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Business Skills Boost For 12 Start-up Enterprises

The entrepreneurs are building innovative solutions for various challenges such as nutrition and sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, digital inclusion and waste management amount others.

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The New Economy Accelerator (NEA) has announced its second intake of entrepreneurs on its 10-month investment readiness incubation programme, commencing in February 2017.

This year, the NEA is focused on supporting enterprises that will transform rural economies in South Africa.  A total of 12 start-ups have been selected.

 The selection was preceded by an intensive three-day bootcamp, to determine the fit of the entrepreneurs for the programme. “The aim of the NEA is to identify committed social entrepreneurs with innovative businesses that have high potential to transform rural economies in South Africa and the continent.

Rural economies are critical for driving social transformation, yet face significant challenges resulting in high levels of youth unemployment and food insecurity. The NEA aims to promote inclusive business models that will help create opportunities in rural economies to rejuvenate the sector”, says Dr Mao Amis, Convenor of the New Economy Accelerator.

“Women make a third of the intake and the majority are youth under the age of 35 years. We are delighted about that, because women continue to be under-represented in entrepreneurial development programmes and in many sectors of the economy” he adds.

Related: 5 Reasons Why Business Management Is An Essential Skill

The entrepreneurs are building innovative solutions for various challenges such as nutrition and sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, digital inclusion and waste management amount others.

Details about the enterprises can be found below:

Akwande Farm – Agriculture (farming)

Akwande Farm (a business idea at this stage) will be a project built around highly successful business and development training of skilled and semi-skilled staff in the hydroponics, livestock farming, dairy farming, aquaponics farming, food processing, alternative energy (bio energy) production. The project’s aim is to carry out intensive and high turnover production, off a small area, while providing work and leadership experience for locals.  The business venture is not yet operational.

Bolimi Bokamoso – Agriculture (skills training)

bolimi-bokamoso

Offers training and mentorship to emerging farmers.  Also, sells agricultural products to farmers.  Some aspects of the business are operational. The owner of the business previously worked in the agricultural sector.

DigiTicket SA – online retail platform

digiticket-sa

Digiticket is an online ticketing solution which caters for internet and transactional solutions such as tickets for events, restaurant meal tickets, accommodation, travel, voucher coupons, and membership card access coupons.  The app is also used to market and book for events.  The company began trading in January 2016.

Related: Exactly How Involved Should You Be In Your Business’s Sales?

Gamagara Cape Solar deals in the supply, Installation and maintenance of all the following products:

  • Solar Water Heaters
  • Solar Pool Heaters
  • Solar Street Light
  • Inverters
  • Un-Interrupted Power Supply (UPS)
  • Generators (Installations and Maintenance)
  • Solar Batteries (Supply and Maintenance)
  • DIY Geyser Blanket
  • Electrical Repairs and Maintenance.

Kalahari Fire – Adventure Events Management – events management

The company organises family-oriented and alcohol-free outdoor events. Products on offer include go-karting, paintball, obstacle courses and quad biking.

Lamo Fuel Primary Cooperative – Biodiesel Manufacturer

The company produces biofuel from sunflower oil seeds.  Has already developed prototypes.  The owner is a biochemist. The venture is not yet operational.

Mthura Resources – Farming (Egg retailer)

The enterprise farms poultry for two purposes.  Some chickens are sold to the public.  Most produce eggs which are then sold to the local community.

Nutrifounder Consultants – Health & Wellness

The business is focused on educating the community about nutrition, with a special focus on schools.  It also consults to private clients.

Pocket Tutor – Online education

Application (App) and an online education platform using a hand-held device for use by educators and learners. The product can be viewed as part of the paperless classroom revolution underway in South Africa. 

Related: 10 Best Skills To Learn Online Today

Roots Accommodation – Property Management – Student Accommodation

The enterprise plans to provide rental accommodation for students using reusable shipping containers.  The target market is the local TVET collage in Kuruman, which draws students from neighbouring towns. The venture is not yet operational.

Tebatso African Eco Spa – Health & Wellness

A spa rooted in the use of authentically African healing and wellness methods, with locally-sourced products.  The business venture is not yet operational. 

Thebe ya Setshaba – Waste Management for Tyres

The business is a waste management centre.  Operations include the storage and re-purposing of tyres.

The broad objective of the NEA Programme is to identify SMMEs in South Africa with a high potential for social and environmental impact; and provide them with the necessary support and development assistance. The programme seeks to activate local economies in South Africa to build an inclusive and prosperous society.

The NEA is wholly-owned by the African Centre for a Green Economy (AfriCGE).

