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  • Learning the hard way: your mistakes can make you a better entrepreneur

    Part of my job allows me to talk to entrepreneurs and dig into their experiences, successes, and failures. The success stories are usually well publicized, but it’s not quite so for the failures. It’s only when you talk to them one-on-one (or talk to someone who the entrepreneur is close with) will you get to learn of their real struggles while building great companies. It’s always inspiring listening to stories describing successful entrepreneurs, perhaps followed by sudden adversity, and then rebounding with loads of lessons learned on how to build a better company or be a better person. Most great entrepreneurs...

  • Company Office

    Barclays Accelerator programme in full swing

    The 2017 Barclays Accelerator is in full swing at the Rise fintech innovation hub in Woodstock, Cape Town, with ten fintech companies on site, participating in a tried and tested start-up accelerator programme presented by Barclays Africa in conjunction with US-company Techstars. The 13-week programme sees startup fintech companies follow a growth acceleration curriculum designed by Techstars, which has supported more than 900 technology startups across 23 cities around the world. The experience is enhanced through the involvement of a network of local and global mentors, as well as Barclays Africa executives, who help shape participants’ business plans and development. The...

  • Oxygen Broadband’s Wi Fi hotspots aim to connect Nigeria and its entrepreneurs

    Getting access to a fast and affordable internet connection in Nigeria is still problematic. To solve this, internet provider Oxygen Broadband is aiming to supply affordable and reliable broadband to Nigerians through the deployment of Wi Fi hotspots. Four months ago, it launched the first metro Wi Fi hotspot at the Ikeja Computer Village; a popular district for IT-related trade and services in Lagos. How is this initiative helping Nigerian tech entrepreneurs? Focusing on densely populated areas, Oxygen Broadband is deploying several Wi Fi hotspots spread across the Nigerian commercial capital. The company is targeting countrywide expansion by 2014. “Until...

  • The lean startup and the connected economy: trends to watch out for

    The rate of change is ever increasing. Consumers are adopting new technology faster than ever before and their behaviour and expectations are changing. As Per Sundin from Universal Music Sweden puts it, ‘Things have never moved this fast, and will never move this slowly again’. Businesses have to respond. And there are two trends emerging that will help companies do just that – the lean startup movement and the connected economy. Up until now the response has been a slow and measured one with businesses adopting a cautious approach to innovation trying to get things ‘as near to perfect as...

  • Africa rising: entrepreneurship now in vogue with students [Study]

    Everyone wants to be an entrepreneur. These days, every second person you meet doesn't want to go find themselves in a temple in India or the snowy mountains of Nepal. No they want to start a company or partner with a startup to "grow their knowledge base". A recent study from The Association of Business Executives (ABE) agrees. According the report, 72% of students in Africa would rather be self-employed. The Association of Business Executives is a UK-based qualifications body that provides a range of business management qualifications to more than 50 000 students worldwide every year. The survey, which...

  • Enterprise social media startup WyseTalk secures $1M funding round

    Social media for enterprise startup, WyseTalk, has secured first phase funding in excess of $1 million from an investment consortium comprising high nett worth individuals from South Africa, Europe and the United Kingdom. WyseTalk was developed by Alacrity Technologies and launched in October 2011. The transaction, facilitated by local venture capital firm Clifftop Colony, sees a shift in shareholding as Alacrity Technologies divests to focus on its core financial services and retail business. WyseTalk will now be supported by a group of investors with global tech interests. Speaking on behalf of investors, Sean Emery, Chief Investment Officer at Titan...

  • Jacques Blom: the 14 year-old entrepreneur you have to know about

    If you think you've done a lot in your life, think again. On Friday evening, a boy of 14 got up and presented his idea and business during the Cape Town Entrepreneurship Week (CTEW), and immediately raised the bar for what people of his age should have accomplished. Jacques Blom is from the Cape and currently attends high school, but that didn't stop him from spotting a gap in a market and going for it. He was busy on Facebook, trying out a colour changer app that would make his profile look different and exciting -- but the app was...

  • Socialbakers raises $6m in new round of funding

    Popular social analytics site, Socialbakers has just raised US$6-million in a new round of funding to aid its expansion plans according to the company's website. The company, which was launched in 2009, offers analytics for businesses running marketing campaigns across social media platforms so they are able to measure the effectiveness of their campaigns. The new round of funding comes courtesy of Index Ventures, with additional funding from first-round investors such as Early Bird Ventures. "There is no question that Socialbakers lead this space. Their name is now synonymous with intelligent social media measurement and benchmarking," said Partner at...

  • Ex Motribe boss starts environmentally friendly online sock shop

    Former Motribe CEO Nic Haralambous is not just taking his share of the profits from the recent sale of the company and travelling the world. Nope, he's starting an ecommerce sock shop. NicSocks, which officially launched today, is an environmentally friendly online sock store that believes "socks are the foundations of style". Haralambous was the co-founder of mobile social network builder, Motribe, which was recently acquired by Mxit for an undisclosed sum. The company was started two years ago with Vincent Maher and was invested in by local venture capital company 4Di Capital. NicSocks began because of Haralambous' passion...

  • 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,...

  • 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...

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