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Nationwide Youth Business Start-Up Truck Marks Call-To-Entry For SAB Kickstart 2016 Competitions

SAB KickStart Boost and Ignite open for entry on 1 June 2016.

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SAB’s flagship enterprise development programme, SAB KickStart will embark on a month-long recruitment campaign this Youth Month, using a new innovative #StartupTruck that will travel across the country on a youth entrepreneurship drive to find South Africa’s promising young entrepreneurs.

The campaign, targeted at entrepreneurs and innovators between the ages of 18 and 35, will call on those with business ideas and existing start-ups to apply for the SAB KickStart Ignite and Boost programmes, respectively.

Entries into the two programmes open on 1 June and close on 15 July 2016. Successful applicants stand the chance of winning a share of R9-million in business development support and incubation.

The #StartupTruck will make its way across 10 identified locations in each province beginning in Tshwane, Gauteng on Friday,6 June 2016 and ending in Phillipi in the Western Cape on Tuesday, 24 June 2016.

Related: Enterprise Development Programmes For Black Entrepreneurs

SAB KickStart Ignite applicants with innovative business ideas are encouraged to visit the #StartupTruck locations and pitch their ideas to a panel of judges. Those with existing qualifying businesses and entering SAB KickStart Boost are invited to submit their entry forms at the #StartupTruck and attend a free workshop on how to improve their businesses.

At each stopover, the #StartupTruck will partner with the Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA), the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA), the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) and start-up development organisations, including The Hookup Dinner and Durban Innovation Hub. Together, all partners will offer business support interventions aimed at assisting with accelerating the growth of start-ups. These interventions include pitching and product ideation; coaching aspiring entrepreneur launch their ideas; master class sessions focusing on business development topics such as start-up compliance and strategic growth planning.

“#StartupTruck is entrepreneurship support on wheels. It is designed to offer and deliver an accessible platform that assists young entrepreneurs to develop their business ideas and grow their small businesses. We are excited about the opportunity, together with our partners, to offer comprehensive support, resources and more importantly, increase access to the unlimited possibilities that entrepreneurship offers,” says Mpho Sadiki, SAB Head of Sustainability.

Over the past 21 years, SAB KickStart has remained focused on investing and supporting young entrepreneurs in building sustainable and economically viable enterprises which are able to make a high impact contribution towards reducing poverty through job creation.

Related: Embrace The Shift In Professional Training And Skills Development

Entrepreneurs interested in entering either SAB KickStart Boost and SAB KickStart Ignite can direct queries to one of the following channels:

Truck-startup

To Enter SAB KickStart

What We Are Looking For:

Entries must be an idea of a commercially viable product aligned to the Manufacturing or ICT Industry and makes use of one or more of the following materials – 3D printing, leather, wood, metal, laser and vinyl cutting, software design programs including CAD/CAM, and electronics including development of Internet of Things technology with Arduino and Raspberri Pi.

How to Enter:

Aspiring entrepreneurs with ideas must come and pitch their idea live at each of the following locations during the #StartupTruck tour:

  • 06 June – Tswane University of Technology Soshanguwe, Aubrey Matlala & College Road
  • 07 June – University of Limpopo Turfloop Campus, Science Education Centre Building
  • 15 June – University of Johannesburg Soweto Campus, Chris Hani Road Soweto
  • 20 June – Central University of Technology, 1 Park Road, Bloemfontein

The competition format will see eligible participants given just two minutes each to pitch their concept or idea to a panel of industry experts. The pitch must convince the panel that their idea or concept is good enough to develop into a viable start-up business.

What is on offer:

Successful pitches will be invited to return for a one-day Bootcamp the following day to assist with the refinement of the business concept/ idea. Following this, a select few will be invited to participate in a 6-month incubation, where they will receive business mentorship, business training, monthly stipend and R1.2million seed grant capital to launch their start-ups.

Candidates should demonstrate a commitment to the process of incubation and a willingness to invest effort into developing their product and starting a business entity with the appropriate infrastructure provided by SAB KickStart Ignite.

During incubation, the selected candidates will have the opportunity of turning their envisioned ideas into commercially viable products through the support of resident engineers and business trainers. They will evolve through technical and business mentorship, peer learning, networking and the use of advanced technology infrastructure.

To Enter SAB KickStart Boost

What We Are Looking For:

The focus of SAB KickStart Boost is on core industries identified at national level by government as having high economic multiplier. The core industries and sectors are Agriculture and Food Processing, Renewable Energy, Mining and Minerals, Construction, Health, ICT, Science and Electronics, Automotive, Transport, Chemicals, Plastics, Pharmaceuticals and Cosmetics, Tourism, Arts and Crafts, Metal Fabrication, Textiles, Clothing and Footwear.

