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  • SA has some serious work to do when it comes to encouraging entrepreneurship

    South Africa's startups may be the silver lining to an otherwise gloomy economy, but there are nowhere near enough of them. Moreover, the country is falling behind the rest of the continent when it comes to tapping entrepreneurial potential. That's according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) 2015 Global Report, which shows that while 73% of adults in South Africa see entrepreneurship as a good career choice and around 45% of the working-age population feel they have the ability to start a business, just 9.2% go on to do so. In 2015, 62 economies around the world participated in...

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    CompareGuru set to simplify financial services for SA consumers

    Launches new site with advanced features and real-time services.  For most time-constrained South Africans, choosing between financial products and service providers is a laborious and challenging task. Despite the increasing access to all sorts of information online, it remains a complex and daunting process to sift through various product offerings, pricing structures, terms and conditions, etc. “This complexity is especially problematic when trying to choose between products and providers in the mobile, banking and insurance spheres, where contracts are often filled with jargon and consumers are understandably wary of hidden fees,” explains Ryan Marx, CEO of CompareGuru, a site which draws...

  • MTN, Jumia to launch pan-African entrepreneurship challenge

    Mobile networks operator MTN and online shopping destination Jumia are launching the MTN Entrepreneurship Challenge. Participants will be competing for a US$25 000 cash prize for their startup idea. The event will be targeting more than 60 universities in 13 countries across Africa when students will be tasked with developing unique digital applications or smart solutions to a tangible problem faced in Africa. "We believe inspiration of new business leaders in Africa and their enablement to success, will be key drivers for the future rapid evolution of a broader start-up culture on the continent," says Herman Singh, MTN's group chief digital officer. He goes...

  • Jobox wants to change the South African freelancing market

    From graphic designers to personal chefs, micro job freelancing platform Jobox looks to change the way the freelance market in South Africa works. According to Darryn Rabec, co-founder of Jobox, the platform looks to serve as the central hub for freelance work, which is currently unsatisfied in the South African market. "The need for a platform of this nature is unmet in South Africa. International players do not adequately cater to the South African market. The biggest issues of using them being extremely inconvenient payout methods, foreign income tax complications, and currency conversion issues," says Rabec. Co-founded by Rabec and Sbusiso Buna,...

  • SA private equity gains despite national economic slowdown

    Looking for investment growth in South Africa? Well, private equity seems to be where most of the action is. A recent report by RisCura and Southern African Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (SAVCA) found that private equity continues to outperform listed equity over a ten-year period. By tracking data from September 2015, the report recently revealed that the South African private equity industry delivered a ten-year internal rate of return (IRR) of 20.7% in September 2015, down from 21.7% in June 2015, net of all fees and expenses. This performance compares with the 14.9% return from the JSE All...

  • How important is a monetary union for East African investments?

    African governments have been working to establish a monetary union for the past several years, and the benefits of such a move cannot be overstated. By 2024, the East African Community will have unprecedented cross-border exchange that will revolutionise member economies and foreign investment prospects. The system will spare investors the headaches and expenses of currency conversion, and that improvement alone will make the region more attractive. However, the East African Community should heed the eurozone’s economic troubles as it works toward implementing its own monetary union. Greece defaulted on US$1.7-billion in debt it owed the International Monetary Fund in 2015,...

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [15/02/2016]

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

  • 3 online strategies to make your business more appealing to customers

    Years ago, businesses grew by word of mouth or they were attractive because they were the only business in town. Today’s competitive era means you need to try alternative routes to build your company’s name recognition. Although the market is flooded with lots of new businesses, yours has the ability to stand out and be successful if you’re willing to market it in a way that’s truly appealing to consumers.   Are you looking to grow your revenue by attracting new customers? Whether you’re a new business or an established business, marketing your business to online consumers is a great...

  • Uber as a startup: the ins and outs of slim launches

    Ever since emerging from Silicon Valley in 2011, startups around the world have looked to model themselves on Uber's success. Aside from being an on-demand transportation service, Uber could be considered the epitome of what a lean startup is. Ventureburn had a chance to speak to Alon Lits, Regional General Manager of Uber in Sub-Saharan Africa. We picked his brain on the business model, launches, and what it is that exactly makes Uber, well, "uber". In 2013, the company was valued at US$3.5-billion and grew into the US$40-billion powerhouse it is today. It has achieved this phenomenal growth by only employing...

  • SA-born entrepreneur making waves in San Francisco fintech space

    South African-born Ryan Gilbert is making some big waves in the international fintech space. This comes after the serial entrepreneur joined the board of San Francisco's Propel Venture Partners -- a VC firm which recently received US$250-million from Spanish banking giant BBVA to invest in financial innovations. As part of the deal, the San Francisco Business Times reports, BBVA is shutting down its corporate-venture arm. Gilbert will be joining Propel's other managing partners are Jay Reinemann and Tom Whiteaker. The bank's venture portfolio includes the renowned Silicon Valley accelerator programme 500 Startups, bitcoin wallet and exchange company Coinbase as well as...

  • WeChat’s Rush courier service boasts 1k deliveries in three months

    The WeChat-powered courier service Rush has managed to complete over 1 000 deliveries in just three months since it launched. "Small businesses, in particular, are finding our delivery services to be ideal. After all, the economy is slowing down and money is inevitably tight, so an increasing number of SMEs are embracing the courier services we offer in terms of price and choice," says CEO of Rush, Glenn Whittaker, in a press release sent to Ventureburn. Rush is a comparative platform allowing customers to view delivery services and rates from a number of couriers in real time. Customers can then book a...