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  • ReMe app wants to revolutionise loyalty programmes in South Africa

    An app that seeks to help businesses build and retain customer loyalty has launched in South Africa. ReMe, as it's called, provides users access to a virtual loyalty card reward system by linking them to an array of retailers and restaurants based on their interests, tastes and brand preferences. Michael Zahariev, the co-founder of ReMe, notes in a recent press release that although the app can be applied to national chains and franchises, it should be particularly attractive to smaller businesses: “Loyalty programmes are expensive to build and implement, particularly programmes which have the goal of large-scale customer engagement," Zahariev adds....

  • Company Office

    Netflix: What do South Africans think?

    With the announcement of Netflix launching in South Africa a few months ago, it might have seemed like a belated Christmas gift from America. But has the novelty seemingly worn off quicker than one would expect? There are plenty of reasons why the excitement of Netflix in South Africa seems to have died down. For one, there are not many South Africans who are fortunate to enjoy the luxury of cable TV, never mind Netflix. There is also the added hurdle of using the streaming service with limited to no access to the Internet for many and data bundles that do...

  • Decentralised ledger platform Hyperledger wins SWIFT’s Innotribe Startup Challenge 2015

    SWIFT's Innotribe Startup Challenge 2015, which seeks to recognise some of the world's top businesses in fintech, has finally concluded with a winner. US-based decentralised ledger platform Hyperledger -- which enables the transferring digital assets -- has secured the title of Innotribe Startup Challenge 2015's top fintech company, walking away with US$50 000. Forming part of major financial services conference Sibos in Singapore, the event brought together a total of 20 companies -- 12 early-stage and eight growth-stage companies -- that pitched in front of an audience of industry experts, VCs and representatives from some of the world's leading financial institutions. Read...

  • R300m fund launched to boost green entrepreneurship in SA

    Initiatives encouraging entrepreneurs who address both socio-economic and environmental challenges in South Africa are becoming more common place. The most recent of these is a massive R300-million fund by risk financier Business Partners Limited. Business Partners today announced the launch of its Green Fund, which Business Partners managing director Nazeem Martin explains, seeks to positively impact on the environment and simultaneously create wealth and jobs in the country. The Business Partners Limited Green Fund seeks to develop, grow and invest in sustainable businesses, enabling them to capitalise on opportunities in the green economy -- especially in the clean and green technology,...

  • Investec gets into the fibre game with Vumatel investment

    This is interesting. Ivestec, the specialist bank and asset manager has acquired a minority stake in Vumatel, a disruptive fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) startup. While neither party divulged how much the investment is worth or how much of a stake it gives Investec in Vumatel. The latter did however reveal that it planned to use the investment to up its fibre roll-out rate. “With Investec’s support, Vumatel will be better positioned to accelerate its roll-out to communities across South Africa. This partnership will furthermore assist in speeding up both transformation within the economy and changing the lives of consumers.” says...

  • ARTICLE RETRACTION: Digital All Stars 2015: 13 South African tech entrepreneurs on the rise

    Digital All Stars is a new series of articles on Ventureburn and Memeburn, which recognises and celebrates achievement in a variety of digital fields that includes entrepreneurship, media & marketing, technology innovation, general business and education. Our aim with the Digital All Stars Series on Ventureburn is to celebrate entrepreneurial achievement in South Africa, and the African countries in which Ventureburn is popular in, which includes Kenya and Nigeria. Creating lists to recognise achievement is, in itself, a fraught exercise, so we aim to ensure accuracy by consulting with many experts in the wider industry to ensure that...

  • Why we really need to take South Africa’s informal entrepreneurs more seriously

    South Africa's informal economy is booming. However, the lack of reliable data and realistic policies from government means millions of people are without security and support on the one hand, while potential opportunities are wasted on the other. If trends revealed by Leif Petersen from the Sustainable Livelihoods Foundation are to be taken seriously, townships are well on their way to becoming the future of the country's cities and thus its economy. In Cape Town, a city home to about 4 million people for example, 38% of the population live on a minimum earning of R1 600 per month, supporting...

  • Why one financial services giant is actively trying to foster innovation and disruption [Sponsored]

    MMI Holdings is one of South Africa's largest financial services players. Formed out of a merger between Metropolitan and Momentum, two of South Africa's most respected insurance players, the JSE-listed company has a market cap of more than R50-billion and a growing portfolio of brands under its belt. It'd be pretty understandable then if it decided to rest on it laurels. But MMI is profoundly aware of how quickly established players in any market can be disrupted. After all, the companies within its portfolio have a history of being pretty disruptive themselves, driving competition in the in the insurance,...

  • 702, Cape Talk and Nedbank partner to form Business Accelerator

    South African radio stations 702 and Cape Talk have partnered with banking institution Nedbank to form the Business Accelerator. The programme will be looking for entrepreneurs who have survived the startup phase and are now ready to grow their business further. Entrepreneurs can nominate themselves for the Business Accelerator who will need to have been in business for at least three years, be part of a CC or Pty, and making a difference in the eyes of the customer. The chosen finalists will be coached by entrepreneur and business partner, Pavlo Phitidis, who will help them make key changes in their business. "This...

  • $1m The Venture competition now open to Nigerian startups

    Startups in Nigeria can now compete to win their share of US$1-million from Chivas Regal's The Venture competition, which aims to ultimately recognise and support social enterprises from emerging markets. “We’re excited to announce the launch of The Venture and can’t wait to discover aspiring entrepreneurs across Nigeria," said Pernod Ricard Nigeria marketing director Sola Oke. "Whether your business focuses on technology, agriculture, healthcare, food or the environment, we want to hear about it." The competition will consist of three main stages: an open assessment process which identifies the 15 startups that will make it to the Semifinal Boot-Camp of the...

  • The Technovation Challenge: supporting young girls to become technology entrepreneurs

    The Silicon Cape Initiative together with sponsors GirlHype and Britehouse, recently held the Technovation Challenge information session at the V & A Waterfront’s Workshop 17 in Cape Town, as part of Africa Code Week. The Technovation Challenge is a global technology entrepreneurship programme for young women aged 10 to 23. During an intensive 3-month curriculum, which includes learning how draw up business plans, designing prototypes and creating pitches, teams of women work together to develop mobile app “startups” to solve real problems in their communities. They then pitch their start-up business to investors. The competition goes through regional and...