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Enter The Awethu 2016 Entrepreneur Development Programme

Reach your full entrepreneurial potential with the 2016 Awethu Programme. Entries close 23rd March.

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The Awethu Project is hosting another five-month long entrepreneur development programme. This practical business programme is offering R45 000 worth of entrepreneurial training to lucky participants.

The Awethu programme offers assistance to entrepreneurs by focusing on growing and formalising your business, while simultaneously building it into an asset.

The deadline for this amazing opportunity is the 23rd March 2016 so you’ll need to register quickly.

What is the Awethu Project?

Awethu started as a R60 000 start-up and over the last six years it’s expanded into a company worth hundreds of millions. It offers assistance to entrepreneurs and their business through their entrepreneur development programme.

This programme has incubated and supported hundreds of entrepreneurs and their business dreams. Creating new business doesn’t just impact the business owner, but entire communities are positively impacted by one person’s experience with Awethu.

The Awethu Project has been internationally recognised by the Echoing Green Foundation and the Clinton Global Initiative. It was locally recognised by institutions such as Discovery, the South African Government and prominent individuals including Archbishop Tutu and Nku Nyembezi-Heita.

Related: 10 Steps To Starting Your Business For Free (Almost)

What is this entrepreneur development programme about?

Awethu 2016 is offering 500 fortunate entrepreneurs the opportunity to experience 22 weeks of personalised mentorship. It will help to develop entrepreneurs by exposing them to real-life practical advice and activities that are targeted at growing your business.
You get to work with other entrepreneurs and get a chance to network with people relevant to your business. In case you thought you had to cover all the costs, Awethu will give you access to R5000 as part of its kick-starter fund when you start working and developing with the incubator.

For those talented entrepreneurs who manage to make the top 10% of the entrepreneurial development programme you could receive a further investment of up to R250 000.

Lethabo Mokoena, Owner of Walk Fresh explains her experience gained from the programme:”My business was launched in the Incubator and has more than tripled its revenues since inception. The business now operates from three different locations and has four employees.”

Who should apply for this entrepreneurial assistance programme?

Anyone who would like to go into business for themselves and be an entrepreneur, and who live in Gauteng should apply.

Entries are limited to Gauteng as Awethu currently only has offices based in Johannesburg. All of those participating are required to attend weekly meeting and mentorship sessions at the Johannesburg office. The Awethu Program is hoping to expand countrywide in the future, to be able to reach even more budding entrepreneurs.

This entrepreneur development programme is for those interested in running their own small business but is uncertain how to get going. The Awethu Project is designed to guide and support you and provide both experience and assistance for entrepreneurs.

This programme also applies to those who have already developed a business idea or are already running a small informal business. Awethu will help you to formalise, grow and make a success out of your business.

Any kind of business or business idea are welcomed. If you’re unsure of where to start, this programme was created to guide, support and provides assistance for entrepreneurs. However, if you start up a new business, it is required to be trading within six weeks in order for you to remain in the programme.

In order for you to participate in the entrepreneur development programme you’ll need to apply and register to join Awethu. There will be a launch pad session where we will give you all the information you need and then you decide which day you want to start on.

“I was given the practical experience of running a business on a day-to-day basis. I was taught how to manage finances, how to budget and how to deal with customers and build a strong customer and supplier relationships,” says Rejoice Majola, CEO of we.can.talk

Limited free registration

Awethu-Project

If you are one of the lucky participants selected for #Awe250K, you’ll need to pay a subsidised fee of R500. This payment goes to the six months you’ll spend at our academy. This is a commitment fee for the entrepreneur development programme to ensure scholarship winners treat this opportunity with the necessary respect and dedication that it deserves.

Related: Attention Black Entrepreneurs: Start-Up Funding From Government Grants & Funds

Can you still apply if I have a full-time job?

Yes, if you know you can commit to 3-4 hours of in-person training and mentorship each week for 22 weeks.

Do you need to have any formal qualifications to apply?

No, you do not need a matric or any other qualifications to apply. You just need a passion for business and becoming an entrepreneur.

