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  • Pete Case on Gloo being acquired by Ogilvy: ‘this is us getting even deeper’

    The big news in the digital agency space this week is the acquisition of Gloo by Ogilvy & Mather. It's a massive coup for the WPP-owned communications agency. Getting your hands on an agency that has been named Digital Agency of the Year every year for the past seven years by Financial Mail’s AdFocus Awards is, after all, no small feat. If the people at the heart of the deal are to be believed though, this is no ordinary acquisition. In fact, Gloo founder Pete Case isn't really all that comfortable with anyone calling it an acquisition. "We're talking about...

  • 4 things you need to know about shifting your employees from a ‘cost’ to ‘revenue’ mentality

    The "daily grind" is a somewhat negative phrase, and whether your employees are happy or not, chances are they can relate to it in some way. The same job day after day can get a little old for anyone — especially if it’s unclear how his or her work is providing value to the company. That’s why it’s critical to empower employees at every level of your company with open communication and a strong understanding of business analytics. By helping them see exactly where their work fits into the company’s broader success through concrete data, you’ll foster a “revenue center”...

  • Microsoft’s EmployMentor to empower 150 female graduate students in Kenya

    Female graduate students from 24 universities in Kenya will benefit from a mentorship programme by Microsoft and other local partners. The programme, called EmployMentor, started on Monday and 150 female students have been selected to be part of it. The programme is a partnership between Microsoft, its 4Afrika initiative, and the African Centre for Women in Information and Communications Technology (ACWICT). The aim of the programme is to promote skills development and job placement for young female graduates in technology and business. “Unemployment is a challenge for many youth, and initiatives such as EmployMentor can bridge the skills gap between academia...

  • What do returning expats need to know about setting up business in SA?

    There are ample opportunities available to South Africa’s talented entrepreneurs. For those who can identify a gap, and leverage both skills and experience, South Africa’s business landscape is rife with potential. My journey as an expat returning to set up a business in South Africa has underscored this point for me. Having worked in the United Kingdom for several years, I decided to move back to raise my son in SA. I had always joked about starting the company in SA, but when we realised that there was no one else providing a similar service here in the marketing space...

  • SA’s mobile budget app Bsavi launches at Web Summit, set to take on the world

    A new personal finance startup, Bsavi, founded by a group of South Africans has finally launched at Web Summit. While it's currently open as an invite-only service, people interested in testing out the budget app can start queuing and sign-up on its website. South Africa's home to many financial tech startups, each with its own kicks and quirks. In January this year, Old Mutual bank's popular money management platform 22seven became free to use for all its users. Bsavi, however, notes that it's not like your run-of-the-mill budgeting app. The service is described as a spend management tool which shows users...

  • Free WiFi initiative Project Isizwe launches mobile-friendly VoD service

    South Africa's free WiFi startup initiative Project Isizwe has rolled out its services from Gauteng to the Western Cape, giving people access to education, jobs and news resources via their mobile devices. Now, Isizwe has launched WiFi TV -- a mobile-friendly video-on-demand (VoD) service available for unlimited access. In July this year, Project Isizwe announced that it would start implementing over 200 new hotspots across the City of Tshwane. Just a week later, major South African classifieds Gumtree announced that it would help support the company's vision of providing free WiFi and online services to the country's economically disadvantaged. "We want to...

  • Dragons’ Den SA Episode 7: sweetening the deal

    What do collectible marbles, a kiddies table, a macadamia nut processing plant and bespoke confectionery shop have in common? The answer, which should be fairly obvious given that you're reading this article is that they're all things that were pitched on the latest episode of Dragons' Den SA. While a number of the episodes in the season so far have had a definite theme to them, this one appeared fairly random. That said, this was also one of the episodes where there were evidently more lessons for your average entrepreneur. Kicked into touch First into the den this episode were...

  • WPP acquires Gloo through Ogilvy & Mather

    Advertising giant WPP has acquired Gloo, one of South Africa's largest digital agencies, through its flagship marketing communications network Ogilvy & Mather. Gloo has made a serious name for itself since its founding in 2005, winning multiple awards and nailing down big-name clients including FNB, Microsoft, the Discovery Channel and British Airways. The digital agency’s audited revenues for the financial year ended June 2014 were ZAR 70.5 million with gross assets as at the same date of ZAR 27.5 million. Ventureburn sources had confirmed some time ago that Gloo's majority shareholder Kagiso Media was interested in offloading its stake in...

  • Is video interviewing actually good for your startup’s diversity?

    You may have heard about the recent Dunkin’ Donuts discrimination scandal, where a man was denied employment because his religion requires him to take certain times off. Or last month’s Food Lion case where a change in position interfered with a worker’s religious schedule. No, it’s not 1941 or even the year of discrimination, but discriminatory practices in employment and hiring are still a problem. Since the introduction of video interviewing as a tech best practice in hiring, employers, hiring managers, and recruiters are using it to connect with people from all over the globe. A company’s talent pool multiplies when...

  • Nomanini, Paratus Telecom brings mobile airtime distribution service to Namibia

    We've covered South African point of sale (PoS) startup Nomanini extensively in the past (especially its airtime distribution service), but now it's broadening horizons across the border in Namibia, partnering with one of the country's chief ICT providers, Paratus Telecom, to bring rural airtime retailers a "business in a box." Dubbed the Katiti, the brightly coloured box houses some nifty airtime-retrieving technology, including a battery large enough to last for five days on one charge. One charge takes just eight hours. Additionally, thanks to Nomanini's cloud-based mobile PoS platform, the Katiti doesn't require cables or electricity to function in remote...