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Winners Announced At This Year’s PriceCheck Tech & E-Commerce Awards

Takealot.com clinches top honours & SweepSouth scoops two titles at 2016 PriceCheck Tech & E-Commerce awards.

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The 2016 PriceCheck Tech & E-Commerce Awards showcased pioneering new entrants and visionary e-commerce innovators, alongside major brands in the industry. The category winners were announced at a gala dinner held in Cape Town last night, with Takealot.com scooping the Overall Winner Award as well as the People’s Choice Award.

As part of a thorough judging process, the candidates for each award were selected by public nomination and were required to meet specific criteria. The list of nominees was then submitted to a panel of expert judges who selected the top three nominees per category, finally choosing a winner.

From Best Payment Service to Best Online Marketplace, the PriceCheck awards seek to recognise outstanding South African businesses and individuals in the e-commerce and technology spheres.

Kevin Tucker, founder and CEO of PriceCheck, Africa’s largest product and financial services comparison platform, noted that one of the toughest categories this year was the Best Mobile Shopping Experience, which was awarded to the popular fashion e-tailer, Zando.

Related: Efficient R&D Puts Product Of The Year SA In The Pound Seats

“Given that the mobile shopping experience is becoming so important, it was unsurprising that the three finalists in this category all offer a great mobile service for their customers,” says Tucker.

“Major emphasis is being placed on optimising the mobile customer experience, and Zando exemplifies this with various features that encourage consumers to explore and ultimately purchase online.”

The awards unveiled the emergence of niche e-commerce businesses that reflect the innovation taking place within specific sectors.

Aisha Pandor, the founder of SweepSouth, exemplifies this wave of innovation, and has applied the Uber operating model to provide domestic cleaning services in South Africa. Pandor was named the Best Female Tech/E-Commerce Entrepreneur as well as the Best Black Tech/E-Commerce Entrepreneur. She was competing with Ntuthuko Shezi, the founder of Livestock Wealth, which is a platform that essentially allows people to invest in cattle.

“The success of these passionate entrepreneurs who are breaking ground within niche categories really speaks to the importance of understanding and believing in your product,” adds Tucker. “To gain traction in today’s online marketplace requires far more than just a product and a slick platform, it requires real passion and a willingness to put yourself out there behind your ideas.”

One of the surprise winners of the night (and evidence that niche players can succeed) was Funky Tights, which sells custom tights online. They clinched the Best Small Online Business Award, on the back of impressive growth in a short period of time.

“This year’s awards reflected the general formalisation of the sector, with the bigger brands coming to the fore and really starting to stand out within their categories,” says Tucker, “Within financial services, for example, the major banks are taking the lead.”

In line with this trend of the juggernauts setting the pace, FNB was named the Best Online Financial Services Platform; OLX took the title of Best Online Classified Platform; Uber was crowned the Best On-Demand Service; and DHL emerged as the Best Delivery/Logistics Provider.

Related: The 7 Things Science Says You Must Do Daily To Build A Billion-Dollar Company

List of winners

wiGroup
Best Fintech Platform 2016

SnapScan
Best Payment Service 2016

Zando
Best Mobile Shopping Experience 2016

Zando
Best Overall Shopping Experience 2016

Travelstart
Best Travel Booking Service 2016

Uber
Best On-Demand Service 2016

FNB
Best Online Financial Services Platform 2016

Funky Tights
Best Small Online Business 2016

OLX
Best Online Classified Platform 2016

bidorbuy
Best Marketplace Platform 2016

DHL
Best Delivery/Logistics Provider 2016

takealot.com
Best Customer Service 2016

Aisha Pandor (SweepSouth)
Best Black Tech/E-Commerce Entrepreneur 2016

Aisha Pandor (SweepSouth)
Best Female Tech/E-Commerce Entrepreneur 2016

OneDayOnly
Employer of the Year 2016

takealot.com
People’s Choice Award 2016

takealot.com
Overall Winner 2016

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The Start-up Hatchery And Greater Tygerberg Partnership Launch Innovative Pitch Competition For Bellville Solutions

Entrants are required to submit their ideas in a 30-second WhatsApp video to 082 936 7544 before 24 May 2018.

