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  • Report reveals attitudes towards entrepreneurship in Africa

    African entrepreneurs rank the EU as the region offering the most profit potential to new African Business, despite Europe's recent economic woes. One in three (32 per cent) say the EU is the most potentially lucrative global region, while just three per cent say the same of North America. These findings are drawn from a report by business qualifications body, the Association of Business Executives (ABE), that reveal the attitudes of 12 000 of its African business students towards entrepreneurship. The largest number of responses was from Malawi followed by (in order) Zambia, Kenya, Ghana, Mauritius, Botswana, Tanzania, Sierra Leone,...

  • Company Office

    Nomanini scales West African footprint with Transaction Solutions partnership

    South African-based portable Point of Sale (PoS) service provider Nomanini has announced it has signed an exclusive agreement with Transactions Solutions Ghana Limited (GSE: TRANSOL) to substantially scale numbers of its cloud-based PoS terminals in Ghana. The partnership with TranSol signals Nomanini’s first scaled project commitment in West Africa, with the first batch of 100 pilot terminals having been deployed in January 2015, proving an instant hit with vendors. A second, larger shipment is due to arrive next month. Nomanini already has partnerships in Kenya, Namibia, Zambia and Mozambique, with active terminals processing over five million transactions in those regions, including...

  • When does an entrepreneur become a business person?

    It all starts with an idea. Over time, your idea gathers momentum, causing a cascade of emotions in the process that very few non-entrepreneurs will ever get to experience. Anticipation, excitement and even terror are just some of the words that immediately come to mind; it’s a veritable (self-inflicted) emotional rollercoaster. But deep down you know, your idea will be a success. My idea for Tourism Radio started in 2005 – probably before then actually, as I had been involved in the tourist industry for some time already. Today, my idea operates on three continents and works with some of...

  • African company constructs world’s first open-source metabolic chamber

    HealthQ Technologies, a high-tech startup facility based in Stellenbosch, South Africa, claims to have constructed the first open-source metabolic chamber in the world. The company says that the metabolic chamber will enable South African entrepreneurs and researchers to perform crucial experiments using facilities which were previously inaccessible. It is also intended to be used for developing new technologies and products in the wellness, weight-loss and fitness industries. WooThemes co-founder Adii Pienaar is one of the investors in HealthQ. "I was first attracted to HealthQ, because their incredibly talented & smart team; a true bunch of geeks! I initially invested in HealthQ...

  • Lessons to learn from 5 promising (and failed) Chinese startups

    They say you learn more from failure than you do from success. And that appears to be the theory behind a new blog post from Sinobeat Capital managing partner and Fortune China columnist Ding Chenling. In his very long post in Chinese, Ding lays out the stories of 17 Chinese startups that ultimately failed, and breaks down the lessons learned. The whole thing is a bit too long for our purposes, but here are a few of the most interesting startups (and lessons) Ding picked. Company: Fanfou Lesson: Startups shouldn’t work in areas that could be politically sensitive. Fanfou is actually still around, but these days it...

  • Knowledge Bridge to help news businesses transition to digital

    Media Development Loan Fund (MDLF), the New York-based, "investment fund for independent news outlets in countries with a history of media oppression," recently launched Knowledge Bridge. The website and monthly newsletter contains best practices, strategies, trends, data and resources to help news outlets in emerging markets make the transition from traditional to digital media. The site strays away from focusing on digital editorial innovation. Instead, it provides information, analysis and resources to MDLF's clients -- and indeed anyone involved in the news industry -- about the digital news business. The site falls in line with MDLF's goals which is to...

  • 6 of South Africa’s hottest ecommerce sites

    When it comes to tech startups, ecommerce is at once an easy and tricky space to play in. It's easy, because to get going all you really need is something to sell, a good design and the right plugins. It's tricky because people are trusting you with their money. You have to make sure you have the right security, and can guarantee delivery. It's also not easy to stand out in a market like South Africa where broadband penetration remains comparatively low, forcing you to compete for place in a crowded space. There are a few that have done...

  • Oppenheimer family invests in 4Di Capital to back SA tech entrepreneurs

    Amid increased calls by the private and public sectors for greater support of South Africa’s growing pool of entrepreneurial talent, local VC company, 4Di Capital, announced that E. Oppenheimer & Son has joined 4Di Capital Fund 1 as the fund’s newest investor. E. Oppenheimer & Son International is the investment holding company of the Oppenheimer Family interests, founders of the global mining company Anglo American, and managing shareholders of De Beers, the world’s leading diamond company, until its recent acquisition by Anglo American. 4Di Capital has made seven investments in South African ventures so far, and recently announced its first...

  • 8 questions you should ask yourself before pitching your startup

    So you've had the next big idea, or your startup's been going along quietly for a little while. Now you're ready to take it out into the big bad world. If you find yourself asking "Umm...what next?" you're not alone. If you're in an emerging market like South Africa, knowing what to do next is getting easier, but it's still not as easy as it might be in a more traditional market. Sure there are a growing number of angel investors, venture capitalists, incubators and accelerators, but if you want to get their interest you really have to stand...

  • MobiProps: clever mobile real estate service links online and offline worlds

    MobiProps is a mobile real estate service that makes effective use of short URLs, SMS and QR codes to drive prospective homebuyers to online property portfolios. For agents, the service offers a streamlined solution for marketing their property portfolio to the rapidly growing number of homebuyers and sellers using smartphones. The service launches today. MobiProps provides homebuyers with direct access to the property information, high resolution images, video clips, sharing and contact information of ‘for sale’ properties, formatted to fit the small screen of a smartphone. For agents, the service offers QR code and SMS technology to send a...

  • Alan Knott-Craig Jnr: 7 career lessons learnt thus far

    Alan Knott Craig Junior is mobile entrepreneur, who was previously the CEO of wireless internet provider iBurst. He recently stepped down as CEO of Mxit, after buying it in 2011, and World of Avatar, the startup group he co-founded. In this post, he explores some of the lessons his various ventures have taught him. When I think of the factors that led to any successes (or failures) in my career thus far, the following come to mind: 1. Communicate If you can’t effectively transmit the picture in your head into the head of the person you’re communicating with, you’re dead. This...