Proudly South Africa

Proudly South Africa – Telling an entrepreneurial story?

Proudly South African Entrepreneurs

Chatting to business owners exhibiting at the Buy Local Summit was inspiring. So inspiring that I almost entirely missed the official programme. Dragging myself away from the businesses exhibiting I attended the sessions after lunch. Over three sessions I was left with a distinct sense that the Proudly South Africa lacked a strategy and an identity. The panelists all emphasised useful points on the need for leadership in South Africa, social dialogue and raised a couple of interesting experiments in supply chain and franchising. Nothing wrong with these statements, but there was little or no attention on how this related to increasing the demands for South African products by South Africans. It is typical of all conferences in South Africa, general calls for leadership without what conference goers call ‘actionable insights’. As I listened to the interviews on radio and TV on the event, my sense of a directionless campaign grew, despite me nodding to the fact that buying local was good for economy.
The Buy Local Summit is the premier event for Proudly South Africa, an organisation aimed at promoting South Africans to buy local goods and services. The official message from leaders inside and outside of government was that buying locally was patriotic, was supportive of job creation and contributed to the economy of South Africa. Outside in the exhibition space, business owners emphasised not the link between my wallet and my patriotism, but rather the link between their product or service and how it could help me. For example, businesses focussed on designing products, focused on the innovativeness or uniqueness of the product. Next, they emphasised international quality of their products, and that they were fairly priced. I quizzed them on whether they thought South African were not patriotic by not buying more South African products, and they argued that the real problem was customers knowing about the product. Those in manufacturing and construction always added that they found it difficult to compete with the ‘big boys’. Most importantly, they understood Proudly South Africa not as patriotic buying, but rather that the country has lots going on and that they could compete internationally. Herein, may lie a future direction for Proudly South Africa campaign. A campaign that emphasises the uniqueness, quality and price points of local products.

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The Importance of Digital Finance for Financial Inclusion in South Africa

The Importance of Digital Finance for Financial Inclusion in South Africa

 

The Banking Association of South Africa defines Financial Inclusion as a development that improves the “range, quality and availability of financial services and products focusing on the unserved, under-served and financially excluded. Principles of financial inclusion include: access, affordability, appropriateness, usage, quality, consumer financial education, innovation and diversification, and simplicity.”

According to Bank SETA, 53% of the country’s adult population is unbanked. The reasons vary, including the fear of exploitation, an inability to access physical bank buildings, strict FICA requirements and the steep fees. But factors like the lack of trust in the traditional banking sector, concerns about safety and security, time, and convenience all contribute as well.

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Video: Reframing Entrepreneurial Success with Gary Vaynerchuk

The Interwebs are littered with self help advice, that tells us all to follow these exact steps to success. Rarely is there advice that asks deeper questions – the time of questions that help us answer questions like:

  • What is success? Is it building the next Facebook, or is it simply following the dream?
  • Am I an entrepreneur? Are we modelling ourselves on companies that are geared to growing users and getting to the next round of funding, or should we be looking to bootstrapped companies that sell real tangible products?

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SA Innovation Summit

SA Innovation Summit

SA INNOVATION SUMMIT

It’s that time of year again, when the SA Innovation Summit gives every innovator, inventor and unique creative thinker the opportunity to present their concept, prototype or product to the South African innovation world. That’s right folks, the Inventors Garage and SA Innovation Legends Pitching Den are OPEN FOR ENTRIES!

Inventors Garage

Do you have a working prototype or product from proven concept to early commercialisation? If the answer is YES, you are invited to enter the Inventors garage Competition! Do so online before 15 July 2016, and if you’re selected as a semi-finalist, you’ll be invited to showcase your product at the SA Innovation Summit’s exciting Market on the Edge. This will guarantee massive exposure, advice, mentorship and possible deal-making. A second round of judging will happen at the Market on the Edge, with the finalists going on to present at the Innovation Summit conference. Winners stand to win an overseas trip to meet international investors, R200 000’s worth of PR exposure, Match and Invest opportunities and much more! Visit
http://innovationsummit.co.za/inventors-garage-competition/
for all the information you need to enter your unique innovation and be seen by all the right people.

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Eskom Small Business

Eskom to give small business a boost at leading business expo

Eskom to give small business a boost at leading business expo

Eskom is set to recognise leading small businesses, showcase promising SMEs and give entrepreneurship education a boost during the upcoming Small Business Expo at the Ticketpro Dome in Northriding, Johannesburg.

Through the Eskom Development Foundation, Eskom supports entrepreneurship and small business development at this leading small business event. At the Small Business Expo 2016, Eskom will announce the winners of the annual Eskom Business Investment Competition (BIC), in which substantial prizes aimed at building sustainable businesses are awarded to black-owned businesses in the manufacturing, engineering and construction, agriculture and agri-processing, services and trade industries.

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uAfrica

uAfrica – an easy way to setup an online store in South Africa

ZApreneur spoke to Jenn Hattingh from uAfrica about their ecommerce offering. This is the start of a series of interviews on eCommerce in South Africa. What spark our interest was an initiative to assist new businesses to set up online stores, and a promise of support from uAfrica and bidorbuy.

Key Takeaway:  If you interested in setting up an online store in South Africa, uAfrica is running a competition. What I like about the competition is that every entrant gets a good value set of freebies including assistance in setting up a store, promotional credit on bidorbuy, and ability to test out their multichannel app for six months, free. And that is what the losers in the competition get!  View the competition details and enter now!

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Fin Find South Africa

How to find out what funds are available to raise business finance

Research continues to show that one of the main reasons entrepreneurs fail to grow their businesses is due to their inability to obtain business funding. Yet, there are more than 350 different funds available to small businesses and many of the lenders are struggling to find businesses to fund. This disconnect between the availability of business funding and the ability of SMMEs to obtain funding is the problem that an innovative solution called finfind addresses.

Finfind is a unique, cloud-based Access to Finance portal sponsored by the Department of Small Business Development through its implementing agency SEDA. It provides a wealth of easy-to-understand information about small business finance and has a comprehensive database of active lenders that spans both government and private sector funds.

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Mobile Payments

Fintech has arrived and it’s changing the economy

Fintech has arrived and it’s changing the economy

The unemployment rate in South Africa is at an 11-year high, with 5.7 million people finding themselves without a job. The technological boom in the financial sector is not only making waves in innovation, but it’s also creating jobs and redefining employment roles within existing, traditional businesses.

Technology can create employment opportunities

Confidence in South Africa from a financial and investor point of view, is the lowest it has been in 5 years, according to Rand Merchant Bank’s Bureau for Economic Research. Because of the somber outlook on the South African economy, investment from the private sector has been limited, hindering job creation. The need for startups to emerge has never been more pressing. “Startups and small businesses contribute significantly to the economic and social development of South Africa by not only birthing innovation and change, but also by helping to alleviate poverty by means of job creation”, says Glen Jordan, director of startup fintech firm, IMB, based in Cape Town.
With the current digital disruption in the financial sector, more and more fintech startups are coming to the fore. Financial technology companies are springing up in tech hubs like Cape Town and Johannesburg especially, and according to Bradley Mehl from Kurtosys, a seed funder called Techstars will invest in 10 fintech startups, with with the first funding being allocated in March 2016.
South Africa is a big growth market where fintech is concerned. With this growth will not only come innovation and clever business solutions that will change the financial sector landscape, but growth means more and more startups emerging, which means more and more jobs are being created. With the changing face of technology, we will also find a redefinition of existing roles into more digital-oriented ones, with the skill set of many expanding.

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