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The Greater Tygerberg Partnership (GTP) and start-up incubator The Startup Hatchery are launching a pitching competition to surface innovative ideas that, when implemented, could lead to the improvement of Bellville in Cape Town’s northern suburbs. The winning idea will receive a package of business incubation, mentorship, business development support, marketing and branding collateral, legal and intellectual property advice and other prizes, including R5 000 cash.

Launching on 14 May 2018, Innovate Bellville 2.0 is open to new businesses that have been operating for six months or less, who are developing new innovative ideas that could improve public transport, create jobs, create inclusive public spaces, address homelessness, improve health and wellbeing, manage waste, facilitate mobility, attract and retain investment and regenerate the Bellville urban centre.

Related: 3 Actionable Insights To Make Your Investment Pitch Perfect

Innovate Bellville 2.0 forms part of the GTP’s living lab approach to the regeneration of the Bellville CBD, says Warren Hewitt, CEO of the GTP: “We want Bellville to be a test-bed for new ideas that can help us to build a vibrant, prosperous, inclusive city region. Innovate Bellville 2.0 falls directly into that approach. We’re looking forward to seeing the ideas that emerge, and seeing the winning idea implemented in a part of our city that stands on the edge of an exciting future.”

“Innovation starts anywhere,” says Tania Cunningham, Chief Digital and Marketing Officer for The Startup Hatchery, “but we were very excited at the prospect of focusing on finding innovative ideas that could bring about real change to a defined geographical area. Innovate Bellville 2.0 will offer the winning business a solid start in life, with a chance to see their idea become a reality in Bellville.”

Entrants are required to submit their ideas in a 30-second WhatsApp video to 082 936 7544 before 24 May 2018. Twenty semi-finalists will be selected from the WhatsApp pitches, who will each receive training and a pitch deck. From that group, a group of eight finalists will then be selected and invited to pitch their ideas to judges during a pitch event on 7 June.

For more information, contact pitchtank@thestartuphatchery.co.za

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Silulo Business Incubation Is Changing The Future Of Entrepreneurs

Silulo Business Incubation is a unique incubation aimed at empowering and assisting upcoming entrepreneurs.

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Launched in April 2018, the Silulo Business Incubation is a unique incubation aimed at empowering and assisting upcoming entrepreneurs to grow not only their businesses but also their confidence in the business space. The Incubation offers office space, boardrooms, training and conference rooms as well as eighteen shared office space for entrepreneurs in and around Cape Town.

Founder and Director, Mr Luvuyo Rani says: “We have always had a vision for this type of centre – a one-stop-shop where all entrepreneurial needs are catered for but our problem was always funding. With hard-work and dedication, we were able to make our vision a reality, which is exactly what we want to teach and instil for our entrepreneurs.”

The incubation will also offer networking sessions for aspiring entrepreneurs twice a month for two hours. This idea is to offer business insights as well as networking opportunities for entrepreneurs in and around Cape Town. Entrepreneurs will have the option to become members of the SBI Network where they are able to attend networking sessions of their choice. All networking sessions will cover different topics and training manuals will be offered after each session.

Related: Silulo Ulutho Technologies: Luvuyo Rani

Rani continues:

“The main challenge when it comes to this type of business is infrastructure and funding. Silulo is a pioneer and it can go anywhere, there are no boundaries in business. This is a flagship store. We want to replicate this in every province. Silulo’s success lies in partnerships and our business has a passion for empowering.”

Rani, a former teacher, together with his brother Lonwabo Rani started selling computers from the boot of a car more than ten years ago. Silulo Technologies now has 42 branches in three provinces: the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Kwa-Zulu Natal and 22 franchise stores, some of which are owned by former Silulo employees.

