The Tony Elumelu Foundation

Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP) opens Jan 1

On January 1, 2017, The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) will begin accepting applications for the third round of the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme. The Programme is the Foundation’s 10-year, US$100 million commitment to training, mentoring and funding 10,000 African entrepreneurs.

The application portal will be open until midnight (WAT), March 1, 2017. Entrepreneurs must complete the online application and selection is on a rolling basis, so early application is encouraged.

Check back on the 1 January 2017 when the portal will open, and read the website to get a headstart. Click here. 

SAICA Enterprisation

SAICA offering discounted back office services

SAICA and J.P. Morgan sets out to help 100 SMEs reach new heights. Through the Enterprisation J.P. Morgan flagship project, 100 Gauteng SMEs will be selected to receive partially subsidised back office accounting support and financial training for a period of 18 months. The aim is to help them become sustainable businesses, and also to drive economic growth.

he key objective of the J.P. Morgan Enterprisation flagship project is to help SMEs reach the level of sustainability that allows them to drive economic growth and create employment. For this reason, SMEs accepted into this project will be measured against four key goals: compliance, revenue growth, profitability and employability.

To apply to be a part of the project, SMEs must:

  • be owned by a SA citizen
  • be successfully operating for a minimum of three years
  • have an annual turnover of between R500 000 and R10 million
  • be at least 51% black owned
  • operate only in South Africa
  • have valid tax clearance
  • have a valid BEE certificate/affidavit
  • be registered with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) and have valid CIPC documentation
  • have an active business bank account
  • employ a minimum of two people (excluding directors and owners)
  • not have an accountant at present
  • not currently be a client of SAICA’s enterprise development entities
  • be willing to attend SAICA-hosted training and workshops.

SMEs that operate in the top-performing industries in South Africa – namely ICT, tourism, infrastructure, agriculture, transport & logistics, manufacturing, media and entertainment, and education – will be given preference for entry onto the project’s shortlist.

How to apply?

Business owners who would like their SMEs to be considered for the J.P. Morgan Enterprisation flagship project should note that the application consists of two steps: an initial online application and, should your SME be shortlisted, a 15-minute pitch presentation to a panel of judges who will select the 100 SMEs that will take part in the project.

To submit your application, visit, click on the Enterprisation J.P. Morgan project banner, and fill in the online application form.

Please note that online applications close at midnight on 15 January 2017. SMEs shortlisted for the project will be contacted by 18 January 2017 to set up a presentation to the panel during February.

Address by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa at the launch of Global Entrepreneurship Week

Address by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa at the launch of Global Entrepreneurship Week, IDC Auditorium, Johannesburg

