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  • MEDO entrepreneurs return to SA after successful international trip

    Last year, the South African development group MEDO offered entrepreneurs training as well as international exposure to business and investment partners. Last week, 12 businesses returned to South Africa from the International Trade Programme in the UK. After hundreds of entrepreneurs across South Africa applied for this opportunity, 14 were eventually chosen. The aim of the trip was to stimulate trade between these successful entrepreneurs and UK partners to further job creation in South Africa. This is the organisation's third such endeavour and Bjarke Gotfredsen, Joint CEO & Co-founder of MEDO says, "Our first tour had a success rate...

  • Company Office

    Sureswipe’s new POS Lite is a game-changer for small retailers and startups

    For a small retailer or startup to be successful and move to the next level, it’s important that systems are in place to track inventory, recon and balance merchant batch closure, manage multiple store and staff sales and have immediate access to real-time data that helps make better management decisions. South Africa’s long-standing fintech player, Sureswipe has launched a new Point of Sale (POS) app and an online business management portal that will change the way small retailers, startups and pop-up shops process card payments from customers and manage their businesses. Sureswipe POS LITE comprises an app and online portal which...

  • Skills, infrastructure, local investment: Nigeria’s tech challenges [#SMWLagos]

    "The internet revolution is similar to the industrial revolution," said Nigeria's ICT Minister Omobola Johnson at Social Media Week in Lagos. "President Goodluck Jonathan said that we missed out on the industrial revolution, we shouldn't miss out on the internet revolution. Our lives revolve around technology today." The tech minister, who has been travelling the globe collecting thoughts on how to improve Nigeria's tech industry, says that based on government assessment, Nigeria's tech sector showed growth in all sub-sectors even though some grew faster than others. Nigeria currently has an estimated population of just over 170-million and an internet audience...

  • Anatomy of a startup failure: the Airborne story

    It started with an ambitious idea to fix the bleeding music industry in an age of rampant piracy, and it ended with an email. Just after 5pm one Wednesday evening, South African tech entrepreneur and Airborne founder Justin Melville finished composing his letter of thanks and farewell and hit ‘send’ on the message informing his users that his startup was dead. “We had a dream that one day we might help remake the music business,” he wrote in the email explaining the decision to shut down his startup to the people who had supported him. “We attempted to bypass the deeply...

  • Building a successful business means getting screwed [SMWLagos]

    If you're going to start an internet business in Nigeria, get ready to be screwed. That's IROKO Partners' founder Jason Njoku's biggest takeaway from the company's journey since its inception. In the last three years, the company has become synonymous with Nigerian content using the infectiously popular Nollywood as a segue, but getting there hasn't been particularly easy. The early days of the company mostly involved founder Njoku negotiating rights for movies in Nigeria. It's a not hard to see why he went into the business. Nollywood was insanely popular before he got there, as was the Nigerian music...

  • Konga’s new ‘revolutionary’ Marketplace invites all small players online

    Last year Nigerian online retailer Konga debuted the online storefront Konga Mall which gave certain businesses the opportunity to have their products available online. Today, the company is announcing Konga Marketplace which is said to "revolutionise" the local trade industry by inviting all business owners online, big or small. Set to launch in the coming weeks, Konga's updated Marketplace will cater not only for the big retailers, but also the small local players from the market traders and designer to the farmers. This endeavour will give the country's many offline businesses, salesmen and entrepreneurs a storefront in the cloud and...

  • Mobile elearning startup Sterio.me seeks partners, set to launch in Nigeria

    StartupBus Africa was great fun and brought about some really exciting ventures. Some of them, however, have crept off the radar since the startup competition slash hackathon concluded last year November. Sterio.me isn't one of them. The energetic mobile education outfit recently announced that it will be rolling out a trial of its services across 75 schools in Nigeria, once it has secured crucial partnerships. Sterio.me was founded by Christopher Pruijsen, Dean Rotherham and Danielle Reid and is an elearning startup that provides mobile education for young Africans who don't have easy access to reliable infrastructure. By giving students a...

  • TutorGroup language-learning platform secures $100M from Alibaba, others

    The online language learning space just got a bit more exciting. TutorGroup, an online language learning platform based throughout Asia, just closed a second round of US$100-million from big regional investors including Alibaba, Qiming Venture Partners, and Temasek. As reported by VentureBeat, TutorGroup sought out investors in China and Singapore as it wishes to build its brand in those regions. The company had previously raised US$15-million in April 2012. Founded in 2004 by brothers Ming Yang and Dr. Eric Yang, TutorGroup claims to now be the "largest English language learning institute in the world" thanks to its proprietary platform that...

  • Project Isizwe: Africa’s free Wi-Fi solution giving mobile greater reach

    There is a lot of talk about mobile penetration in Africa. Even if you dissect the stats down to the number of unique subscribers, there is no doubt that mobile has had, and continues to have, a huge role on the continent. But what about data? Or more specifically, what about the cost of data? It's no good if everyone on the continent has access to a mobile phone but cannot afford the cost of bandwidth. Is mobile really enabling as many people as it could then? South Africa has notoriously high data rates, with costs ranging from 10 cents (US$0.01)...

  • Hellofood Nigeria reveals most ordered dish this Valentine’s Day: desserts

    Although the concept of romance on Valentine's Day focuses on roses, cards, perhaps even jewellery, Nigerians have remained loyal to the classic idea of dessert as the most romantic gift of all, says food delivery platform Hellofood. According to the Rocket Internet, MTN and Tigo backed platform, personalised cakes and chocolate selections are the most orders products. In fact, around 20% of all daily food orders being placed on the website and through the mobile app include some aspect of dessert. As orders go through tonight, on this very special commercial holiday, Hellofood expects this number to go up. A...

  • Anzisha Prize 2014 calls for entries to promote Africa’s young entrepreneurs

    In an effort to uncover and nurture Africa's best young entrepreneurs, entries for the Anzisha Prize for 2014 has opened this week. The competition is part of a bigger picture to group organisations and media brands all over the continent and find, celebrate and support the most innovative social and business entrepreneurs younger than 22. Hosted by the African Leadership Academy and in partnership with The MasterCard Foundation, the Anzisha Prize has been celebrating initiative and innovation for the last three years. Finalists this year will share a total cash prize of US$75,000 and will also join the Anisha...

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