Director and Co-founder, Lonwabo Rani says: “My brother always tells us to think about the bigger picture. It was that bigger picture that kept us going. Back in 2006, what you see today is exactly how it was when we envisioned it.”

About Silulo:

In 2017 Silulo reached a total of 35 000 students trained since inception. It trained 65 students through MIC SETA in both the Eastern and Western Cape.

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

Rani and his two directors remodelled the business in 2017 by offering a walk in cellphone repair service (including the service of leading brands such as Apple, Samsung and Huawei) at one of the Silulo branches in Khayelitsha.

Rani, who was part of the Team South Africa to attend the World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland in 2018, has received numerous accolades for his social impact business.

He was also awarded a Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2016 among his many accolades.

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DJ Sbu Opens Academy To Develop Hustlers

DJ Sbu also known as Sbusiso Leope has partnered with the 3Sixty Financial Services Group (360 FSG) to positively impact thousands of young lives and families in South Africa with his own school, a learning academy. Aptly titled The Hustlers Academy.

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DJ Sbu also known as Sbusiso Leope has partnered with the 3Sixty Financial Services Group (360 FSG) to positively impact thousands of young lives and families in South Africa with his own school, a learning academy. Aptly titled The Hustlers Academy. Leope intends to develop the minds and the ability of thousands of young hustlers in the country and change lives.

The Hustlers Academy is an independent privately funded economic empowerment project spearheaded by Leope to address the overwhelming lack of jobs and incumbent graduates into the system on an annual basis. The 360 FSG is a well-established financial services company with a disruptive strategy that offers clients more benefits for their rand. The partnership represents a meeting of the minds and the hearts for the development of opportunities for young South Africans.

“We will train and educate young hustlers to either be entrepreneurs or corporate hustlers. Our training programme and academy curriculum will produce the best sales force this country has seen and develop the minds of Hustlers to understand how the world works and how to stand out. In partnership with 360 FSG we will develop entrepreneurs who start businesses and employ teams of hustlers within an 18-month period. ‘The Hustlers Academy’ will take in Hustlers for training nationally in multiple provinces providing a practical and theoretical intervention in the lives of those who are skilled and restless.” Said Leope.

Group CEO and Chairman of 360 FSG, Mr. Khandani Msibi is confident that ‘The Hustlers Academy’ will play a game-changing role in developing and changing the way corporates are structured in providing a ceiling for employees as far as earnings are concerned.

Related: 3 Start-up Funding Tips To Help Launch Your Company

“Our approach to empowerment is based on sustainability for the Hustlers who make it through the academy. We will develop people mentally as well as financially and make a serious change in their socio economic position. DJ Sbu has the potential to influence a generation and he shows this on a daily basis with his determination to succeed. We are matching his determination and passion for economic empowerment with our backing of the ‘The Hustlers Academy’project. We look forward to changing thousands of lives with a long term impact.” Said Mr. Msibi

‘The Hustlers Academy’ is active and running a pilot group of Hustlers through its programme in Johannesburg. The academy welcomes registrations on its webapp www.hustlersacademy.co.za. Starting from 1st June 2018 The Hustlers Academy will be taking in 50 – 100 hustlers per month.

Leope goes on to say. “In 2013 we started an educational company called Leadership 2020 which was designed to develop Africa’s richest asset – its people. I’m excited that we are able to realise our vision before the year 2020 with the launch of this initiative. ‘The Hustlers Academy’ will grow to add multiple courses, mentorship, and accreditations and even lead people to formal education if they so wish. This academy will make a tangible socio – economic difference in young South African lives. ‘The Hustlers Academy’ has no registration fees and requires no learning fees. It requires you, your time, your commitment and there’s #NOVILAPHING  – Lazy people will not make it.”

Registrations are online at: www.hustlersacademy.co.za

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