Eligible businesses should also align to the following criteria:

  • Operational for a minimum of 12 months and not more than 5 years
  • Post revenue stage (sales made and concept proven)
  • Generating less than R5 million in turnover per annum
  • Employ a maximum of 15 employees (temporary or fulltime or a combination)
  • At least 51% black owned and managed
  • High growth potential that is scalable, with a sustainable competitive advantage.

How to Enter:

Entries into the competition close midnight on the 15 July 2015, and SAB will invite successful candidates to a selection interview in their province.

  • Apply online or download the application form on www.sabkickstart.net
  • Collect a form at any SAB site (located on the website)
  • Come and collect a form at any of the #StartupTruck locations during June.

What is on offer:

The programme offers successful participants a combination of support including intensive business skills training, tailored business development support, mentorship and R5 million shared low interest seed capital loan.

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Fintech Hackathon To Support South Africa’s Entrepreneurs

Xero hosts South African developer technology challenge – and appoints a new General Country Manager.

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 Xero, the global leader in online accounting software has today launched a national competition, to put South Africa’s growing fintech industry firmly on the map. To mark the start of the developer technology challenge, Xero has also announced the appointment of Colin Timmis as Country Manager for South Africa, to take Xero forward.

Launched with Amazon Web Services, the virtual hackathon will enable the region’s technology entrepreneurs to compete with other forward thinking developers on a global scale. To take part, they need to develop an app that can sit within the Xero’s global ecosystem of over 600 apps.

As announced last night at an exclusive event in Johannesburg, the winner will receive R62,720 and the opportunity to attend and exhibit their app at Xerocon the world’s largest conference for over 3,000 accountants and bookkeepers, taking place in London in November.

Related: How The SA Government Can Help Small Businesses Thrive

Xero, which first launched in South Africa in May 2016, is now one of the fastest growing software companies globally, with 1.4 million subscribers around the world. In South Africa, the company is currently supporting tens of thousands of local small businesses, and a substantial support network of accountants. The competition marks the first in a series of Xero-led initiatives created for the South African tech community, as it continues to help more businesses and their advisors thrive.

“Since Xero first set foot in South Africa, I’ve been really impressed by the strong entrepreneurial spirit amongst the small business community. It’s really important that they are supported in the right way; and given space to pursue their best ideas and to grow. That’s why it’s time to open up our global developer competition to a South African audience. Those that have won it elsewhere have instantly been able to propel their business, and compete at a global scale,” said Gary Turner, Managing Director, Xero EMEA.

To support its continued growth in South Africa, Xero has promoted Colin Timmis, to Country Manager. Previously Head of Accounting at Xero SA, he brings a wealth of experience and skill to his new role. Before arriving at Xero, Colin founded South Africa’s first cloud accounting practice, Real Time Accounting, in 2011 – becoming Xero’s first Global Gold Partner in 2013, and its third fastest growing partner in the global territory by 2014.

“With over 12 years of experience in the accounting profession, promoting Colin to Country Manager will accelerate adoption of Xero in South Africa.” said Gary Turner: “His experience in cloud accounting, software implementation, development, integration and best practice is peerless. He’s already done great work for us during our market entry phase and I can’t wait to see how together we can help more and more South African small businesses realise the benefits of cloud-based accounting.”

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Breaking Down Borders – Top Considerations For SMEs Expanding Into Africa

In light of Africa Day on the 25th of May, more South African small and medium enterprise (SME) owners should be encouraged to look at how they could expand their operations into the rest of the continent.

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In light of Africa Day on the 25th of May, more South African small and medium enterprise (SME) owners should be encouraged to look at how they could expand their operations into the rest of the continent.

This is according to Mark Paper, Chief Operating Officer at Business Partners International (BUSINESS/PARTNERS), who says that Africa has for long been regarded as a region with untapped economic opportunity. “The African Development Bank1 reports that the economic growth in Africa is set to accelerate to 4.1% over the course of 2018 and 2019, which can potentially yield benefits for SMEs.”

Paper points out that entrepreneurs should however firstly consider that each of Africa’s 54 countries represents a unique market with differing challenges and intricacies for doing business.

“The various economies, laws, languages and cultures need to be thoroughly assessed as part of the entrepreneur’s expansion plan, which should be structured around the target region’s strengths, weaknesses, potential opportunities and threats.”

Related: Expansion Funding Options For Your Growing Business

He says that once the enterprise is ready to start operations in a specific region, the entrepreneur needs to ensure that the regulatory requirements of the region are adhered to.  “It is crucial to conduct due diligence and understand all relevant regulations. Most of the companies that make mistakes during this phase find themselves facing massive fines or potentially devastating legal action further down the line.”

