New Simodisa web portal Venture Central aims to unify entrepreneurship ecosystem

A new portal for South African entrepreneurs — Venture Central — aims to unify the South African entrepreneurship ecosystem, says SA entrepreneurship advocacy body Simodisa.

The site — which contains various resources such as events and online tools for entrepreneurs — is an initiative of Simodisa.

The organisation’s managing director Matsi Modise (pictured above) said the portal has been live for “about a week and a half”. While she said the site initially went live on 5 September, it was subsequently taken down to amend some challenges. Modise said the site’s security was also beefed up after it was hacked during this time (which is why some of the content is already a few weeks old, she said).

The organisation, which funded the development of the site itself, wants the site to become South Africa’s premium portal community for entrepreneurs — with curated content from the entrepreneurship ecosystem.

‘Hopefully Venture Central will be one platform that unifies the ecosystem’

She said the idea for the portal came off an ecosystem map developed by global entrepreneurship organisation the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE). The map now contains about 340 organisations that support entrepreneurs.

The portal, she said, would be aimed at all kinds of small businesses — not just tech startups.

Various organisations and entrepreneurial supporters will be able to feed information, opportunities and links into the portal. Modise admitted however that overcoming the divisions in the sector will be a key challenge.

“Having worked in the ecosystem, people are quite selfish. They want to keep entrepreneurs for themselves,” she said. “Hopefully it will be one platform that unifies the ecosystem.”

The portal aims to also offer business information and links to opportunities; provide business links, tools, templates and resources; provide access to entrepreneurship networking, mentorship and market opportunities and list available workspaces, incubators and accelerators in your area.

At present the portal lists among other things: 12 workspaces, a number of events and resources such as the ecosystem map, advice for startups from venture capitalists and online tools to accelerate your business.

Featured image: Simodisa managing director Matsi Modise (Supplied)



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