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Greening South Africa will Create Jobs

According to new report, half a million green jobs are in the wings.

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The Green Jobs Report, issued in early December, gives the estimated direct employment potential of an unfolding greening South African economy: on average approximately 98 000 new direct jobs will be generated in the short term; almost 250 000 in the medium term and more than 462 000 jobs in the long term. The Green Jobs Report broadly focuses on opportunities within a new green economy and identifies that South Africa needs to be part of the worldwide trend.  As more and more businesses, households and the public sector begin to embrace green technologies and practices, the potential exists to create a substantial number of new job opportunities and to facilitate reskilling.

Acting with focus

The Report, which was researched and compiled by the Industrial Development Council (IDC), the Development Bank of South Africa (DBSA) and Trade & Industrial Policy Strategies (TIPS), was the subject of a panel discussion at a side event during COP 17.

Commenting on the report, Economic Development Minister Ebraham Patel said: “We need to act with some focus and get our policies right; we must build the partnership so that we can unleash green entrepreneurship and take advantage of what’s available.  Our Green Economy Accord (number 4) states that the challenge is for us to do things differently and start a social partnership revolution.  In the case of solar water heating systems, for example, if we were to realise the potential of this, government can help to create a market; entrepreneurs must then seize the opportunity for local implementation.  We must also create jobs for people who have the skill but have lost their jobs and then we must, importantly, create receptiveness among South African consumers to take on board solar technology.

“We can’t walk away from coal but in the next 20 years we will be generating new energy; it’s about the future of the green energy.  We will work on technologies to become cleaner.

“Regarding the opportunities we have and our aim of finding ways to reduce our carbon emission, we are investigating and working with companies to bring about change.  For the transport of coal, for example, our challenge is to try and build rail lines and shift the movement of coal from trucks on the road to rail.”

Huge opportunities

Minister Gordon said South Africa needs to see the green economy as a huge opportunity but also recognise it as one that is part of a broader restructuring of the global economy.  “We need to find more effective economic models to address the issues of climate.  I compliment the authors of the report – it is an excellent contribution to policy making.  We must convert opportunities into actuality.  We live in a fascinating period when structural changes are taking place; what we have witnessed now as a result of the crisis is the inability of current economic models to create jobs and reduce inequality.  Greening the economy, therefore, is a huge opportunity.

“Structural incentives are going to be an important player in shepherding us into the greener economy.  Part of the competitiveness is the fact that we might well have trade rules that begin to cut out countries that don’t move fast enough.  Lastly, I think creating incentives – not just finance but also regulatory – will provide the right infrastructure; we currently spend billions of Rands in incentives but the challenge is how we direct those incentives and how we prioritise that spending?”

The green jobs market

The reason the report was needed was to provide an evidence base for policy to be determined in the future and to provide facts and figures that didn’t exist before.  The report was started from scratch and has researched the potential for jobs within certain sectors with the aim of assisting strategic planning for both government and the private sector.

The largest contribution to the new green jobs market will be associated with natural resource management due to the rich endowment that South Africa has in terms of solar and wind power particularly.  Other jobs will be created in green building activities, recycling (formal economy), waste to energy and in building, construction and installation, from production of batteries for electric vehicles, from the Bus Rapid Transport system (BRT), from soil and land management, and from operations and maintenance linked to renewable energy generation and, particularly in the short-term, soil, land and biodiversity and eco-management being an initial driver of new jobs.  As projects are progressively commissioned, manufacturing operations for equipment, parts and components in the solar, recycling, BRT, waste to energy and electrical vehicle industry, biofuel industry, etc will be created.  As the report does not include multiplier effects and indirect jobs estimates, the 460 000 jobs total would be much, much higher.

“Key success factors are needed to realise this job potential,” said Jorge Maia, one of the Green Jobs Report authors.  “Without them, we won’t achieve the 460 000 jobs.   We need a policy and regulatory environment, the private sector has a major role to play and we need regional cooperation from SADC and the African continent or the opportunity will be limited.”

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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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