5bn SME fund’

    The SA government has no immediate plans to match the R1.5-billion that 48 large companies have committed to the SA SME Fund, National Treasury Director-General Lungisa Fuzile told Ventureburn today. Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa pledged during the launch of the fund in May last year that the government would match any contribution made by the private sector. However Fuzile, who sits on the fund's board, said the government will instead look to improve coordination between the state and private sector, while stepping up its existing funding and business support to small businesses. "It is not clear from a fiscal point of view...

  • Company Office

    Designing for emerging markets, the challenges businesses face in Africa

    Emerging markets are full of opportunity for the clever entrepreneur. Across Africa, Asia and South America are countries with millions of underserved consumers. These people may be living on very little, but their basic needs are similar to those of wealthier people in more developed countries. In their paper, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, C.K Prahalad and Stuart L. Hart explain that “low-income markets present a prodigious opportunity for the world’s wealthiest companies to seek their fortunes and bring prosperity to the poor.” This opportunity exists for any company, whether it’s wealthy or not. Designing for emerging markets,...

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [10/04/2017]

    Looking to get into the South African startup scene or catch 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...

  • RiseUp takes 6 startups to Silicon Valley

    Startup network, RiseUp took six startups to Silicon Valley from 4 April to 13 April. The programme exposes startups from the Middle East and Africa to the tech hub, allowing them to integrate with other startups, resulting in acceleration and growth. The programme is organised in partnership with Voyaj and TechWadi as well as the World Bank. "We cater an experience where startups have an opportunity to get exposed to new markets, connect with global industry leaders, network with investors, the global media, and most importantly gain know-how that will help them build better businesses," said RiseUp's founder, Con O’Donnell in a press release. RiseUp aims...

  • Finfind initiative to link SA lenders with entrepreneurs seeking finance

    SA banks and lenders may soon be able to use a finance-matching platform to source entrepreneurs looking for finance, if a new initiative piloted by SA fintech startup finfind proves successful. Launched in October 2015, finfind is piloting a number of new initiatives which will help entrepreneurs to get better access to finance in South Africa. Speaking to Ventureburn today, finfind CEO Darlene Menzies says these include an initiative which will allow banks and other lenders to source fundable entrepreneurs from the platform. Currently entrepreneurs that access the site can complete a questionnaire and be told whether they qualify for funding or...

  • Philippines’ Acudeen Technologies wins Seedstars World

    The Filipino startup, Acudeen Technologies was crowned the Seedstars World Global Winner for 2017 on 6 April 2017, taking home the grand prize of USD$500 000 in investment. Acudeen beat startups from 65 countries at the pitching competition, held at the SwissTech Convention Centre in Lausanne. The company was crowned the winner for its solution that turns SMEs' invoices into cash by discounting their receivables. This solution provides SMEs with working capital that they wouldn't normally get from banks. Founder of Acudeen technologies, Mario Jordan "Magellan" Fetalino III elaborated on his win in a press release to Ventureburn. "Seedstars was an incredible experience. Much more...

  • SA startup get\Worth to disrupt online car market

    A Cape Town startup is looking to change the way customers buy and sell cars on the internet, by using machine learning and what it says is a unique payment model. The startup launched its platform last month after trading for six months to gain proof of concept. Get\Worth co-founder Mark Ridgway – a former CEO of TransUnion Receivables – says the company was able to conclude about R20-million in deals through the platform in March. The startup's model is different from other online car dealers such as CarZAR.co.za and WeBuyCars.co.za. 'We think this is almost first world. No one is providing a...

  • Nestlé SA to bring more business to entrepreneurs

    Nutrition company Nestlé SA and the Department of Small Business Development have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that'll see the creation of more than 600 jobs. The MOU serves as Nestlé SA's commitment to sourcing and developing micro-distributors who are primarily located in rural SA and townships. The partnership between Nestlé SA and the Department of Small Business Development will see a recruitment of 200 microdistributors from 2017 to 2020. The distributors would then be required to recruit at least three permanent staff, this, in turn, will create over 600 jobs. The signing of the MOU took place at the annual Proudly South African Summit...

  • Customer Onboarding Global Innovation Challenge seeks fintech startups

    The Customer Onboarding Global Innovation Challenge aims to disrupt customer onboarding and management through collaboration with fintech firms around the world and is presented by financial network platform Matchi along with ATB Financial and KPMG Canada. "ATB believes in reimagining banking and we’re always on the lookout for transformative new experiences to offer our customers," said ATB's MD James Gamage in a press release. "That’s why we’re excited to partner with KPMG and Matchi, to expand our reach into the global fintech community and discover novel new propositions to make banking work for people," he added. Entries for the challenge opened on 29...

  • Close to fifth of Joburg, Cape Town startup founders are immigrants

    Almost one in five startup founders in Cape Town and Johannesburg are immigrants, reveals a new report. The 2017 Global Startup Ecosystem report, released by StartUp Genome last month, reveals that 18% of founders in Cape Town and 17% in Johannesburg are immigrants – slightly under the average of 19% for the 56 cities measured by the report. In comparison, just four percent of founders in Lagos, Nigeria are immigrants -- significantly below the 46% that are immigrant founders in Silicon Valley. Of the emerging market cities measured, Shanghai tops the list with 36% of startups founded by foreigners. Other notable cities...

  • Afri-Fi takes second place at Mozilla-backed Innovation Challenge

    SA's Afri-Fi has been announced as the runner-up in the Mozilla Equal Rating Innovation Challenge and walks away with USD$75 000 in funding. Afri-Fi is the extension of Project Isizwe which has granted 2.9 million users access to 500MB of free WiFi daily. "The team has proven how their solution for a free internet is supporting thriving communities in South Africa," said one of the jury members, Marlon Parker, the Founder of Reconstructed Living Labs, on behalf of the jury in a press release. "Their approach towards community building, partnerships, developing local community entrepreneurs and inclusivity, with a goal of connecting some...