How to Apply

It is quick and easy to applying to this programme designed to provide assistance for entrepreneurs. All you need to do is fill in the form on Awethu’s website. If you are one of the lucky future entrepreneurs who get selected, you’ll receive an invite via your email address. The invitation will give you all the details to attend one of their weekly Launch Pad events in Johannesburg.

At the Launch Pad event they will interview you and those that are successful will progress. The next stage of your journey will then be a five month long mentorship and training programme.

More about the Awethu Project

This business incubator was created to provide assistance for entrepreneurs and help them to build up the country. Every South Africa has the opportunity to realise their potential and make something of themselves.

Awethu is a home grown innovative SMME investment company. It invests in all types of businesses, whether you’re a spaza shop owner or an industrialist there is an entrepreneur development programme designed just for you.

The concept behind Awethu works by flexibly combining ideas, people and funding. With this combination they can build-up fast-growing, sustainable and unswerving SMME’s, which is just what South Africa needs.

If you want to get in touch with The Awethu Project you can contact them on: +27 (0) 11 024 1606. For more information visit their website: http://www.awethuproject.co.za/

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Bakani Ngulani Scoops The National Young Entrepreneur Champion Award – 2017

BN Business Solutions founder and CEO is recognised as South Africa’s top entrepreneur under 25 years in 2017 at the recent National Small Business Chamber awards.

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Founder and CEO of BN Business Solutions, Bakani Ngulani, has been recognised as South Africa’s top entrepreneur under the age of 25 at this year’s National Small Business Chamber awards in Johannesburg.  He walked away with the prestigious ‘National Young Entrepreneur Champion’ award.

The 24 year-old entrepreneur founded his accounting firm in 2016 and is clearly on his way to success having finished off as a finalist at the 702 Sage One National Business awards in 2016 and this year being crowned the National Young Entrepreneur Champion at the National Small Business Chamber awards.

Related: 10 Young Entrepreneurs Under 30 Share Their Start-Up Secrets

“A young and vibrant culture is what keeps us going at BN Business Solutions”, said Ngulani.  It’s very clear Ngulani lives up to his company’s tagline ‘purely millennial’.

“My vision is to run the business on a 70% / 30% age policy – 70% being youth (under 35) and 30% adults.  I really believe in the youth, not because I’m one of them, but because everything in today’s times is moving so fast and we need to ensure our human resources will be able to move with the times and not be rigid to change.

Ngulani’s passion to change the perception that accounting is hard, complicated and a rigid industry is evident in his day to day running of the business.

“By empowering youth in the company we are able to execute on deadline and provide a much better service simply because we are innovative, we don’t hesitate to accept new practices and ideas and most importantly change is a challenge for us.”

The awards adjudication panel was impressed by the company’s culture with Ngulani at the helm, much that they described him as a ‘brand disruptor’.

“I really try hard to find interesting ways of getting our name out there.  I’m a strong believer that if people see you taking your brand seriously at all times they will gravitate towards it and you.  That is why during my downtime you will see me in my white Nike basketball sneakers, cap worn backwards while wearing our very trendy company golf shirts.”

Related: 9 Top Tips For Young Entrepreneurs

Young as the business is, the company already has branches in Johannesburg (HO), Cape Town and Durban.  Ngulani would like to increase that number to see more in South Africa and also in Namibia due to their similar taxation structures.  He has a vision to curb unemployment, continue supporting SMMEs in their growth and most importantly, to make accounting and compliance fun.

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The Number Of Black Tech Start-ups Is On The Rise According To Ventureburn’s Start-up Survey 2017

Surge in black entrepreneurs, Gauteng challenges Silicon Cape as the country’s start-up capital, according to Ventureburn’s start-up survey 2017.

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The Western Cape might still be the most popular region in South Africa in which to run a tech startup, but the province is losing ground to the country’s richest province – Gauteng, reveals a new survey. In addition, the number of black tech startups is on the rise.

In the 2017 Ventureburn Tech Start-up Survey powered by Telkom Futuremakers – which was released yesterday – 44% of the 260 founders surveyed said they operated in Gauteng (see below graph), behind the Western Cape’s 47%.

