In July, Google.org granted $1.5 million to the non-profit arm of Siyavula Education to provide free access to its maths practice service for 150 000 South African students and a further 150 000 in Nigeria. Today, Siyavula is starting this process by announcing its #1MillionMaths Challenge to kick start learner preparation for end of year exams.
Siyavula is inviting South African learners to complete 1 million maths questions on its digital learning platform in the month of October. For the #1MillionMaths Challenge, Siyavula will provide free access to its premium online maths practice service for all Grade 8-12 learners in the country.
“Both Google and Siyavula harness technology to make information and education more accessible. We want to demonstrate how powerful this can be by providing learners with access to this tool during their preparation for exams, ” says Nick Cain, Google.org’s Portfolio Manager for Education.
“Siyavula is launching the #1MillionMaths Challenge to show the reach and scale that technology enables, as well as the incredible impact that practice can have when learning maths,” says Mark Horner, CEO of Siyavula. “We’ve designed our software to adapt to each learner’s level so they practise smarter, not just harder.”
Related: Government Funding & Grants Advice
Grade 12 learners preparing for exams will be able to practice self-marking exam questions for Mathematics Paper 1 and Paper 2. In addition to learning and preparing for exams, learners will receive various prizes and rewards from Siyavula such as data, mobile phones and Google Play vouchers during October.
150 000 learners from low fee public schools who participate in this challenge will be eligible to receive a Google.org-sponsored scholarship that grants them access to Siyavula maths practice for all of 2018.
To join the #1MillionMaths challenge, prepare for exams and stand a chance to receive one of the 150 000 Google-sponsored subscriptions for 2018, learners can visit the Siyavula website at www.siyavula.com, register for a trial account and redeem the following access code: siyavula-one-million-maths. This code will grant them premium access until the 15th of December and allow them to participate in the challenge.
Prizes, leaderboards and more information will be announced on the Siyavula Facebook page throughout the month of October. We invite learners to join the Siyavula Facebook page to monitor our progress and stay up to date.
About Siyavula Practice
Siyavula Practice offers learners an unlimited number of maths and science exercises at a level that is tailored to their ability and gives immediate, step-by-step explanations for each question answered. The software has been designed so that learners can practise as much as they like until they feel confident that they’ve really understood.
Powerful technology adapts each practice session to the needs of the learner by changing the difficulty and sequencing of the questions they see. Siyavula Practice can be used by anyone with a computer, tablet or mobile phone (smart or not) as long as it has an internet connection.
It carries an annual subscription fee (R599 per year each for maths and science or R999 per year for both), but Siyavula works with funders to provide disadvantaged students with sponsored access. Partnerships with Vodacom and MTN allow learners to access the Siyavula website without being charged for data.
Google.org, the philanthropic arm of Google, supports nonprofits that innovate to address humanitarian issues. Google.org was created to pursue, experiment with, and build upon ideas to improve the world, and continues to take an iterative approach to philanthropy today. Google.org develops and invests in pursuits that can have measurable impact on local, regional and global issues, and rallies Google’s people in support of these efforts with a singular goal of creating a better world, faster.
In July Google announced that Google.org would make $20 million in grants over the next five years to nonprofits that are working to improve lives across Africa, including a Google.org Impact Challenge in Africa in 2018 to award $5 million in grants. Any eligible nonprofit in Africa can apply, and anyone will be able to help select the best ideas by voting online.
As part of this commitment Siyavula received a $1.5M grant to provide free access to its online learning platform to 150,000 low-income students in South Africa and 150,000 additional low-income students in Nigeria. They will also use Google.org funding to create versions of their highly regarded (and government approved) free digital textbooks aligned to the Nigerian curriculum and a set of topic maps that will be freely available to anyone building ed tech for the Nigerian market.
Stormers’ Siya Kolisi: On Being An Entrepreneur And Employer In SA
Many sportsmen only begin thinking about other sources of income after their professional sporting careers draw to an end, Springbok Siya Kolisi has opted for a head start.
