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  • Here’s what young entrepreneurs need to know about managing older employees

    Being an entrepreneur today is very different from the way it was in our parents’ and grandparents’ days. In countries with ‘Western’ cultures, the young adults’ world is also vastly different from that of older generations. But because we often need to do business with older people, this has implications for how we relate to, and work with them. Research into the attitudes and expectations of people born during the second half of the 20th century suggest that they can be categorised roughly into one of two groups: Millennials and Generation Xers. Millennials -- people now in their early-20s to mid-30s --...

  • Company Office

    Don’t let expansion ruin a great company culture

    As a young company that primarily serves informal markets, we have quickly expanded into new regions on the African continent. While South Africa remains a key focus – and our base – we have invariably needed to establish a presence in other fast growing markets. In practice, this has meant that our management team spends a great deal of time away from the rest of the team – and working remotely. Without a doubt, this scenario is impacting the culture of the business – as the core structure shifts from a centralised management system to a more distributed model....

  • Cape Town VC Llew Claasen appointed executive director of Bitcoin Foundation

    The Bitcoin Foundation has appointed Cape Town venture capitalist Llew Claasen as its executive director. The appointment was announced during the Blockchain Training Conference in Toronto, Canada, on 20 June. Claasen was elected by a board of directors on 14 June. "I'm looking forward to leading the Bitcoin Foundation going forward.  There is an amazing opportunity for the organisation to help the Bitcoin ecosystem.  In the coming weeks I’ll be working closely with the board, membership, transition team and various stakeholders to create the best plan for success possible," wrote Claasen in a press release on the Bitcoin Foundation website. Claasen is managing partner...

  • Startup focus: Lentus-H wants to change the world through water [update]

    Update: correction on Hippo Water Roller pricing. Water in developing countries is problematic. The availability and cleanliness of this resource are just some of the challenges people face. For the makers of Lentus-H, the problem of transporting clean water is one they hope to answer. Globally, 783-million people do not have access to safe, clean water, with 37% of those living in Sub-Saharan Africa. With statistics this high, there are a number of organisations and programs focused on improving access to clean water. These initiatives take time and while plans are hatched, alliances negotiated and the occasional pipe laid, there are women...

  • Amplify hopes to strike gold in Nigeria with recurrent payments

    2016 is fast becoming a payment-focused year in Nigeria’s tech ecosystem considering the numerous updates in the ecosystem and the launch of new platforms, services, and the rejuvenation of old ones. The question being asked by many stakeholders is “what’s it about payment in Nigeria?” Earlier this month, yet another payment startup launched in Nigeria to offer payment services, it’s called Amplify and its uniqueness is that it is focused on recurrent payment. The startup was incubated and enjoying the support of MEST Incubator. In an exclusive interview with Segun Adeyemi, Co-Founder of Amplify, he said in spite of the...

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [20/06/2016]

    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...

  • iKhokha merchants can now get cash advances

    Mobile app and card-reader startup iKhokha on Monday announced that merchants using its devices and platforms can now get cash advances to help grow their businesses. According to a press release sent to Ventureburn, the new feature is designed to assist small business owners who can't access capital through more traditional means. "We have always wanted to help solve the real challenges which face South African entrepreneurs and we know from working closely with them that their number one issue is access to capital," says iKhokha managing director, Matt Putman. "The majority of our merchants do not qualify for a formal...

  • Andela receives US$24-million investment from Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

    During a round of Series B funding, coding startup programme Andela, received US$24-million (+R360-million) from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI). The funding was announced on the Andela website and Facebook on 16 June. "This marks the first time that Mark and Priscilla have led a round and we’re thrilled to welcome them, as well as GV (formerly Google Ventures), to the Andela family," writes co-founder and CEO of Andela, Jeremy Johnson, in the announcement. Andela launched two years ago and trains software developers in Africa. Those trained during the six-month programme are then placed in positions with Fortune 500 companies and international...

  • Digital entrepreneurs need to embrace data

    In the digital world, a new breed of entrepreneur has been created – one that is able to capitalise on an Always-On environment. This entrepreneur has grown up as part of the connected generation, and this is reflected in the way that their start-ups are born and operate. For them, using technology is not something that is forced but rather a component that is completely integrated in all aspects of their lives. It is therefore completely natural for their start-ups to be digital first. As such, access to data needs to happen around the clock. Data has become the bedrock...

  • 6 ways to master the challenges of building your own business

    Starting a business is about passion, hard work and sacrifice. Entrepreneurs are the drivers of prosperity, but this can sometimes be a daunting task. The challenges are immeasurable and small business owners can often feel isolated, overwhelmed and despondent. By using these six essential skills, this no longer needs to be the case: 1. Focus on the future and be prepared There will always be competition, especially if it’s an industry with low barriers of entry. Instead of looking in your rear view mirror, drive for daylight. Keep your eyes on the road and your focus on the horizon. When...

  • Funders and Founders shows us how AirBnB got started [infographic/video]

    The concept behind AirBnB may be a simple one, but it's spawned a billion dollar industry. Funders and Founders have not only put together an infographic on how AirBnB started, but a video as well. Like many startups, AirBnB began with an idea: rent out a house, room, or even a couch to someone from out of town. This idea has exploded the world over as it grew to an international sensation. Other companies, such as EventRoom, have adapted the rental idea for a range other industries, such as food or events. Even actor Ashton Kutcher saw promise in the idea and...