Microsoft’s COO launches ‘game changing hub’ for SMEs in Africa

Biz4Afrika If you are a startup, well good news for you because Microsoft has unveiled what it is calling a "game-changer" for small businesses in South Africa. Meet Biz4Afrika, an online hub that will give South African small and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs) access to a range of free products and services from Microsoft and other partners. The company has made some aggressive pushes into Africa in the last year, first with its 4Afrika initiative, then its technology centre as well as its ...

Emerging Markets

Rocket Internet quietly launches online marketplace Lamido in Indonesia

Rocket Internet Lamido Rocket Internet loves e-commerce businesses and now the team has quietly rolled out a customer to customer (C2C) marketplace for Southeast Asia by the name of Lamido. Just like C2C marketplace rivals Tokopedia and BukaLapak, Lamido also facilitates transactions by offering escrow payments to users. But Lamido will be the first C2C marketplace to offer cash-on-delivery (COD) and an auction feature in Indonesia. Lazada recently rolled out its own marketplace feature, but what differentiates that from Lamido is the scale of these ...

Africa, Interviews

The future of schooling in South Africa: practical ideas and technology

elearning Technology's role in education is not disputed -- it is an effective means to enable both student and teacher in creating a more engaging learning environment. For many educational institutions though, the question remains how to efficiently use the technology resources available to them. In South Africa, where improving education is a nationwide concern, the role of technology is not just a luxury, but perhaps a much-needed solution. ICT distributor Mustek's elearning and education head, Kobus van Wyk, answered some ...

Startup news

Meet MonteGray Capital, Michael Jordaan’s new startup investment vehicle

Michael Jordaan We always knew it was likely that Michael Jordaan's post-FNB career would include startups. Now we can confirm that this is actually the case and we can put a name to the investment vehicle he'll be heading up: MonteGray Capital. The company, which is based in Stellenbosch, will reportedly open its doors in January 2014 and begin investing in disruptive technologies and business models. To start, there will only be two staff members: Jordaan himself and Atka Young, a credit analyst ...

Africa, Competition

There’s still time: Innovation Prize for Africa extends 2014 deadline

innovation prize africa The African Innovation Foundation has officially extended the deadline for entry into the Innovation Price for Africa (IPA) 2014 to 30 November of this year. The coveted initiative aims to award the African innovators and entrepreneurs who "show market-oriented solutions that increase efficiency or cost-saving in Africa" according to the IPA website. The extension comes in response to many requests received from potential applicants across the continent who indicated that they learnt about the competition a little too late to prepare and ...

Emerging Markets, Entrepreneurship

4 awesome Indian startups hoping to change the world with Google’s cash

Agastya How can technology positively impact India and the world? That’s the question Google asked Indian non-profit organizations earlier this summer, and thousands of responses flooded in. A team of up to 160 Googlers got all those submissions down to 10 finalists, and now the Google Impact Challenge has chosen – after a day of pitching in Delhi last week – its three winners along with a “people’s choice” award. The four civic startups chosen each receive a Rs 3 crore ($500,000) Global ...


Naming your startup: fun, friendly or just plain hipster?

RayBan If your startup name can't potentially be used as an everyday verb or doesn't end with "ly" you've probably missed the trend train. Geekatoo, LOOKK, Ordrin, Wowzer, and of course Lettuce, are a handful of startups featured on 500 Startups who have joined the ongoing Web 2.0 fab of quirky naming schemes for their businesses. But there's a thin line between having a brand name that shows your startup's fun, friendly and innovative and one that screams "hipster!" The original ...


Keeping your startup’s employees with no cash: 5 tips for the digital age

Money The definition of 'job' has changed over the years. Way before, when there used to be an industrial economy, an employee was as good as a machine part: easily replaceable and obedient. Employees used to do what they were told to, with zero accountability and virtually no ownership. But the new digital economy, also called the connected economy, has changed everything. The very notion of being an employee has changed – now, you are no longer hiring a machine unit which ...

Africa, News

Ousted CEO warns artists that iROKO is scrapping its music offering

Digital music earphones laptop Drama, drama, drama. Apparently music is not working for Africa's digital entertainment powerhouse iROKO Partners. iROKING, the company's Spotify clone, may soon be no more. Considered one of Nigeria’s leading digital music platforms, it showcases some of the country’s most prolific and exciting artists. Since launch, the platform clailms to have recorded over 350-million YouTube hits for its artists and over 1.1-million users downloading tracks from its online and mobi platforms every month. According to a press release by the company, ...

Emerging Markets, Entrepreneurship

Micro-finance: the fuel or fall of entrepreneurship in emerging markets?

Money Jar It’s no easy feat becoming an entrepreneur in emerging markets, especially since one’s entrepreneurial potential is so often stunted by the onerous bureaucratic processes involved in setting up a business and raising capital. For this reason, the advent of micro-finance has ignited hopes that micro-entrepreneurs would now have one less obstacle in their way. But has micro-finance really lived up to these expectations? A report compiled by the World Bank called Financing Businesses in Africa paints an interesting and unexpected ...