Stormers captain Siya Kolisi has branched out into small business ownership with Frankees: A designer underwear brand with a South African spin. This is Kolisi’s first business venture, which adds him to the ranks of many South African ‘slashers’ who have alternative sources of income to their day jobs. With a current unemployment rate of 26.7%, SME business owners play an increasingly important role in uplifting South Africa’s economy and tackling unemployment.
Ahead of Workers Day on 1 May, Kolisi chatted about being an entrepreneur and employer at the Cape Town Live Better Talks sponsored by Capitec Bank – a bank that partners with business owners to offer smart banking solutions to employees. In SA, SMEs comprise 90% of formal businesses currently and could catalyse 90% of all new jobs in the country by 2030 – especially if President Ramaphosa delivers on his promise to remove current barriers to small business growth. So ventures like Frankees have the potential to make a big difference.
Here’s what Kolisi had to share:
Tell us a bit more about your new business venture and why you decided to found it?
SK: I founded Frankees, a designer underwear company, with my former class and teammate Tim Whitehead. He originally approached me to be the face of the business, but when I looked closer at the business model I saw the opportunity that existed and brought my full skillset on board in exchange for 50% ownership.
It was an easy decision because Tim and I have walked a long road together, I can trust him, and, after a good business model, trust is the most valuable business commodity.
How do you balance playing rugby and managing a business?
SK: I’m not going to lie, it’s tough. You’d think that investing your money in a good business model is sufficient but that’s only the starting point. I’ve learnt that you have to work hard to make your money work for you.
Tim and I split up our roles based upon what comes naturally to us – this makes it less taxing. I focus on marketing and networking. It’s taught me perseverance and persistence. Having someone famous post a picture in your underwear on social media can have a big impact, but they are also usually very busy so it takes a lot of effort to get the photo out of them.
It sounds like you’re learning a lot along the way, what has been your biggest lesson?
SK: You need to set boundaries about who you listen to. There’s a lot of negativity out there and if you’re not careful people can talk you out of your business idea. I’ve chosen a select few people to walk this journey with me and their advice is the wisdom I value.
Do you think an employer has a responsibility to financially upskill employees?
SK: I do, but only if they’re open to having the conversation. I think there’s a lot to be said for transparency: As an employer, you need to be open about what’s working and what’s not. When things fail, you need to talk about the lessons you learn from the experience. From a financial perspective, I try to ask my staff about their future plans – whether they want to start their own business or pursue an educational venture of some kind, etc. – and offer gentle advice from my own experiences, if they’re open to this. I think, as always, there’s a lot to be said for leading by example. I talk about the way my family is saving and investing in our future. I also am open about the company finances: The importance of cash flow, plus insurance, emergency funds and all those key components to getting a new company off the ground.
What role do you think SME’s play in the economy?
SK: Small businesses are very important not only for providing job creation, but they drive innovation and efficiencies in our economy. They have the largest potential to move people out of the poverty cycle of structural unemployment but one must be brave starting up a business because it’s not easy.
Personally I’ve been driven by the need to ensure I can always provide for my young family, even after I hang up my boots. I’m also passionate about being a change maker – running a successful business at scale will result in the ability to employ more staff thus creating jobs and empowering people.
What’s one lesson you hope to impart to your employees and other hopeful entrepreneurs?
SK: Always be on the lookout for creative ways to diversify your income; it is possible to hold down more than one job or to begin something small on the side to add to your income. Don’t wait until you’re confronted with a problem – begin now and be proactive.
Attention Female Entrepreneurs In SA – Fairlady And Santam Are Looking For Entries!
Entries are now open for the FAIRLADY Santam WOMEN OF THE FUTURE 2018 Awards.
FAIRLADY and Santam are once again calling for female entrepreneurs: three amazing women who have taken the leap to work for themselves and are now creating opportunities for others – and boosting our economy!
