Starting your own business 101: happiness not included

DIGITAL CAMERA What’s the difference between being happy and feeling alive? Let me tell you. Being happy involves feelings of joy, contentment and euphoria while often excluding, ignoring or suppressing negative feelings. Feeling alive is knowing that every day brings challenges that you either will or will not overcome. Feeling alive isn’t restricted to joy. It involves pain, fear, anger, confusion, frustration, happiness, euphoria, triumph, accomplishment, failure, success, remorse, resentment and everything in between. That’s how most entrepreneurs I know would probably define what ...

Africa, Startup news

Social lending startup Lendico launches in SA, to finance the underbanked

Lendico Africa Internet Holding (AIH) recently announced the launch of Lendico in South Africa -- a digital alternative to banks that enables investors to directly fund the loans of private individuals. Using a peer-to-peer model, the platform introduces social lending that promises borrowers cheap finance while investors get great return on investment. Under the umbrella of German startup incubator Rocket Internet, the service is NCR-approved and has so far launched in Germany (December 2013) followed by Spain, Poland, Austria and now ...

Africa, News

Integr8 boosts SA’s tech skills, opens up new internship programme

Integr8 ICT management company Integr8 recently announced that it has invested in the future of South Africa’s ICT sector by making available its new internship program to fifteen young candidates. The South African government's National ICT Plan aims to address the skills shortage that is estimated to be 27%. Most of the demand comes from the specialised sectors such as technology and is where Intrgr8 hopes to ultimately contribute. This latest move, the company says, highlights its commitment to skills development ...

Entrepreneurship, Startups

Governance and startups: moving beyond the red tape

Red Tape For the South African government to achieve its goal of creating five million jobs over ten years, the SME sector would need to grow by a staggering 40%. Pravin Gordhan, the Minister of Finance, emphasised the importance of SMEs in achieving this goal by stating that “about 70% of private employment is in firms with fewer than 50 workers”. This supports what we have always known about the SME sector: it has a critical role in supporting economic and social ...

Emerging Markets, Startup news

Seedstars World 2014 startup competition kicks off in April

Seedstars World2 Seedstars World has recently announced that it's gearing up to continue its global startup competition for emerging markets and fast-growing startup scenes in 2014. Earlier this year, we saw the 20 regional startup finalists (five of them from Africa) of SeedStars World 2013. Hailing from Dubai to Rio de Janeiro and Seoul to Lagos, these businesses pitched their innovative ideas to a global audience in Geneva, Switzerland in February. Seedstars World will hit the road in April. The organisers will head to ...

Africa, Ecommerce

MallForAfrica links overseas ecommerce sites to Nigeria’s growing consumers

MallForAfrica As Nigeria's middle class continues to grow, the demand for luxury and consumer shopping is only set to increase. Online shopping has started to take off in the country thanks to key players like Konga and Jumia, but getting consumer products from overseas countries like the UK and US has remained difficult for the population, until now. A startup called MallForAfrica connects online shoppers in Nigeria to international e-tailers in the UK, Europe and the US and takes care of the ...

Entrepreneurship, Startups

Funding, partners, tax: how SA entrepreneurs can get the most out of their money

plant money growth Big match temperament is a prerequisite for entrepreneurship. As an entrepreneur you have to make big decisions on a daily basis that impact various aspects of your company. ‘Going with your gut’ is great for intuitive leadership and direction for your business, but when it comes to financial decision-making when steering your business, making sure that you have thoroughly thought through all the implications of a big decision greatly increases your chances of it being the right one. Putting money into the ...

China, Infographic

China’s mobile commerce 2014 reveals online shopping habits [Infographic]

Mobile-China We know that China's ecommerce market is set to see US$274.5 billion in spending in 2014, but how much of that will be done from mobile devices? The answer is, by the best estimates, US$51.62 billion spent via mobile commerce this year. That's nearly double the mcommerce tally in 2013. Now that smartphones account for over 80% of China's new phone sales, it's inevitable that the m-commerce sector is growing faster than the ecommerce industry itself. It's time for all ecommerce ...

Africa, Startups

How SA’s SteadiDrone is bringing awesome flying ‘copters to the world

SteadiDrone-Cover The use of UAVs (or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) has ruled the headlines over the last few years. These flying machines, also known as drones, have captured the imagination of Silicon Valley geeks and anti-NSA activists paranoid about their privacy, and caused the US military some controversy. Fitted with a camera such as a GoPro, the media has also started using UAVs in innovative ways -- getting top-view shots of chaotic protests, for example. Friendlier examples of the use of UAVs include ...

Africa, Startup news

SA’s Stanchion Payment Solutions heads to Europe, sets sight on global market

Pay South African company Stanchion Payment Solutions has recently opened up its European regional office based in London. The tech company focuses on implementing, managing and enhancing payment systems and solutions in complex environments for banks, retailers, payment processors and payment system vendors, and has recently shown a growling appetite for the global market. Stanchion’s entry into the European financial services technology sector follows a year after opening up a Middle East and North Africa regional office, based in Dubai, in March ...