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  • iKhokha merchants can now get cash advances

    Mobile app and card-reader startup iKhokha on Monday announced that merchants using its devices and platforms can now get cash advances to help grow their businesses. According to a press release sent to Ventureburn, the new feature is designed to assist small business owners who can't access capital through more traditional means. "We have always wanted to help solve the real challenges which face South African entrepreneurs and we know from working closely with them that their number one issue is access to capital," says iKhokha managing director, Matt Putman. "The majority of our merchants do not qualify for a formal...

  • Company Office

    Judges announced for the IAB SA Bookmark Awards 2017

    The IAB SA has announced the list of judges that will decide which contenders will scoop a coveted Bookmark Award in 2017. The team of judges, led by Jury President John Dixon, features more diverse industry players than ever before. Josephine Buys, CEO of IAB SA says, "Our mid-year, judges workshop yielded valuable insights from the best in the business for judging the Bookmarks 2017. We have secured the time and talent of some of the brightest minds in digital and have expanded our pool of experts to include gamers, innovators and engineers.” Judges will now fall under the categories of...

  • Andela receives US$24-million investment from Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

    During a round of Series B funding, coding startup programme Andela, received US$24-million (+R360-million) from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI). The funding was announced on the Andela website and Facebook on 16 June. "This marks the first time that Mark and Priscilla have led a round and we’re thrilled to welcome them, as well as GV (formerly Google Ventures), to the Andela family," writes co-founder and CEO of Andela, Jeremy Johnson, in the announcement. Andela launched two years ago and trains software developers in Africa. Those trained during the six-month programme are then placed in positions with Fortune 500 companies and international...

  • Digital entrepreneurs need to embrace data

    In the digital world, a new breed of entrepreneur has been created – one that is able to capitalise on an Always-On environment. This entrepreneur has grown up as part of the connected generation, and this is reflected in the way that their start-ups are born and operate. For them, using technology is not something that is forced but rather a component that is completely integrated in all aspects of their lives. It is therefore completely natural for their start-ups to be digital first. As such, access to data needs to happen around the clock. Data has become the bedrock...

  • 6 ways to master the challenges of building your own business

    Starting a business is about passion, hard work and sacrifice. Entrepreneurs are the drivers of prosperity, but this can sometimes be a daunting task. The challenges are immeasurable and small business owners can often feel isolated, overwhelmed and despondent. By using these six essential skills, this no longer needs to be the case: 1. Focus on the future and be prepared There will always be competition, especially if it’s an industry with low barriers of entry. Instead of looking in your rear view mirror, drive for daylight. Keep your eyes on the road and your focus on the horizon. When...

  • Funders and Founders shows us how AirBnB got started [infographic/video]

    The concept behind AirBnB may be a simple one, but it's spawned a billion dollar industry. Funders and Founders have not only put together an infographic on how AirBnB started, but a video as well. Like many startups, AirBnB began with an idea: rent out a house, room, or even a couch to someone from out of town. This idea has exploded the world over as it grew to an international sensation. Other companies, such as EventRoom, have adapted the rental idea for a range other industries, such as food or events. Even actor Ashton Kutcher saw promise in the idea and...

  • A South African perspective: the external environment and its effect on businesses

    When it comes to running a business these days, the sole aim often revolves around generating a return on investment for shareholders. However, businesses do not operate in a vacuum, and there are a number of forces at play that will influence a business at any given point, both positively and negatively. As business owners, it is important to focus on the controllable factors within the business, but it is equally important to recognise that there exist external factors that are largely out of your control. These are some of the external issues that are present on a regular...

  • CiTi to announce Africa’s first ed-tech cluster

    The Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi) is set to announce its latest initiative: a technology cluster aimed at the education space. The initiative, which is CiTi is calling an African first, will be announced at EdTechx Europe, currently underway in London. According to a press release sent to Ventureburn, the cluster/incubator will aim to spur greater innovation in education and skills development in the Western Cape and also across South Africa and the wider continent. The organisation says it will give home-grown entrepreneurs the facilities, expert advice and introductions to funding they need to take their grassroots solutions national...

  • 4 ways to capitalise on the explosion of tech and healthcare

    Every so often, business opportunities arise, we fail to take advantage of them, and then we kick ourselves for our lack of foresight. As an entrepreneur, however, opportunity will always knock again — just in a different form. Right now, the intersection of healthcare and technology is exploding. Here’s why you should answer the door. The Recipe for an Explosion According to Rock Health, funding for digital health startups “continues to grow faster than overall venture funding and funding in software, biotech, and medical device sectors.” Backing up those claims, Silicon Valley Bank’s research shows 56 percent absolute growth of health tech...

  • AfricaWorking: corporates announce plan to give 250k youth entrepreneurship, employability skills

    A number of companies, including Barclays Africa; Emerging World; FranklinCovey; Knod; Microsoft; Safal Group; and Syngenta, this week came together to announce AfricaWorking -- an initiative which aims to provide some 250 000 youth across the continent with entrepreneurial and employability skills. Starting in Kenya and South Africa, the initiative aims to work across the continent by 2020. "Most large corporations are looking at youth skills development in one form or another, because it’s crucial to their business," says Lutz Ziob, Dean of the Microsoft 4Afrika Academy. "The idea behind AfricaWorking is to bring these corporations together, align our efforts,...

  • Why doing things that don’t scale is vital to your startup’s survival [Infographic]

    The ability to scale: it's one of the main differentiators between a startup and a small business, but does everything in your startup have to scale? While the intuitive answer may be "yes", there's actually a lot to be said for doing things that don't scale. One of the foremost advocates for this approach is Y Combinator founder Paul Graham. In an essay penned in 2013, Graham points out that a lot of what allows a startup to grow comes from its founder doing things that don't scale. "Startups take off because the founders make them take off," he...