Among its other key findings the survey uncovered that:

  • The percentage of black start-ups has risen from 26% in 2015, to 50% this year.
  • Just three percent of black tech start-ups turn a profit, versus 16% of their white counterparts.
  • Over a quarter of start-ups plan to raise angel or VC funding, but only eight percent receive such funding.
  • Almost a third say they pay market-related salaries, but pay is the top reason for employees leaving.
  • Successful start-up founders are most likely to be white males from the Western Cape.

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The percentage is up from 29% in a 2015 Ventureburn survey of 197 founders (see below graph) and is just behind the 47% who reported in the latest survey that they operate in the Western Cape (59% in 2015).

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Related: 4 Things Your Start-Up Needs When It Opens An Office

The rise in Gauteng tech start-ups appears to be driven by the increasing number of tech entrepreneurs who are black (black African, coloured, Indian or Chinese South African) – and who now make up half (50%) of the country’s tech start-up founders, up from 26% in the 2015 survey.

In addition, the majority of black start-ups (53%) list Gauteng as their base, with 42% saying Western Cape is their home.

founders-race

Of the 260 founders quizzed in the latest survey, 46% list themselves as white, down from 66% in 2015 (see above and below graphs). Four percent chose not to reveal their race (eight percent in 2015).

founders-race

The survey also reveals that while South Africa may have seen an explosion in venture capital (VC) deals of recent – with the value of such deals having increased by 134% in 2016 over 2015 (see this story) – just 10% of tech startups are turning a profit. This is down from 17% in in 2015.

Black startups struggling

Black tech start-ups in particular are struggling. While 16% of start-ups founded by white entrepreneurs are turning a profit, a mere four percent of black-owned tech start-ups are doing the same.

Most worrying is that 61% of black start-ups have yet to generate an income – because they are still working on their concept or are still in the seed stage – compared to 30% of white start-ups.

Furthermore, just nine percent of black-owned startups (and four percent of black African start-ups) generate a revenue of above R1-million – compared to 29% of their white counterparts. Three quarters (75%) of black start-ups generate under R100 000 (and 78% of black African start-ups).

In all, white start-ups accounted for 59% of all those startups that reported having tapped angel funding, while 24% of white start-ups reported having raised R1-million or more to fund their businesses, compared to just eight percent of black start-ups (and 2.5% of black African founders).

It suggests better resourced white start-up founders who often have access to more capital, skills and experience and better networks are able to out perform black start-ups.

The survey also reveals that white start-up founders are significantly older than black founders. Over a quarter (26%) of white founders are 40 years or older, compared to just 13% of black founders. Almost three quarters of black founders are aged 35 and younger, compared to 62% of white founders located in this age band.

This raises various questions as to what is driving more middle-aged white founders to start-up their own business and whether employment equity is behind this or not.

In addition, it might also explain why so few black start-ups are making a profit compared to white start-ups. Older founders are usually more experienced, better networked and have more capital than younger entrepreneurs.

Related: 3 Dangerous Entrepreneurial Myths You Need To Ignore

Out of touch in getting angel, VC funding

But back to angel and VC funding, where it seems start-up founders are out of touch with reality.

raising-business-funds

Over a quarter (27%) of all SA tech start-up founders believe they will grow their business by securing VC or funding from angel investors – yet only about eight percent report ever having been able to secure such funding, a new survey reveals (see the below graphs).

In a further hint that start-up founders need a reality check, just nine percent of those looking for angel investing and just 20% seeking VC funding have firms that are growing or turning a profit.

The majority of SA tech start-ups use their own cash to fund the business (40%), followed by loans and grants from friends and family (23%).

start-up-business-funding

Findings from the survey also put into question whether South African tech start-up founders really pay employees as well as they claim to. Close to one third (31%) that took part in the survey claim they pay their employees market-related salaries.

Yet the same founders list remuneration as the top reason for employees leaving their employ – 21% of founders list remuneration as the top reason employees leave.

remunerated-employees

This raises the question of whether start-ups are really in touch with market-related salaries or whether a good number of fibbing – particularly as 63% of founders surveyed said their start-up generated less than R100 000 a year.

White founders in the Western Cape most successful

While just 10% of start-ups report making a profit, in all, 27% of start-ups can be termed “successful”, in that they are generating a profit or are growing.