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FNB Sets Its Sights On Growing Female Entrepreneurs In South Africa

First National Bank looks to grow women entrepreneurship in South Africa.

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FNB has set its sights on growing women owned and led businesses in South Africa, a commitment that has seen the bank enter into partnerships to facilitate mentorship for some of the most promising enterprises.

The bank has a good foundation to build on, as 38% of all new business accounts opened with FNB Business are either led or owned by women, highlighting an already established entrepreneurial momentum.

“We are cognisant of the fact that neither government nor corporate South Africa are going to be the sole sources of job creation. We therefore have an obligation to support and grow entrepreneurship. Partnerships such as the one entered into with International Finance Corporation (IFC) enables us to assist in developing women owned business,” says Michelle Geraghty, Head of Women in Business at FNB Business.

Over the last few years, FNB has, through a partnership with the Vumela Fund, assisted businesses such asSAIL, a leading skills and training institute that offers a range of qualifications to the public sector, and Toni Glass who produce a collection of world class tea, to not only scale effectively, but to bolster each of the business’s offering to market.

Related: Watch List: 50 Black African Women Entrepreneurs To Watch

“Our approach is to, much like we have done with the likes of Sail and Tony Glass, enable qualifying women owned businesses in their growth curve by offering help that includes transact, lending, investing and insuring solutions. This will include facilitating the registration of the business online via the FNB registrations system which links to CIPC, to Instant accounting and payroll solutions aimed at reducing operating costs for the business. This will also extend to support in the incubation stage of selected businesses through Vumela. We will carry this right through to private equity funding,” explains Geraghty.

Vumela was established as an innovative model that is aimed at filling the gaps in the current SME funding and support landscape. While Vumela is an SME growth fund, it also functions as the bank’s primary Enterprise Development and Supply Development vehicle, able to fulfil both SME funding and growth needs, and corporate ESD requirements, avenues that FNB will be making use of.

FNB also intends on tracking jobs created through these initiatives to ensure a trickledown effect that not only benefits the business owner but also increases the overall number of women participating in business in South Africa.

“The need to grow the number of women in business is one that if done correctly, can address many of the disparities and anguish that women continuously face. Access to fair opportunities to grow their businesses and in turn make a real impact on the South African economy,” concludes Geraghty.

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Great Bunch Of Entrepreneurs Make Top 10 In The Workspace/MiWay Competition

The top 10 in The Workspace/MiWay entrepreneur competition have been selected.

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After an intense four-month process, the top 10 contenders in The Workspace/MiWay Entrepreneur competition have been notified that they’re through to the next round. These entrepreneurs will pitch their businesses to the judges, who will then whittle down the number of contenders to five, from which the winner will be chosen.

“There has been great excitement over the past four months. As every single new entry came in, we would clap our hands and cheer,” said Mari Schourie, CEO of The Workspace. It was a tough job judging all the entries to reach the top 20 submissions, she said, before having to find the top 10.

“We’ve had really strong entries submitted by people with good business knowledge,” said Schourie. “You can see the willingness to work hard and the great amount of effort they have put into their initiatives.”

Schourie said judges saw “wonderful ideas and fabulous business minds and quality people with big dreams shine through the entries”.

The top 10 are:

  1. Loyal 1
  2. Dwyka Mining Services
  3. Minatlou Trading 251
  4. Sindis Best for all
  5. Convergence Three
  6. Zinde Zinde
  7. Matla Risk Management
  8. Artsort Trading
  9. Iconic Talent Agency
  10. Nthedikgwadi Transport Services

Related: How to Name (Or In Some Cases, Rename) Your Company

Schourie said she wished she could tell President Cyril Ramaphosa, who supports the growth of small business as an economic driver, “the ideas and the passion that these business owners have is inspiring and should be focused on more”.

The prize on offer – worth over R350 000 – will help set-up the winning entrepreneur for a period of 12 months, giving them a boost to help build their business.

Morné Stoltz, Head of Business Insurance at MiWay, said the theme that ran throughout the entries was that entrepreneurs wanted to make a difference and contribute to positive change in South Africa. “Many of the submissions focused on technical and developmental fields,” he said.

“Entrepreneurs recognise gaps in the market and see the potential for growth. Getting into the top 10 was not at all easy.”

Stoltz said South Africa had a “great bunch of entrepreneurs” and that standing together to give them a platform to launch was an exciting opportunity. “To grow our economy we need to help with skills development and give whatever assistance we can,” he said.

