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  • Attention tech gurus: change a budding entrepreneur’s life with Business Bridge

    There are fervent entrepreneurs out there, hungry for your entrepreneurial knowledge. Business Bridge, a not-for-profit organisation, is attempting to start a movement which enables experienced business people, entrepreneurs and business school alumni, the opportunity to share their knowledge on aspects related to starting and running a business, with entrepreneurs in historically disadvantaged communities. Founded by Professor Michael Hay at London Business School, Business Bridge developed a scalable model for delivering high quality, low cost business education to thousands of people for whom access is otherwise denied due to cost or lack of local provision. The initiative aims to help bridge...

  • Company Office

    Callpay, MyGate announce telephonic payments collaboration

    MyGate, one of Africa’s largest and fastest growing gateways, and Callpay, an innovative provider of secure payment solutions have collaborated to provide a payment solution that offers secure, telephonic payments in South Africa. Through this exciting collaboration, companies that require contact centre agents to accept card can now process these transactions through MyGate to the bank. Card payments are processed in a PCI compliant manner through their contact centre agents without the agent hearing or seeing any sensitive card data. At the point of payment, the agent simply delivers a virtual terminal directly to the customer’s mobile device. It can...

  • Why SA companies should be focusing on mCommerce

    Technology has transformed consumers’ lives, with shopping centres and the opportunities to spend now being brought to your PC, tablet and even your phone. With eCommerce on the increase in South Africa, such as with the latest online retail offerings by the popular fashion house, Mr Price, as well as Zando -- the online-only shopping site with international roots -- companies’ chances to leverage these opportunities online are growing. Not surprisingly however, according the Boston Consulting Group, a report published earlier this year, shows that SA’s eCommerce offering was growing at a surprisingly slower rate (12.6%) than the...

  • 1 million African entrepreneurs by 2020 says African Entrepreneur Academy

    When we took a look at entrepreneurial hub No Picket Fence, we discovered a group of individuals fervently engaged in sharing their entrepreneurial experiences. Google Hangouts have been a staple for the No Picket Fence community to learn from, and engage with, successful South African entrepreneurs. Today, No Picket Fence is putting these recorded Hangouts front and center as part of its newly launched African Entrepreneur Academy initiative. Michael Cowen, co-founder of No Picket Fence is bullish on the initiative. “Our objective is to give African entrepreneurs all the skills they need to create their own successful business,...

  • [Update] Meet the South African finalists for TNW’s Startup World

    Congratulations to Pashash for winning the South African leg of the competition in Cape Town last night. Good luck in San Francisco! Here we go Africa. The African leg of the The Next Web's Startup World competition kicks off in Cape Town today. The startup scene has been abuzz with the announcement that four African cities have been included in Startup World's inaugural tour. The competition will be held in 36 countries across the globe with the specific aim of shining "a light on entrepreneurs in emerging markets." The winners in each of the countries will fly to Silicon...

  • Health and welfare mobile service Impilo is powerful, free

    Impilo is a new mobile service that helps people easily locate health and wellbeing service providers in South Africa. It can also be used to give confidential feedback on the services received at public health and South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) service points. The service is free -- no airtime is required -- and as it is USSD based, it will work on any mobile phone. To use it, simply dial *130*448# and follow the menu prompts. Impilo is the only service of its kinds that has been zero-rated by almost all of the major mobile phone networks in...

  • Virtual Firehouse wins Startup Weekend Cape Town 2012

    Virtual Firehouse walked away with the honours from this year’s Startup Weekend Cape Town following a frenetic 54 hours in which entrepreneurs and innovators gathered to pitch and develop their business ideas in the hope of creating the next big thing. Startup Weekend is a global initiative which started in 2007 in Colorado, USA and over 500 events have been held in 90 countries to date. It was hosted in Cape Town for the second year running. Winners in the competition are provided with support from mentors, funders and industry giants such as Microsoft and Google. This year’s event took place...

  • How to rock your elevator pitch and get funding for your startup [Infographic]

    Quick. What is one sentence you'd use to describe your startup? Well, spit it out. Still trying to condense it? Yes, it's probably awesome. Maybe it'll even change life as we know it. But if you need funding, you need to be able to sell your idea so well that someone else will believe in it as much as you do. Time is up. What did you come up with? Lets say you're pitching to a super angel investor like Fabrice Grinda. He has said that getting a cheque from him is easy -- if the startup meets his four...

  • Virtual tax assistant TaxTim now speaks Afrikaans, isiXhosa and isiZulu

    Ventureburn recently wrote about TaxTim, the approachable, virtual tax assistant who helps South Africans complete their tax returns by asking simple questions, in plain English. Starting today, TaxTim will be able to converse in Afrikaans, isiXhosa and isiZulu as well. "Despite only 8.2% of South Africans speaking English, SARS continues to provide help in this language only, ignoring the other 10 official languages. We are delighted to announce that TaxTim has now made it easier for the majority of South Africans to get and stay confidently tax compliant. For the first time, 63% of South Africans will have access to...

  • Angel group invests in African low-cost housing solution

    This is interesting. South African angel investment group AngelHub's is taking a swing at the low-cost housing market by providing funding for Namibian-developed technology, the Kavango Block Brick. The technology looks to address the lack of affordable housing on the continent, which is a major obstacle to development on the continent. In South Africa alone, the housing backlog is 2.6-million houses. Many of these customers fall into the so-called gap market, representing would-be homeowners whose income is too high to qualify for government subsidies but too low to qualify for bank loans. Heinrich Schroeder...

  • 5 thoughts on writing great press releases

    Michelle and I attended a Silicon Cape event this week where Sarah Rice shared her experiences as a public relations consultant for rock-star companies like personal finance management site 22seven and African instant messaging giant Mxit. Rice sowed valuable advice on relationships between startups and the media onto a hotbed of Cape Town’s bright up-and-coming startups and a lot of what was said resonated with me, especially the part that affects my job the most, communication with startups. The communication usually starts in the form of a press release. We love press releases. Learning about new companies and tracking their...