So, who then runs the most successful start-ups (defined as those that make a profit and are growing)? Well, most are run by men. While 27% of start-ups run by men say they are successful, just 18% of start-ups run by women can say the same.

More white founders report being successful, with about two thirds of start-ups who say they are successful being white-owned firms. Taken by race group, 36% of white founders report being successful, compared to just 13% of black start-ups (and just 10% of black-African founders).

About 32% of start-up founders in the Western Cape say they are successful – compared to 22% who are in Gauteng who list themselves as successful.

Most are over the age of 40 or between 30 and 35 years old (36% of startup founders in these ages groups say they are successful) and run a fintech or insurtech or a startup in the advertising and media business.

Those with a business partner and who have a start-up that is already over two years old employing more than 10 people are also more likely to report being successful. B2B start-ups – those that serves other businesses (rather than consumers) and that tap the North American or European market.

Related: How To Raise Working Capital Finance

Finally, are you more likely to be successful if you’ve run other start-ups before? In short, not necessarily.

Data from the survey reveals that 33% of founders who have run one or more start-ups previously report being successful with their current business – not overly different from the 30% who have never run a business before and say they are successful.

However there appears to be some correlation with the number of start-ups a founder has run as a predictor of success.

Though start-up founders were not quizzed on whether their past firms had been a success, 50% of those who have run five or more startups report that they are successful with their current firm – compared to 29% of those that have run one to four start-ups before.

It may suggest that as the country’s tech start-up ecosystem matures, the level of those reporting success is likely to increase. More critical however, will be to close the gap between less successful black tech start-ups and their white counterparts – this will not be easy.

*Note on the methodology the survey used: In all there were 298 respondents to the survey which was conducted using an online questionnaire, by data analytics firm Qurio. Of this number, 38 respondents were found to be employees of startups (rather than founders) and were excluded. The survey therefore sampled 260 start-up founders. 

Have a look through the infographic for more.

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Allan Gray Orbis Foundation Scoops Prestigious International Award

The Allan Gray Orbis Foundation has been named African Leaders in Secondary Education Funding for 2017 by the African Leaders 4 Change Awards.

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The Allan Gray Orbis Foundation has been named African Leaders in Secondary Education Funding for 2017 by the African Leaders 4 Change Awards.

The prestigious international awards identify, recognise and reward organisations doing exceptional work in all areas of philanthropy. The awards have been judged by a respected panel of voluntary sector heavyweights and leaders in their specific fields.

Related: How To Raise Working Capital Finance

“We are humbled and incredibly proud to be named this year’s African Leaders in the Higher Education category, and to be in the company of remarkable organisations doing such important work on the continent. This award demonstrates the Foundation’s commitment to nurturing the entrepreneurial potential in the youth in our country because a culture of entrepreneurship is critical to moving South Africa forward,” says Allan Gray Orbis Foundation CEO, Yogavelli Nambiar.

Nambiar says the Foundation, a vision of Mr. Allan Gray and supported by Allan Gray (Pty) Ltd., aims to foster an ethos of high-impact and responsible young entrepreneurs who possess the tenacity and potential to help change the country and the world with their energy, curiosity and fresh, creative ideas. The Foundation identifies entrepreneurially-minded students on the cusp of entering high school, but in need of financial assistance, and provides them with scholarships to study at leading institutions. In addition to funding, she says Scholarship recipients receive access to customised initiatives to further their entrepreneurial talents.

“Our High School Scholarships help learners to cultivate and develop their entrepreneurial mindset, enabling them to think innovatively; and builds their personal mastery and leadership skills, which in turn enables academic excellence,” she says.

Related: 6 Money Management Tips For First-Time Entrepreneurs

Further to this, the Foundation runs a Fellowship Programme which offers entrepreneurially minded Grade 12 learners, 1st and 2ndyear university students access to funding of their studies while receiving entrepreneurial learning and support.

“Entrepreneurship has the potential to create significant socio-economic impact, through its contribution to economic growth, job creation and social development. It is through the cultivation of that mindset in young people that we are going to make a meaningful change to the future” Nambiar says.

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