According to Paper, the information that should be at the entrepreneur’s fingertips include the required permits, business and property registration processes, credit requirements, tax legislation, labour market regulations, and local content requirements.

He adds that the entrepreneur should also know which laws are in place to protect foreign investors. “Developing robust contracts and using local attorneys to ensure that contracts can be enforced under local laws is therefore imperative.”

Next, Paper says that it is essential to have a strong local presence, knowledge of the local market, and an understanding of customer expectations. “Employing workers from the region can potentially be one of the best ways to support the company’s operations. It will not only benefit the business and its reputation, but the local economy too.”

He notes that finding the right employees, creating cohesive teams and implementing skills training within the organisation relies heavily on understanding the culture of the region, and being able to effectively work around the potential language barriers. “It could help to consult local human resources firms and hiring agencies with strong track records in the region.”

Another point for entrepreneurs to consider, is whether the country has reliable electricity supply, says Paper.

“Electricity supply continues to be a challenge in various countries, and there are many regions that only receive electricity from their national power grids for a few hours per day. Where necessary, the entrepreneur will need to budget for the installation of generators, or even consider signing contracts with mobile fast-track power suppliers who can operate and maintain their own generators on the business’s property.”

Related: Thinking Of Cross-Border Expansion? Consider This First

While entrepreneurs need to consider a number of aspects when expanding across borders, he adds that the rewards for getting it correct are significant, and that the perceived challenges should not deter entrepreneurs from taking the leap, rather serving as a reminder of the amount of research that should be conducted beforehand.”

“Africa is open for business. All it takes is enough drive, passion and perseverance to tap into its growing markets,” Paper concludes.

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President Ramaphosa To Address SA’s Biggest Board Meeting, The Directors Event

President Cyril Ramaphosa will be delivering a keynote address at The Directors event on 8 June 2018, at the Sandton Convention Centre.

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President Cyril Ramaphosa will be delivering the keynote address at South Africa’s biggest board meeting, The Directors Event, which will take place at the Sandton Convention Centre on 8 June 2018.  Dr Jabu Mabuza, Chairman of Business Leadership South Africa will deliver this year’s Chairman’s Report.

Now in its fourth year, The Directors Event invites industry leaders to unpack three issues of national importance and discuss solutions in a public forum, moderated by highly-respected media personalities.

Youth employment & entrepreneurship, the use of technology to promote inclusive growth, and our political economy will be hot topics in this year’s highly focussed discussion programme which attracts participation from the country’s most prominent business and government leaders, and an audience of 300 ‘board member’ delegates.

“We are honoured to have President Ramaphosa address this important gathering of some of the top minds in South Africa. We invited him as a response to the call he made during his maiden State of the Nation Address earlier this year, calling on all South Africans, in their small corners, to help develop this country. We believe, strongly, that corporate South Africa has a massive role to play and we are very excited that everyone seems to have accepted the President Ramaphosa’s “Thuma Mina” call,” says Bongani Siqoko, editor of the Sunday Times.

Nontokozo Madonsela, Chief Marketing Officer of MMI, the JSE listed holding company for Momentum, Metropolitan and other financial services providers says, “We are incredibly honoured and excited that President Cyril Ramaphosa will be delivering the keynote address at this year’s Biggest Board Meeting. Over the past few months, we have experienced a wave of change in the country that has brought with it much needed confidence in what we can achieve. As a company with deep roots in South Africa serving a broad spectrum of citizens and businesses, we are heeding the President’s call to lend a hand in addressing our challenges. We are saying #CountUsIn, we want to be there. We believe this platform creates a space where we can have constructive dialogue and come up with concrete solutions that can positively contribute to improving the state our country”.

Related: President Ramaphosa’s Support Of Entrepreneurs And SMEs In SONA Had Us Cheering

President Ramaphosa will be the highest ranking government official to address The Directors Event with his keynote message.  Previous keynote speakers at The Directors Event have included Caroline Galvan (Lead Economist & Editor: Africa Competitiveness Report for the World Economic Forum), and Mcebisi Jonas (Former Deputy Minister of Finance).

Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, Minister of Science & Technology, and Enoch Godongwana, Chairperson of the ANC sub-committee on Economic Transformation will also be representing the perspectives of Government and the governing party during the round-table discussions at this year’s event.


The Directors Event programme is tailored for corporates, SMEs, educators, and non-profit organisations who are serious about turning South Africa’s socio-economic crisis around.

The Directors Event will take place at the Sandton Convention Centre on 8 June 2018.  To view the 2018 agenda, speaker profiles, or to book tickets: www.thedirectorsevent.co.za 

The Directors Event brought to you by the Sunday Times Top 100 Companies and MMI Holdings Limited, is supported by partners Mancosa (GSB), the Institute of Directors (IoD SA), and Greymatter & Finch.

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