‘South African women are such an impressive bunch – each year I’m blown away by what our entrants have achieved, and not only in “traditional” female businesses like design and PR. They’ve done everything – from starting giant construction firms to filling transport gaps with innovative ideas and a whole host of other genius businesses along the way. They are amazing,’ says FAIRLADY editor Suzy Brokensha.
The FAIRLADY Santam Woman of the Future 2018 award goes to an entrepreneur, 30 years of age or older, who has overcome the challenges of the first three (3) years as an entrepreneur and made it beyond 1 000 days in business. The prize comprises R50 000 cash, an invaluable mentorship session with one of the judges, an Issey Miyake fragrance hamper worth R6 990, an IMM Graduate School short course worth R15 000, a Michel Herbelin watch worth R10 500, a Karissa Biz Bailhandle and Spinner from Samsonite worth R7 298, a Madrid ladies handbag and purse from Jekyll & Hyde valued at R4 799, a Cross pen worth R2 500 and one media training session.
Mokaedi Dilotsotlhe, Chief Marketing Officer at title sponsor Santam says, ‘As a company that has been in the business landscape for 100 years, we support entrepreneurship as it is vital to the growth of the country’s economy. Entrepreneurs are the bloodline of economic growth – they are the source of job creation and engines of innovation. We value our partnership with FAIRLADY in the Women of the Future initiative – now in its fourth year – as it gives us a platform to honour entrepreneurs who are positively impacting our nation.’
The FAIRLADY Santam Rising Star 2018 Award goes to an entrepreneur between the ages of 16 and 30 whose business is older than six months but still within its first 1000 days of business. The prize comprises R20 000 cash, an invaluable mentorship session with one of the judges, a Issey Miyake fragrance hamper worth R6 990, an IMM Graduate School short course worth R15 000, a Michel Herbelin watch worth R10 500, a Karissa Biz Bailhandle and Spinner from Samsonite worth R7 298, a Madrid ladies handbag and purse from Jekyll & Hyde valued at R4 799, a Cross pen worth R2 500 and one media training session.
‘There’s a new optimism in South Africa, but at FAIRLADY we have always been optimistic. We’re all about the future, and we believe in the extraordinary power of women to create the future we want for ourselves and our children in this country. We award success, but we also award potential (the Rising Star award). This year I’m delighted to say we’re also including the social entrepreneurs who are using their businesses to contribute to their communities.’ says Brokensha.
The FAIRLADY Santam Social Entrepreneur 2018 Award goes to an entrepreneur whose business is making a real difference in her community. She must be 30 years or older, and her business must have survived its first 1 000 days in business. The prize comprises R20 000 cash, an invaluable mentorship session with one of the judges, an Issey Miyake fragrance hamper worth R6 990, an IMM Graduate School short course worth R15 000, a Michel Herbelin watch worth R10 500, a Karissa Biz Bailhandle and Spinner from Samsonite worth R7 298, a Madrid ladies handbag and purse from Jekyll & Hyde valued at R4 799, a Cross pen worth R2 500 and one media training session
Entry forms and terms & conditions are available on www.womenofthefuture.co.za.
Entries close on 8 June 2018.
The general public can now nominate a female entrepreneur for entry into the Woman of the Future,
Rising Star or Social Entrepreneur Awards. Nomination forms can be found on https://www.womenofthefuture.co.za/nominate-now/
For full details, get the latest issue of FAIRLADY magazine, on sale now!
The Big Issues Facing SA’s Small Business
There’s no lack of entrepreneurial spirit in SA, but start-ups and small businesses need skills, social capital and a supportive environment in order to succeed.
It’s a popular misconception that funding is the biggest hurdle in the way of small business success: in fact, knowledge and networks may be more important. This is according to small business experts and members of the Small Business Expo expert advisory board, speaking ahead of South Africa’s premier small business development platform – Small Business Expo 2018.
The expo, taking place from 6 – 8 September at the TicketPro Dome is an annual opportunity showcase and knowledge-sharing platform for local small and medium sized businesses, is presented by Reed Exhibitions in partnership with the Eskom Development Foundation. It is further supported by the Randburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Minara Chamber of Commerce; endorsed by the Black Management Forum (BMF) and approved by AAXO.
