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  • Gust, Africa Business Angel Network partner to support early-stage investment

    One of the world's largest global match-making platforms for high-growth entrepreneurs and early-stage investors, Gust, and the Africa Business Angel Network (ABAN) have partnered to optimise investment activities across Africa. ABAN represents angel investors and investment organisations in the African region. The not-for-profit's goal is to promote investment, providing education and nurturing international relationships, among other things. "Africa is already equipped with the minds and means for a fruitful startup environment, and with the available tools and opportunities cultivated by this partnership, Africa will continue to grow as a leader in global entrepreneurship," said Tomi Davies, who heads ABAN. Read more: What...

  • 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...

  • 3 ways China’s position in Africa is good news for other foreign investors

    Nothing good can come from Chinese investments in Africa -- at least that’s what naysayers would have you believe. Critics suggest that China’s African projects lay the groundwork for neocolonialism and leave poor communities vulnerable to exploitation. But as a recent Quartz article put it, when it comes to Africa, “Chinese investment is everywhere.” And with polls showing more than 50% favourability of China in a number of African countries, many people on the continent don’t think that’s a bad thing. Critical observers should revise their stances as well. China has enabled a number of much-needed, high-profile advancements in several...

  • Ampion Venture Bus diaries: Days 2 & 3 with MVPs and pitching fever

    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. After a slower start to the first day, Ampion’s Venture Bus has revved things up. Throwing participants into the deep end, the tour starts to focus on agriculture and pitching. Day 2 Keeping the same randomly assigned groups as the day before, the participants were now charged with looking at problems within the farming and agriculture sectors in sub-Saharan Africa. The bus’s first stop was at...

  • Payments company Nomanini rolls out advanced terminal for prepaid distributors

    Payments platform provider Nomanini is rolling out its second-generation Point of Sales (PoS) designed for informal markets. The new device, called eLula, will enable merchants with more "sophisticated insights" via a new cloud platform. The device also enables merchants with the means to sell different types of services electronically. Nomanini's flagship product, the Lula terminal, is a rugged, waterproof, GSM-connected PoS device for printing PIN-only products. The device enables people in informal markets to buy prepaid products such as airtime vouchers. Though company CEO Vahid Monadjem says that this is just the tip of the iceberg. Kitted with an electronic paper screen, normally...

  • A winning company culture: An imperative for business success

    CEOs like to say that their employees are the business, but a healthy business actually adds up to more than the sum of the skills and talents of each individual it hires. Underlying the success (or failure) of the business is the culture that determines how the people in the team interact with each other, clients, and other stakeholders, as well as how they behave and perform in the workplace. Whether the leadership team tries to actively shape the culture or not, each organisation develops a set of values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviours shared among most people in its extended...

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [16/11/2015]

    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...

  • Ampion Venture Bus diaries: Day 1 at Namibia’s FabLab, getting to grips with agriculture

    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. The Ampion Venture Bus recently started its latest trek across Africa. The bus functions as a seven-day bootcamp for entrepreneurs with this event focusing on startup pitch training and business thought. Ventureburn had the opportunity to follow the Venture Bus on its final outing through several Southern African countries. The Tour The Southern Africa leg started 13 November in Windhoek, Namibia, and will end at AfricanCom...

  • Microsoft 4Afrika introduces PR toolkit to help startups build their brands

    A one-stop resource for Africa's entrepreneurs who seek to up their PR game have launched. The 52-page interactive document, by the Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative, aims to help small business owners create maximum impact with their communication strategies. Microsoft's Perry Kamel, who heads the SME arm in Africa, says the team set out to create a customised resource that meets the exact communication of local small businesses. She added in a press release: Microsoft’s mission is to empower every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more, and hence these series of toolkits are doing exactly that -- helping not...

  • Everything you need to know about the West African startup landscape [2015/2016 Update]

    Update: Are you a venture capitalist or an angel investor looking to invest in a company? Are you an entrepreneur looking for capital or other opportunities? Are you an aspiring startup owner looking for assistance? Well, you have come to the right place. Ventureburn presents an updated guide to West Africa’s startup scene. This article is the most comprehensive guide for anyone who wants to get involved with, or have a better understanding of, the region's fast-growing startup space. It's the second of our inaugural series, with others focussing on South Africa and East Africa. With some insight from our friends...

  • Ideas Challenge Zambia looks to entrepreneurs to solve social problems

    The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), BongoHive Technology and Innovation Hub have teamed up to launch the Ideas Challenge Zambia. With a focus on the Zambia's social challenges, the initiative is calling for ideas related to two information and health-related themes: Mapping and Focused Antenatal. Not only is the challenge looking to source ideas with social impact from the public, but it plans to turn these into viable web and mobile-based products and services. The Mapping challenge sets out to develop a platform that maps and offers locations of health facilities, schools, shops and other social facilities in Zambia. The platform...