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  • US company Symbion Power targets energy sector in Africa

    Coinciding with African Utility Week taking place in Cape Town later this month, US energy company Symbion Power has taken strides to invest in the power sectors in South Africa and Nigeria which builds on its presence in Tanzania, and cements its interest in the continent as an investment destination. Symbion's expansion in Africa appears to take advantage of a growing demand for power on the continent, as well as the privatisation of power generation and power distribution, affording huge market opportunities. The company's interest in Africa is best explained by CEO Paul Hinks: “These firms are ethical,” Paul adds, “they have...

  • Company Office

    The importance of auditors for businesses that are looking to grow

    Arguably, we've never lived in stranger or more conflicted times. On the one hand, it has never been easier to launch a new business venture or bring a product to market. This is reflected by small business statistics in the UK, with the number of active SMEs in the private sector having increased by 197 000 to a record 5.7-million at the beginning of last year. Despite this, an estimated 96% of all businesses still fail during their first 10 years of trading, as firms continue to do battle with a volatile and strained economic climate. Sure, this figure may be slightly...

  • iROKOtv’s founder launches million dollar plan to help Nigeria’s tech scene

    Nigeria's tech scene is on fire. The country has seen some amazing things happen in its tech space in the last few months, with its tech neighbourhood and state-backed innovation hubs. Now it's time for the country's entrepreneurs to do their bit. Techpreneurs of iROKOtv and Nollywood fame, Jason Njoku and Bastian Gotter, have decided to launch a company to fund tech companies in Nigeria. SPARK, is a one million dollar project created to support and develop aspiring Nigerian tech and internet entrepreneurs. The Lagos-based company calls itself a company that builds companies and it currently exists in the...

  • Rocket Internet’s Foodpanda receives $20-million worth of funding

    The online food delivery space is heating and Rocket Internet's latest pride and joy Foodpanda looks to be leading the way. The Berlin-based online food delivery platform has just landed "more than US$20-million" funding from a group of investors including Investment AB Kinnevik and Phenomen Ventures. According to the company this new round of funding will help it move forward in its current global expansion plans. Focusing on emerging market countries, Foodpanda currently operates together with affiliate brand Hellofood in 27 countries on four continents and reaches about three billion people worldwide. In the last few months, Foodpanda and...

  • BRCK: Ushahidi’s Kickstarter project designed to fix Africa’s internet issues

    Leave it to the Kenyans to figure out a way to connect to the internet no matter where you are and without electricity. Currently attempting to raise a whooping US$125 000 on crowdfunding platform Kickstarter, BRCK is an Ushahidi initiative that hopes to solve internet connectivity issues in remote areas. The device is "the easiest, most reliable way to connect to the internet, anywhere in the world, even when you don’t have electricity," says open source information and mapping company Ushahidi. According to the team, the gadget, which could be described as mobile router, works as a backup generator for...

  • Enter the Entrepreneur ‘X’ Factor and fast-track your business

    If you consider yourself an entrepreneur - someone with an adept business acumen, an affinity for risk-taking and developing ideas into marketable, scalable companies - then you probably haven't considered entering the hit reality television show The X Factor. Well one show you should consider entering is its spin-off competition, Entrepreneur 'X' Factor, which promises to appreciate your skill-set, and give you an opportunity to fast-track your business idea. Brought to you by "transformational coaching and events company" Rock Your Life, Entrepreneur 'X' Factor is a competition in its second year, focused on finding a grass-roots entrepreneur with... you guessed...

  • How a beauty box startup bootstrapped to become a million dollar company

    Today, Memebox is the Birchbox of South Korea; the beauty sample subscription and e-commerce service is leading in terms of marketshare, gaining thousands of fans and pulling in over S$1-million in annual revenue. But that wasn't always the case. Hyungseok Dino Ha, CEO and founder of Memebox Korea, recently shared his startup's story at a Tech in Asia meetup in Singapore, providing insightful (and honest) answers to questions about how his company grew. Humble beginnings At the beginning, the three co-founders raised a small amount of money themselves -- not much, but just enough to get the business running for about...

  • 7 startup lessons from the film industry

    At first glance you might not think there is much in common between the film industry and tech startups. I'm here to tell you differently. Both industries have their own set of challenges, whether you're starting out, or refining your craft/company down the line. I'm not here to tell you that one is tougher than the other, but rather that startups can learn from the parallels between them. Each member must know their 'craft' In the film industry you have to know your craft. Whether you're a scriptwriter, cinematographer, director or simply a gaffer or runner, you have a...

  • With new asset class, Grovest wants to disrupt VC in South Africa

    Grovest Venture Capital introduces a new asset class today. Investors are encouraged through incentives like tax relief as well as the growing attractiveness of the VC industry in South Africa. Although this asset class is the first operational venture capital fund introduced in South Africa, it has proven to be very successful in the UK. By having attractive incentives, Grovest aims to encourage investments which will further help grow the venture capital industry in South Africa. In order to boost and further drive this industry, tax relief incentives as well as tax-free dividends are included. Tax relief of as...

  • iDEA: another innovation to help build successful businesses in Nigeria

    In bid to foster Nigeria's growing entrepreneurial landscape, a new innovation hub has launched. Its aim, it says, is to "help Nigerian entrepreneurs create successful businesses". The new hub, called Information Technology Developers Entrepreneurship Accelerator (iDEA) launched in 2013 and is a not-for-profit organisation aiming to accelerate the development of the technology industry in Nigeria. The aptly named Lagos-based hub launched with four developers sessions facilitated by tech industry bigwigs: Google, BlackBerry, Microsoft and Nokia. The companies, as part of their support for the centre, provide entrepreneurs with tools to build software skills, solutions and businesses to aid their...

  • Dear African VC, angel: international investors are stealing your lunch

    Is there a shortage of VC and angel funding in Africa? Pose the question to entrepreneurs and the answer is bound to be yes. Omidyar's latest report on African entrepreneurship found that 71% of respondents surveyed in South Africa, Ghana, Kenya, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Tanzania believe that there is a shortage of equity capital to start new firms. African financiers disagree, simply saying that many projects are not fundable. Whatever the case may be, the International Finance Corporation estimates that up to 84% of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Africa are either un-served or underserved, representing a value...

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