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  • How high-speed internet access is changing Tanzania

    The installation of underwater telecommunications cables beginning in 2009 and a US$200-million government backed rollout of 10 000km of national backbone, has seen the cost of Internet connectivity in Tanzania drop to as little as 15 US cents a day on a prepaid service. SEACOM Tanzania's managing director, Anna Kahama-Rupia, says that the reduced rate represents a drop of thousands of percent in the cost of Internet bandwidth in the country over the past three to four years. Before 2009 only larger businesses could afford access to broadband connectivity in the form of dedicated fixed lines costing between US$5...

  • Company Office

    Sureswipe’s new POS Lite is a game-changer for small retailers and startups

    For a small retailer or startup to be successful and move to the next level, it’s important that systems are in place to track inventory, recon and balance merchant batch closure, manage multiple store and staff sales and have immediate access to real-time data that helps make better management decisions. South Africa’s long-standing fintech player, Sureswipe has launched a new Point of Sale (POS) app and an online business management portal that will change the way small retailers, startups and pop-up shops process card payments from customers and manage their businesses. Sureswipe POS LITE comprises an app and online portal which...

  • Prezence Digital set to launch student mentoring initiative

    South African digital agency, Prezence Digital has announced that it will soon be launching a project it calls the 10Teams/10Brands/10Grand initiative. Established in the UK in 1998, Prezence Digital expanded into South Africa in 2002. The agency, which originally focused on the South African music and movie industries, evolved into the digital sphere with services such as mobi, web, digital campaign management, social media and, more recently, apps. Recently, Prezence Digital made headlines for its wildly successful MandelaStory campaign, with the endorsement of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, to celebrate Nelson Mandela’s 94th birthday. The campaign featured on CNN, ITN and leading...

  • Pashash: the online social network for offline shopping

    Pashash is a location-aware mobile app that lets you share the things you buy or like in brick-and-mortar retail stores. You can think of it as an online social network for offline shopping that allows you and your friends to express your tastes and discover great deals on items you fancy. Born out of Umbono, Google’s Cape Town based tech incubator, Pashash is shaping up to be a welcome weapon against showrooming. Showrooming Showrooming is a term used to describe the trend which sees people visiting a physical store to check out a product, only to purchase the product online. Brands are...

  • Google nestles in with Kenya’s 88mph, SA expansion planned

    Looks like Google's African startup footprint is about grow a little more. Kenyan startup accelerator 88mph has signed a partnership with the tech giant in a bid to ramp up its African expansion. The company says it hopes the partnership will "fill the gaps of the nascent startup ecosystem" on the continent. According to The Next Web, the new partnership will allow 88mph to provide a number of extra services, including legal and IP advice, mentoring, and technical workshops. The first stop in Accelerator's expansion will see it heading to Cape Town later this year. Google already has a...

  • Marketing opt-out list TrustFabric rockets to 305 000 users

    In the fight against spam, TrustFabric, South Africa's first independently run direct marketing opt-out list is getting traction, having now grown to 305 000 users. The Consumer Protection Act (CPA) gives South Africans the right to block direct marketing by adding their contact details to an opt-out list, but an official national opt-out list is yet to be appointed. The free TrustFabric service, launched in 2011, hopes to become the official national opt-out list, which would see direct marketing companies become legally bound to check if a number is on the list before they are allowed to phone or SMS...

  • Who are South Africa’s top business women and entrepreneurs?

    The influence of women on business is increasing -- they're making a mark on the tech world and women account for a larger percentage of the influential people on TIME Magazine's global list than ever before. From Yahoo!'s new CEO Marissa Mayer to the first female chairperson of the African Union, women are showing why they're a force to be reckoned with. So who are some of South Africa's top female entrepreneurs and business women? If the list of finalists for this year's Top Women in Business and Government Awards is anything to go by, they're working in industries...

  • Best and worst sub-Saharan African countries for startups

    We delved into the World Bank's Economy Rankings for 2012, released earlier this year and found that despite African countries not featuring in the top 20 overall for ease of doing business, they still offer aspects that could make them attractive to startups. We also identified some aspects of economies in Africa that make it really hard for entrepreneurs to prosper. First, let's take a look at the countries in the region that have aspects that are likely to attract startups. Be sure to have a look at the full detailed report for complete rankings and methodology. Mauritius Ranked number one...

  • 3 little known (but effective) tools for understanding your user

    If you're like me, you've always been fascinated by startups but not sure how to go about actually starting one up. At the beginning of this year I noticed a gap in the online market and started working on filling it by creating an online novel-writing programme for people who really want to write a novel, but don't know how to start it. I've been working for a large corporate in South Africa and in the Netherlands, so it's been fairly eye opening having to do things myself (not having a team of people to execute on things for me),...

  • Peter Thiel’s 20 Under 20: Transforming Tomorrow documentary coming soon

    This is one you'll want to look out for. The two-part 20 Under 20: Transforming Tomorrow documentary airing next Monday and Tuesday on CNBC in the US, tells the story of 20 young entrepreneurs who compete for a US$100 000 Thiel Fellowship to bring their dreams to life. The Fellowship is offered by legendary investor Peter Thiel, who many know as one of the first investors in Facebook. The documentary will chronicle Thiel's search for brilliant innovators -- 1 000 applied from 20 different countries -- who will will pitch their ideas to investors and entrepreneurs including Sean Parker and...

  • Fresh out of beta Moneysmart reveals bank integration, master plan

    Moneysmart, the online personal finance manager (PFM) we covered last year, will be exiting beta in the next few days. It sports a new look, iOS and Android apps, and now, direct integration with all but one South African bank. Absa is yet to give Moneysmart its blessing, but CEO Tobie van Zyl is confident that an agreement will be reached by the end of this year. With big name backers and a maturing feature set, Moneysmart is coming out guns blazing in its bid to lead a pack of new personal finance tools that aim to give you a...