According to Langa Manqele, FinTech businessman and chairman of the Black Management Forum (BMF) in Gauteng, entrepreneurial spirit is flourishing across South Africa, including in the townships and rural areas.
“A trend we’re seeing emerging is for entrepreneurs to launch small scale manufacturing and agro-processing operations around the country.” This is in line with the government’s hopes for a more industrial economy, and presents many opportunities for job creation, he notes.
“Unfortunately, though, many start-ups are failing to break through into big business, and many are failing to comply with testing and safety standards. This may be partly due to a lack of awareness and information, and also because safety and standards infrastructure is out of reach of rural business, as well as being prohibitively expensive.”
Manqele believes that stepped up information sharing, skills development and networking, such as that available at the Small Business Expo, may help these start-ups break through into the big business league.
“This is why the BMF is endorsing the Small Business Expo,” he says. “Because of its focus on the development of black business in particular, along with its three days of in-depth workshops and opportunities to network, we believe it’s an invaluable platform for small businesses to gain the knowledge and social capital they need to grow. Capacity building is a major challenge, and the number of startups able to be absorbed by incubators doesn’t meet the national needs; therefore events like these fill the gap for critical business skills development.”
Linda Blackbeard, CEO of the Randburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI), which represents businesses in Randburg, Fourways and Lanseria, echoes this sentiment. “Small businesses need partner networks in order to grow. Joint ventures, for example, allow them to take on bigger projects than they might manage alone. And through partnerships with large business, they stand to gain viable income streams.” But many do not know how to tap in to this ‘social capital’ or partner networks.
Blackbeard says belonging to an industry body such as the local Chamber of Commerce is a key first step to expanding partner networks. Another is to participate in industry events.
“The Small Business Expo is a very important platform for networking, learning and skills development,” she says. “No matter how long you’ve been in business, systems and markets change and there’s always something new for us to learn so that we can operate more effectively.” She notes that marketing is another area where many small businesses fall short, making the networking and exposure opportunities at the Small Business Expo invaluable for small businesses.
BMF and RCCI will be present at the Small Business Expo, where small business can discover the benefits of joining the organisations.
Carol Weaving, MD of Reed Exhibitions, says building social capital and business capacity is the primary function of the Small Business Expo and co-located #BuyaBusiness expo. “Empowering small businesses to grow, has always been the focus of this event, which is closely aligned with the work of show partner, the Eskom Development Foundation. As the expo has evolved, we have increased our efforts to deliver a practical development forum that delivers tangible results for all participants. This year, the programme has been shaped with input from business experts across small business umbrella bodies, chambers of commerce, banks and entrepreneurs, all working towards a common goal of growing businesses in South Africa.”
Small Business Expo will include multiple development forums and workshops, including the Creative Business Cup, Nedbank Money Matters Workshops; Standard Bank Women in Business Theatre; Eskom “Powering your World Indaba” and a Business Services Theatre. In addition, the expo will showcase the Business Services Expo & #BuyABusiness Expo as well as offersa #THEClub VIP investors’ programme, business speed dating, online business matchmaking and dedicated networking areas.
About the Small Business Expo
The Small Business Expo, showcasing the Business Services Expo and #BuyaBusiness Expo, is devoted to the development of small and medium sized enterprises, providing an invaluable platform for small and medium businesses to market themselves, network and connect with entrepreneurs and interact with prominent business leaders and representatives from a number of corporate companies. The Small Business Expo is presented by Reed Exhibitions in partnership with the Eskom Development Foundation and will be held from 6 – 8 September 2018 at the Ticketpro Dome, Northgate.
The expo is supported by the Randburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Minara Chamber of Commerce, and is endorsed by the Black Management Forum (BMF) and approved by AAXO.
For more information, visit https://www.smallbizexpo.co.za/
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