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  • Governance and startups — the Ethiopia experience

    Last month, Seedstars World held its first challenge in Ethiopia’s capital city of Addis Ababa and the event featured eleven of the country’s best startups. AhadooTec’s Fidel which is Ethiopia's first mobile learning platform, won the competition. And last Monday, as my taxi slowly left the Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, I began to ponder on why Ethiopia -- which is the most populous landlocked country in the world, as well as the second-most populous nation on the African continent after Nigeri -- was just having its first mobile learning platform in 2015! Perhaps the Ethiopian calendar, which is seven...

  • Company Office

    Beyond Innovation – it’s Innovation velocity that really matters…

    '5 Ways to Drive Innovation'…'The World's Most Innovative Leaders'….'The Latest Innovations in Fintech'…sound familiar? In mainstream media, and in the corporate lexicon, the word innovation has become ubiquitous – particularly when discussing entrepreneurship, technology, leadership, and how all three combine. As a result, it has all but lost its meaning. Among startups, for example, product differentiators are often peddled as 'innovations' – when in fact they are simply, product differentiators. Journalists often trumpet the release of a high profile company's latest 'innovation', when in fact it is simply the release of a new product (and should be reported as such!). Why is...

  • Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme 2016 calls for mentors

    The Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP), a supporter of African-owned businesses, is looking for mentors for its inaugural startup programme. The initiative is founded by Nigerian entrepreneur, investor, and philanthropic billionaire Tony O. Elumelu. The Tony Elumelu Foundation launched TEEP in January 2015 and looks to identify and support the growth of 1 000 African-owned businesses annually. This will be achieved with a US$100-million philanthropic programme, which includes the a highly designed framework of training, mentoring, funding, and networking for these startups. The 1 000 entrepreneurs -- from 51 African countries -- chosen for this year's programme went through a 12-week online...

  • How to keep the excitement going in your startup

    Whenever a company embarks on a process to create a culture that delights customers and creates loyalty, we usually recognise four very distinct phases in the process: First there is awareness, where people at all levels realise that change is important and imminent. Managers usually start reading up and enquiring about what to do next Then there is the evangelical phase, with bands and balloons and a lot of “Rah! Rah!” It is usually during this phase that the company carries out lots and lots of activities, including a launch event and training for everybody. Many systems and processes are established,...

  • Rush wants to change the way South Africans move their stuff from A to B

    Powered by WeChat, Rush is a new platform that's looking to forever change the way South Africans move stuff their from A to B. Launching today, the Rush app lets you compare a number of couriers, their prices and service delivery, in real-time. "A combination of an Uber and Hippo.co.za," the startup's CEO, Glenn Whittaker, likes to refer to the startup as. By aggregating numerous courier services, Rush enables users to choose their preferred brand based on reputation, price or delivery time. So far, the startup has boarded a handful of couriers such as Courier  IT, The Courier Guy, Globeflight, RTT and SkyNet, which collectively reach...

  • Western Cape Funding Fair calling for businesses seeking funding

    The Western Cape Funding Fair, to be held next year in May, is calling for local businesses seeking funding of between R2-million and R20-million. The initiative aims to stimulate local economic growth by connecting businesses that require funding with suitable investors, as well as to educate applicants on best practices to follow to turn ideas into bankable business plans. A second year running, the Funding Fair is also adding a R20-million-plus category for medium and large businesses. “The Funding Fair is a unique public and private partnership that aims to assist entrepreneurs to unlock the economic potential of our province," said Alan...

  • 3 reasons why you should apply for funding with the Awethu Project [Sponsored]

    Founded in 2009, the Awethu Project has grown from a R60 000 startup to a company with hundreds of millions of Rands to invest in South African entrepreneurship. Right now, the company is offering companies with the potential for high-growth the chance to apply for up to R5-million in equity funding. Awethu is interested in entrepreneurs who have products that are in demand or offer excellent services, and can prove they have the ambition and tenacity to become world class. The cost of the investment is a negotiated equity stake which brings Awethu on board as the high impact partner...

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [23/11/2015]

    Looking to get into the South African startup scene or scratch up on some of your skills? Well, you've come to the right place. There are loads of competitions, networking sessions and workshops happening around South Africa and the rest of the continent (namely Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana) that we've rounded up to make your life a bit easier. This article is part of a weekly series that highlights all the top startup competitions, networking sessions, workshops and conferences around South Africa, and the greater region. If you have any event recommendations for us to add to the list, or...

  • Survey: South African business owners put more time into work than life

    A quarter of respondents in Sage's new survey have compromised personal relationships for the sake of business success. Sage polled 200 South African small business owner respondents regarding their working hours for this latest survey. According to a global survey conducted by Sage, South African SMEs contribute nearly R530-billion (US$38-billion) to the country's annual GDP, with worldwide SMEs contributing R115-trillion (US$8.3-trillion) to the global economy through after hours work. The survey states 51% of South African business owners work more than 40 hours per week, while 22% of the respondents put in more than 50 hours. The average South African's working...

  • Ecommerce in South Africa – a growing movement

    By Anna Malczyk and Lyndi Lawson-Smith Ecommerce in South Africa faces many challenges. From the consumer perspective, these include reluctance to pay delivery costs, confusion around payment and the need for a credit card, security, and the ability to return items or get money refunded. The reality from the ecommerce providers’ perspective is that many of their sites are inadequate in addressing these issues, but also add the burden of poor usability. Given that many major retailers haven’t yet gotten this right, there is little example for small business owners and entrepreneurs to follow. And even in the cases where...

  • How IoT could empower entrepreneurship in SA’s emerging economies [Native Content]

    About this content. Data acquisition is at the crux of the Internet of Things (IoT). And no place is data so scarce and so crucial than in emerging economies. There is a dire need for data acquisition when it comes to various fast-growing sectors, from climate change and health to brand advertising. With IoT becoming increasingly accessible, entrepreneurs are presented with massive opportunities to help gain insight and ultimately overcome challenges the emerging world are facing. Africa is often referred to as the mobile continent. That's no surprise. South Africa, for instance, is figured to have a mobile phone penetration of...