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A Strong Culture Of Entrepreneurship Emerges In South African Schools

High schools across the country have wrapped-up the 2018 Allan Gray Entrepreneurship Challenge (AGEC).

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South Africa’s leading digital learning game that seeks to grow an entrepreneurial mindset among school going children using gamification.
For now, participants are urged to sit tight till 11 October when the top learners and schools will be announced at a special awards evening in Johannesburg. AGEC was designed to develop a culture of entrepreneurship in the minds of grades 8-12 using digital learning. For the 2018 season, entry participation doubled from 4 000 in 2017 to more than 8 000 in 2018, and more than 600 schools across the country have participated in this year’s six-week Challenge, which culminated last week.

AGEC inspires learners to consider how they can influence change in their community, their country and the world by completing weekly micro-challenges that exposed them to a variety of entrepreneurial skills, which were then applied to real-world scenarios. During weeks one to three, learners began their entrepreneurial journey by exploring local challenges and opportunities in the areas of social entrepreneurship, transport and healthcare. In weeks four to six the competition shifted focus to global themes of climate change, artificial intelligence and blockchain technology.

“The competition aims to directly address unemployment in South Africa, using entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial thinking as a vehicle for change. Entrepreneurship has the power to lift South Africa from the clutches of joblessness, to get there is going to take work, and there is no better place to start than with our youth,” says Anthony Selley, Head of Gameplay for the AGEC.

He explains that the web browser and mobile app-based game was built to tackle the demands of 21st century education, and incorporates a mixture of self-development and cash-prize incentives to drive competition. Further, it uses gamification to sustain and grow engagement and represents a unique style of digital-learning that places South Africa at the forefront of global initiatives to develop entrepreneurial thinking among youth.

AGEC was established by long-term investment company Allan Gray and developed by the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation – a Foundation committed to investing in the education and development of individuals with entrepreneurial potential in Southern Africa for the past ten years. The competition focussed on developing five overarching ‘habits of thought’, which have been identified through academic research as key components of an entrepreneurial mindset. These include: intellectual imagination (innovation); personal initiative (initiative); courageous commitment (resilience); spirit of significance (change maker) and achievement excellence (drive).

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

“The micro challenges were designed to equip learners with the skills and mindset to think more entrepreneurially, whether they choose to pursue an entrepreneurial journey or not. Thinking more innovatively and adopting an entrepreneurial mindset can be beneficial to learners entering any work environment, as well as to those wanting to start their own businesses one day. It’s for this reason that businesses need to continuously innovate to survive, and it is those that think like entrepreneurs who will be at the forefront of that innovation,” Selley says.

The top performing learners and their respective schools now eagerly await the pinnacle #AGEC18 Awards Evening in Johannesburg on October 11th where the grand-prize winners of an all-expenses paid 10-day innovation tour to Silicon Valley, USA will be announced, alongside the ranking of South Africa’s most entrepreneurially-minded schools. Amongst those attending the prestigious Awards Evening will be the top 20 performing learners and high-schools from across the country, which is announced in no particular order below:

Top 20 Performing High Schools

(No Particular Order)

Top 20 Performing Learners

(No Particular Order)

•           Kitsong High School

•           Theodor Herzl High School

•           Horizon International High School

•           Generation Schools Hermanus

•           Glenwood House

•           Crawford College La Lucia

•           Bishops Diocesan College

•           Durban Girls’ High School

•           Sutherland High School

•           Bridge House School

•           Maris Stella

•           Kloof High School

•           Somerset College

•           Curro Hazeldean

•           Rustenburg Girls’ High School

•           Jeppe High School for Girls

•           Crawford College North Coast

•           Eden College Durban

•           Westville Girls’ High School

•           Reddam House Constantia

•           Sabrina Isaac

•           Lesli Jane Williams

•           Sam McQuirk

•           Malaika Maharaj

•           Lesedi Mnguni

•           Emihle Tshangana

•           Aphile Shabalala

•           Sara Gopal

•           Michael Kotze

•           Zuhayr khan

•           Michael Dunlop

•           Jacquiline Isaac

•           Tahir Omar Carrim

•           Sachiel Subramoney

•           Kai Lemel

•           Saheel Rajnarain

•           Nina Lewis

•           Sachin Mohan

•           Shriyaa Sooklal

•           Kai Parsons

Selley says he applauds the efforts of all the schools, teachers and learners involved in the competition in 2018, explaining how: “the kids and the teachers have poured blood, sweat and tears into the competition and we can’t wait to celebrate their success at our Awards Evening in October.”

Related: Funding And Resources For Young SA Entrepreneurs

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Search Is On For SA’S Online Retailer Of The Year

World Wide Worx in partnership with Platinum Seed, Visa, Heavy Chef and the Ecommerce Forum of Africa, launch new awards to recognise online stores that promote shopper trust.

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World Wide Worx today announced that it was launching a new awards programme — called the Online Retailer of the Year — to honour online stores in South Africa that grow trust amongst digital shoppers. The awards are part of a broader project to boost online shopping by World Wide Worx in partnership with Visa, Platinum Seed, the Ecommerce Forum of Africa and Heavy Chef.

“Online retail in South Africa has consistently grown above 20% since the turn of the century but only passed 1% of overall retail in 2016. Research shows that trust is a big factor in ecommerce growth, which is why we want to recognise online retailers who help to grow the entire sector by ensuring the kind of ecommerce standards that engender trust with online shoppers,” Goldstuck says.