Part of the finalists’ road to the top includes a skills development programme for the top 10 entrants ahead of their important date to pitch their business plans to the judges.

As Schourie pointed out, it is vital to encourage South African citizens to act on their dreams and passions because “it can be a great success; they just need make that leap”.

Dates to watch:

  • 21 June: Top 10 skills development programme
  • 3 July: Top 10 pitches
  • 6 July: Top 5 announcement
  • 20 July: Final five workshops
  • 10 August: Final five pitches
  • 13 September: Winner announced

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Top 22 Start-ups Chosen For Final Selection Days – Startupbootcamp Africa

After receiving 1,004 applications from all over the world, the SBC team in conjunction with the programme’s corporate sponsors have narrowed the applicants down to 22 top-tier tech start-ups that will be invited to the Final Selection Days on July 11th and 12th at PwC’s headquarters in Cape Town.

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SBC Africa received 1,004 total applications from 77 countries on 5 continents. The start-ups that applied were exceptionally impressive and have gained more traction in the market than the applicants for the 2017 cohort. The talent in Africa is phenomenal and the corporate sponsors and SBC team dedicated 2 weeks to narrow it down to the Top 22 to be invited to Final Selection Days.

“It’s been an intense process due to the exceptionally high calibre of start-ups applying to the programme from across the continent,” states Philip Kiracofe, co-founder and CEO of Startupbootcamp Africa. “From 1,004 applications we have managed to narrow down to 22 of the most creative teams tackling daunting African problems. One of the key differentiators for start-ups that participate in the SBC Accelerator is the opportunity to secure commercial contracts with our sponsors. In order to make it onto our Top 22, each start-up has been chosen by at least 2 sponsors for potential proof of concept projects. The 2018 cohort is already shaping up to be a milestone moment for Africa.”

Related: How to Name (Or In Some Cases, Rename) Your Company

Zachariah George, co-founder and Chief Investment Officer of Startupbootcamp Africa added, “The investment community across Africa is taking note of the significant traction and access to market that being an alumni of a global accelerator programme like ours provides. We are excited to further galvanize venture capital funding into tech startups through significant de-risking of business models and customer validation with our corporate partners globally.”

From the 22 teams that have been invited to the SBC Africa Final Selection Days, 10 will be selected to join the 2018 cohort. Over the span of the two Final Selection Days, the startups in attendance will have the opportunity to present their pitches to high-profile corporate sponsors, investors, thought leaders and industry experts and will have the chance to sit down with mentors and sponsors alike. At the end of Day Two, the Top 10 will be announced and will be welcomed to the Cape Town-based Accelerator that kicks off in August. During the 3-month period, they will have the opportunity to scale at an incredible pace and seal pilot and proof of concept deals with the corporate sponsors to the programme.

The SBC Africa Accelerator is anchored and endorsed by heavyweight corporate sponsors RCS, BNP Paribas Personal Finance, Nedbank, Old Mutual and PwC.

“We’ve seen an increase in the quality of start-ups applying to the programme. The awareness of the value of the programme has increased and the success of the first year of the bootcamp speaks for itself. More mature start-ups are also seeing the benefits of participating in Startupbootcamp Africa,” comments Stanley Gabriel, Head of Innovation at Old Mutual.

The Top 22 start-ups invited to the Final Selection Days come from 7 different countries. The numbers are as follows: 8 from Nigeria, 5 from South Africa, 3 from Uganda, 2 from the Ivory Coast, 2 from Kenya, 1 from Ghana and 1 from Ireland.

Related: Entrepreneurship Is All About Overcoming Obstacles

The names of the start-ups invited to Final Selection Days by country:

  • Nigeria: Bankly Technologies, Biyabot, CredPal, FriendsVow, Kudimoney Bank, Medikal HMS, NebulaPay, and ZEEZZ Planet Solutions.
  • South Africa: Brandbookalytics Big Data, ifileme, LÜLA, Prospa, and Akiba Digital
  • Uganda: CoinPesa Ltd, RoundBob Uganda, and Swipe 2 Pay
  • Ivory Coast: Digitech Group, and DISTRICASH
  • Kenya: Kakbima, and MPost
  • Ghana: Inclusive Financial Technologies
  • Ireland: Pago Payments

It has been an incredible 3-month scouting journey for SBC Africa and now that the Top 22 have been announced, the Final Selection Days is the only hurdle left before the Accelerator officially kicks off on 13 August 2018.

There are high expectations for the Top 10 of 2018 and if the quality of the start-ups at this stage is any indication, 2018 is set to be a great success for the African tech and innovation ecosystem.

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