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Pain Points Be Gone – We Chat to Tourism Radio’s Mark Allewell

Innovative, entertaining location-based radio station acts as audio guide for independent tourists.

Monique Verduyn

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Mark Allewell was chatting to a friend at the V&A Waterfront when he heard about a tourist who was taken to Mouille Point and told that he was in fact at Cape Point. The gaffe led him to launch Tourism Radio.

“As a qualified tour guide, I was astonished at the misinformation out there,” says Allewell.

“That was in 2004, and there was no location-based anything available. I didn’t know what I wanted, but I knew I wanted something that could be put in a car. I couldn’t sleep for months, but then I met a professor of engineering at UCT and we got talking. It took us a couple of years, but we did it.”

Designed for self-drive tourists, Tourism Radio broadcasts information about the area that you’re driving through, making sure that you don’t miss any of the stunning sights that South Africa has to offer.

It uses a small GPS device, available from several car rental companies, and gives the listeners information, history and interesting anecdotes about the immediate surroundings.

More than 4 300 of the devices are rented out every day. The business is monetised through location-based advertising. With the evolution of the smartphone, the company has also developed Android and iPhone apps, but has succeeded in cornering the market for in-car devices.

Allewell has secured lucrative contracts in Australia and New Zealand, and clinched a deal with Renault in Europe that will see the devices installed in new vehicles.

“We have also started to look at Google Glass, which will be a game-changer for travellers.”

Commenting on the local tech scene, Allewell says there are many top-notch developers and entrepreneurs out there, but few great ideas.

“We need to focus more on developing innovative technology, rather than copying what works overseas. It’s rare to come across a local technology business that has expanded all over the world. We got it right by being truly unique.”

Top tip

Find an industry that you love, and look for creative solutions that involve business and technology. Develop a product that is distinctive and addresses market needs, and you’ll have a winner on your hands.

The big idea

The best businesses find local solutions to local problems. It’s all about unique solutions.

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[box style=”gray,info” ]Meet the King of Denim[/box]

Monique Verduyn is a freelance writer. She has more than 12 years’ experience in writing for the corporate, SME, IT and entertainment sectors, and has interviewed many of South Africa’s most prominent business leaders and thinkers. Find her on Google+.

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27 Of The Richest People In South Africa

Here are 27 of South Africa’s richest people, but how did they achieve this level of wealth? Find out here.

Nicole Crampton

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Learn the secrets of SA’s most successful business people, here is the list of the 27 richest people in South Africa:

In a world with growing entrepreneurship success stories, victory is often measured in terms of money. The feat of achieving a place on this list is, however, years of hard work, determination and persistence. “One has to set high standards… I can never be happy with mediocre performance,” advises Patrice Motsepe.

From the individuals that made the 27 of the richest people in South Africa list, actual entrepreneurs and self-made business people dominate the list; while those who inherited their fortunes have gone on to do even bigger and better things with their wealth. Over the years, some have slipped off the list, while others continue to climb higher and higher each year.

  1. Elisabeth Bradley
  2. Sharon Wapnick
  3. Bridgette Radebe
  4. Irene Charnley
  5. Wendy Ackerman
  6. Paul Harris
  7. Wendy Appelbaum
  8. Mark Shuttleworth
  9. Desmond Sacco
  10. Giovanni Ravazzotti
  11. Markus Jooste
  12. Gus Attridge
  13. Gerrit Thomas Ferreira
  14. Cyril Ramaphosa
  15. Adrian Gore
  16. Raymond Ackerman
  17. Michiel Le Roux
  18. Lauritz Dippenaar
  19. Jannie Mouton
  20. Stephen Saad
  21. Patrice Motsepe
  22. Allan Gray
  23. Koos Bekker
  24. Ivan Glasenberg
  25. Christoffel Wiese
  26. Johann Rupert
  27. Nicky Oppenheimer
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Watch List: 50 Top SA Black Entrepreneurs To Watch

South Africa needs more entrepreneurs to build businesses that can make a positive impact on the economy. These up-and-coming black entrepreneurs are showing how it can be done.

Nicole Crampton

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Early-stage South African entrepreneurial activity is at an all-time high of 11%, according to Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, and entrepreneurial intentions have also increased to 11.7%. With both activity and intentions growing significantly year-on-year, there are more businesses opening up around South Africa than ever before.

The increase in entrepreneurship has seen the rise of more black entrepreneurs across numerous sectors. From beauty brands to legal services and even tech start-ups, these are 50 top black entrepreneurs to watch:

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Watch List: 50 Top SA Small Businesses To Watch

Keep your finger on the pulse of the start-up space by using our comprehensive list of SA small business to watch.

Nicole Crampton

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Entrepreneurship in South Africa is at an all-time high. According to Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), total early-stage entrepreneurial activity has increased by 4.1% to 11% in 2017/2018. This means numerous new, exciting and promising small businesses are launching and growing.

To ensure you know who the innovative trailblazers are in the start-up and small business space, here are 50 of South Africa’s top establishing companies to watch, in no particular order:

  1. Livestock Wealth
  2. The Lazy Makoti
  3. Aerobuddies
  4. Mimi Women
  5. i-Pay
  6. AfriTorch Digital
  7. Akili Labs
  8. Native Décor
  9. Aerobotics
  10. Quality Solutions
  11. EM Guidance
  12. Kahvé Road
  13. HSE Matters
  14. VA Virtual Assistant
  15. Famram Solutions and Famram Foundation
  16. BioTech Africa
  17. Brand LAIKI
  18. Plus Fab
  19. LifeQ
  20. Organico
  21. 10dot
  22. Lenoma Legal
  23. Nkukhu-Box
  24. Benji + Moon
  25. Beonics
  26. Brett Naicker Wines
  27. Khalala
  28. Legal Legends
  29. The Power Woman Project
  30. Aviro Health
  31. AnaStellar Brands
  32. Data Innovator
  33. Fo-Sho
  34. Oolala Collection Club
  35. Recomed
  36. VoiceMap
  37. ClockWork
  38. Empty Trips
  39. Vula Mobile
  40. SwiitchBeauty
  41. Pineapple
  42. The Katy Valentine Collection
  43. OfferZen
  44. KHULA
  45. Incitech
  46. Pimp my Book
  47. ART Technologies and ART Call Management
  48. Prosperiprop
  49. WAXIT
  50. The Sun Exchange
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