“But once online retail passes two per cent it crosses an essential psychological barrier and this often leads to a tipping point in emerging economies. That’s when we see online retail snowballing. It gathers real momentum and everyone in the sector benefits,” Goldstuck explains.

To be eligible for entry to the Online Retailer of the Year, owners of digital stores are urged to participate in an essential survey of local online shopping being run by Goldstuck’s World Wide Worx, together with Visa and digital growth agency Platinum Seed.

To participate in the research, local online retailers can go to www.surveymonkey.com/r/OnlineRetailSA

All online retailers who participate will be entered into the award. However, participation in the survey is not a precondition for entry to the awards. However, only online retailers who operate from within South Africa’s borders are eligible for this local award.

The awards will be made at a Heavy Chef event in Cape Town on Thursday, October 01 2018. At the same event, World Wide Worx’s Arthur Goldstuck will lay bare the state of local retail, with Brad Elliott, CEO of Platinum Seed, and Visa.

Related: Up To R1 Million In Funding For Tech Solutions To Early Childhood Challenges

Goldstuck, who is judging the awards, will present the following awards:

  • Online Retailer of The Year
  • 1st runner-up – Online Retailer of the Year
  • 2nd runner-up – Online Retailer of the Year
  • Best New SA Online Retailer of the Year.

The winners of the Online Retailer of the Year awards will be given a digital badge that the online store can display online. The winners will have bragging rights for a year — until the next award is made in 2019.

Judging criteria for the awards include trust, innovation, customer service, digital excellence, customer engagement, product excellence, and the online reputation of the digital store. Visa, Heavy Chef, and Platinum Seed will oversee the judging of the awards. The Ecommerce Forum of Africa will audit the results.

Retailers or entrepreneurs who want to attend the awards and presentation of the research results by Goldstuck can purchase tickets from Heavy Chef.

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Up To R1 Million In Funding For Tech Solutions To Early Childhood Challenges

Applications from individuals, non-profit and for profit organisations are welcome. Innovation Edge accepts early stage ideas pre or post proof of concept phase.

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Innovation Edge, an early stage investor and venture builder, has launched a call for tech solutions to problems faced by young children and those who care for them. The most promising ideas stand the chance to receive up to R1 million in funding and will have access to a range of incubation support. Qualifying ideas will address a defined need within early childhood and have a sustainable route to scale that includes families living in poverty.

Deadline for submissions is 19 October 2018.

The human brain is naturally wired to learn, but the brain’s capacity to absorb new information and learn new skills is most pronounced in the first 5 years of life. During this period of development, not only does the brain learn best, but it gets wired in ways that impact lifelong learning. Experiences during early childhood literally shape the architecture of the developing brain.

Sonja Giese, Executive Director for Innovation Edge, explains why investing in solutions to early childhood problems is critical; “ Eight out of 10 Grade 4 learners in South Africa cannot read for meaning. Six out of 10 Grade 5 learners cannot do basic maths. These scores are predictive of final school outcomes, meaning that by the age of 10 years, a child is on the educational trajectory she will most likely follow.”

“There is no conceivable way in which South Africa will realise its development goals, including increased employment, radical economic transformation, reduced crime and dependable leadership, without significantly altering the current trajectories of our youngest citizens. This sector is desperate for innovative solutions that offer impact at scale.”

Related: The Truth About Venture Capital Funding

While Innovation Edge welcomes submissions for any bold ideas at any time throughout the year, this call is specifically focused on tech solutions to early childhood challenges.

Examples of the types of challenges that applicants are invited to respond to include the following :

  1. Paper-based systems of recording classroom attendance are time-consuming and lacking in accuracy. How might you create a tech solution that enables pre-school teachers (in both high/mid and low income environments) to quickly capture verifiable classroom attendance for children aged 3 to 6 years?
  2. Young children’s (birth to 6) developing brains thrive from having daily positive back and forth conversations with their parents. How might you create a tech solution to help parents (in both high/mid and low income environments) embed this behaviour into their daily lives?
  3. Approximately 33% of women living in adversity will experience a mental illness (primarily depression) during or after pregnancy.  What opportunities could tech offer to support mothers, particularly those in low-income environments, who are suffering from depression?

Applications from individuals, non-profit and for profit organisations are welcome. Innovation Edge accepts early stage ideas pre or post proof of concept phase.

To submit a proposed solution and for more information on Innovation Edge visit http://innovationedge.org.za/opportunity-hub/.

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Bonang Matheba Announced As 2018 AWIEF Awards MC

AWIEF has announced multi –award winning radio host, TV presenter and style icon, Bonang Matheba as the 2018 AWIEF Awards MC and host.

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Bonang Matheba, affectionately referred to by fans as Queen B, has firmly positioned herself as Africa’s most sought after entertainment personality and SA’s number one social media darling.

With just three weeks from recognising, honouring and celebrating women entrepreneurs and business-owners in Africa for their innovation, excellence and contribution towards economic growth and social development, AWIEF has also announced songstress, BUCIE as the music entertainer for the night.

40 Finalists out of more than 1350 nominations were revealed for the AWIEF Awards last month. Winners will be announced at The Westin Hotel in a five-star gala dinner on 9th November 2018.

Tickets to the awards evening are selling fast. To secure your seat, please click here.

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