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  • 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...

  • Company Office

    SA consumers doing their product homework before purchase

    At a time when most consumers are spending conservatively, with a hawkish eye on every last Rand, value for money has become paramount. Long gone are the days when people sign on to mobile contracts on a whim, or buy insurance products at the behest of a smiling salesman. With deep-seated economic and political uncertainty prevailing, consumers are looking to inform themselves as best they can before spending a cent. “The good news for sceptical South Africans is that a host of new and sophisticated digital tools are coming online, giving people much-needed access to information,” says Ryan Marx, CEO...

  • 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...

  • Ampion Venture Bus crowns elearning platform as its champion

    After starting its accelerator-on-wheels 13 November in Windhoek, Namibia, the Ampion Venture Bus finally has crowned elearning platform e.Mkuyu as the winner of the tour. The final pitching session took place at the Ericsson AHUB event at AfricaCom 2015 at the CTICC this week. e.Mkuyu was recognised for its platform, which is based on elearning farming courses for those looking for professions in agriculture and then pairing students with farmers. The team won an acceptance into Ampion's Fellowship Program, which includes six months of online courses and several days in Berlin, Germany. Second and third places were awarded to Agri2go, which...

  • Meet the 10 startups to pitch at Seedstars Gaborone

    Rounding off its tour through the African continent, Seedstars World have chosen the 10 startups to pitch in Gaborone, Botswana. The global competition for fast-growing companies from emerging markets seeks to recognise and provide startups from more than 52 countries with networking and funding opportunities. Based in Switzerland, Seedstars World's previous participants have collectively raised US$20-million. Seedstars World kicked off its seven-month Africa tour in May this year with a mission to visit 12 different countries around the continent. These include Mozambique, South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Tanzania. The winning startup from each leg will...

  • Ampion Venture Bus diaries: Day 6 with the final stretch to Cape Town’s Bandwidth Barn

    Ampion is a Berlin-based accelerator and advisory firm promoting technology entrepreneurship in Africa. In this series, Ventureburn follows the organisation's Ampion Venture Bus tour through Namibia, Botswana and South Africa, in its seven-day bootcamp for entrepreneurs. Day six was the final stretch of our journey. The bus had to travel over 1 000 kilometres to reach Cape Town from Bloemfontein. It was going to be a very long day. Day 6 The bus journey was ablaze with those practising their speeches, reworking slides, and incorporating new ideas to see what would work. Unfortunately, the bus hit a snag a day or so...

  • Teachings from Helsinki’s Slush 2015: the cosmic egg of global startups

    In the last ten days, this American-turned-adopted-South African was honoured to participate in the Global Impact Accelerator run by Slush, a 15 000-plus person strong tech conference in Helsinki, Finland. codeX, along with two other SA startups, HearScreen and GEM Project (both founded by fantastic entrepreneurs, invest in them!) were the South African delegation in a group of 30 entrepreneurs from all around the world. We’d worked hard to get there. mLab, the mobile app accelerator, ran a rigorous pitching process that included an application, a live pitch in Johannesburg, a video submission as to why we’d benefit from attending,...

  • Seedstars World names health platform VoLo Senegal’s top startup

    Senegalese health platform VoLo has been named the country's top startup by Seedstars World. This comes after the global startup competition for emerging markets invited ten startups from around the country to pitch in Dakar earlier this week. VoLo will travel to Switzerland next year where it will stand a chance to win up to US$500 000 in equity investment. Other opportunities available are a US$500 000 equity investment by travel company lastminute.com group and a US$50 000 grant for the best space startup. VoLo was recognised for its platform that seeks to make healthcare easily accessible and affordable in Africa. “We...

  • WiGroup to catalyse transacting with free open mobile payments

    South Africa "fintech startup-turned-empire" WiGroup wants to become the catalyst in growing mobile transactions. This comes after it announced that it will no longer charge a transaction fee for its open mobile payments. As company CEO Bevan Ducasse explains, this means that bank payment applications will now be able to connect to WiGroup's network of over 55 000 till lanes, without adding any additional transaction costs to their current acquiring fees charged to merchants. "Due to the ever-changing mobile landscape, and in order for all parties to benefit, including banks, retailers and end users, the need for an open and collaborative...

  • Ampion Venture Bus diaries: Day 5 with elevator pitches in Bloemfontein

    Ampion is a Berlin-based accelerator and advisory firm promoting technology entrepreneurship in Africa. In this series, Ventureburn follows the organisation's Ampion Venture Bus tour through Namibia, Botswana and South Africa, in its seven-day bootcamp for entrepreneurs. Day 5 After the previous night’s pitches at the JoziHub, the mentors had a lot of feedback for participants, which included some restructuring and dedicated assigning of mentors to each group. Once everyone was up and breakfast was done with, we hit the road once more to tackle the 400 or so kilometre stretch to Bloemfontein. During the bus ride, mentors began working with their assigned...