11 November 2016

Photo of: Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa

Minister of Small Business Development, Ms Lindiwe Zulu,
Premier of Gauteng, Mr David Makhura,
President of the Global Entrepreneurship Network, Mr Jonathan Ortmans,
Leaders of business, labour and community,
Development partners,
Distinguished guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a great pleasure to address you this afternoon on the occasion of the launch of Global Entrepreneurship Week. This event is informed by an understanding that sustainable development is people-driven.
It is informed by an understanding that countries that do not invest in entrepreneurial development hinder their own growth potential and limit the prosperity of their people. It is informed by an understanding that it is Africa’s innovative and resilient entrepreneurs that will solve the continent’s socio economic challenges and determine its destiny.
From this, the City of Gold to Dar Es Salaam, from Musina to Marrakesh, from Lephalale to Lagos, our continent salutes the women and men, the young and the elderly, who are reasserting Africa’s status as a centre for entrepreneurship.
During Global Entrepreneurship Week and beyond, we must recognise and celebrate you because you are the engines of economic growth and agents for development.
You are Africa’s merchants of hope.
We look up to you to collaborate beyond borders to pursue opportunities that will create employment for our people.
We are grateful to Africa’s global partners who are enthusiastic and committed to cultivating and supporting Africa’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.
We applaud the members and leadership of the Global Entrepreneurship Network for travelling far to be with us today and for joining us on our journey towards an entrepreneurial generation.
We are also pleased, humbled and honoured that you have chosen South Africa to host the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in March 2017.
The events planned for Global Entrepreneurship Week allow us not only to share encouraging stories – and cautionary tales – from small business owners.
It is also a marketplace for new ideas.
It is a place to see opportunities, and to act on them.
It is a unique business fair bringing together policy makers, experts, investors and entrepreneurs.
This week is about the realisation of human potential.
It is as much about the individual entrepreneur as it is about the society that produces them.
It is also about the society that they – through their endeavours – will ultimately produce.
The participants in these events are motivated by a desire to succeed.
They are equally driven by a passion to defeat the scourge of poverty, unemployment and underdevelopment.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We all know that small businesses contribute considerably to job creation and economic growth in several developing economies.
Our National Development Plan enjoins all social partners in our country to work together to create fertile conditions to grow small enterprises.
The Department of Small Business Development, working with other stakeholders in our developmental state, is championing SMME development.
It is active on the frontline, promoting localisation, preferential procurement, mentoring and incubation of entrepreneurs.
It is an advocate for better financing, training and support of entrepreneurs.
It is the sworn enemy of the regulatory obstacles and bureaucratic ineffeciency that stand in the way of promising new enterprises.
It is leading the government-wide effort to create an environment that fully supports small businesses.
The latest Global Entrepreneurship Monitor report on South Africa highlights several of the challenges we face.
The report attributes South Africa’s weak job-creating capacity in part to our failure to adequately support enterprise development.
It highlights our country’s stubbornly low levels of entrepreneurial activity and entrepreneurial intentions when compared to many other countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The report notes that entrepreneurs in South Africa are almost four times more likely to anticipate making no contribution to job creation besides self-employment for the entrepreneurs themselves.
Black Africans still make up the majority of South Africa’s early-stage entrepreneurs.
But their participation has sharply declined.
The GEM Report notes that:
“In 2013 and 2014, approximately 85% of South Africa’s early-stage entrepreneurs were Black Africans. In 2015 this figure has declined by a fifth, to 68%.”
Constraints to entrepreneurship in South Africa are said to derive from inept government bureaucracy, inadequate entrepreneurship education and training at schools and social norms.
The GEM Report also says that South Africa’s national culture seems to discourage entrepreneurial risk-taking.
This observation masks a deeper reality: under apartheid, over many decades, the entrepreneurial instincts of South Africa’s majority were deliberately and cynically suppressed.
Unless we acknowledge and confront this reality, we will continue to undermine the effort to foster an entrepreneurial culture.
Blacks were stripped of land and assets, denied rights to establish businesses and deprived of opportunities to develop skills.
Like wealth and privilege, entrepreneurial capacity is often passed down through the family from generation to generation.
I was myself once a business person, and I couldn’t help noticing how many of my white counterparts had been exposed from an early age to the language and logic of business.
Many of them came from families where dinner table conversation often turned to sales, profit and financing, about new enterprises and failed ventures.
Not only did these people have the advantage of a better education, access to resources and ready-made networks; they also left home with many of the ingredients of an entrepreneurial mindset.
That is the deficiency we have only just begun to address.
We have significantly improved access to both school and higher education.
We have instituted employment equity and black empowerment programmes that have created a significant middle class that is starting to accumulate assets and savings.
We have reduced asset poverty through the provision of subsidised housing and the redistribution of land.
But there is a great deal we still need to do, specifically within the foundational phase of schooling.
Just as we confront the legacy of our past, we need to address one of the economic challenges of the present.
The structure of our economy has established high barriers to entry.
The Deputy Managing Director of the IMF, Mr David Lipton, recently spoke about a huge part of South Africa’s labour force that ‘is left on the outside looking in’.
He said:
“The formal economy is not absorbing them, nor are they able to strike out on their own.
“There is a crucial structural issue at play here: those included and successful in the advanced economy – large businesses, banks and unionised workers – maintain entry barriers against their potential competitors – small and medium-sized enterprises and the unemployed.
“In situations like this, the government should represent the interests of the excluded. However, some policies, regulations or actions only raise higher barriers.’
Indeed, a number of sectors of our economy are dominated by a few big players, costs of entry are high, and anti-competitive behaviour is widespread.
As government, we have recognised that we may unwittingly reinforce this market dominance through bureaucratic inefficiency and costly regulatory requirements.
However, we have made important progress in strengthening the competition authorities, using government’s purchasing power to promote emerging businesses, and refining the BEE codes of good practice to emphasise enterprise development.
While there is much in the South African entrepreneurial ecosystem from which we can draw inspiration – and from which we derive great hope – I have intentionally dwelled slightly more on the key constraints and obstacles.
I have done so to challenge all of us to work together to change the status quo and to allow small business to flourish.
I have done so to appeal to big business to partner with small business to grow an inclusive economy and give our youth work experience.
Leaders of established business must mentor more and invest more in young talent.
We must work together to urgently introduce those reforms that will foster a more enabling environment for SMME development.
We must find innovative ways to work and provide the necessary support to young women in particular to get involved in sustainable opportunity-driven enterprises.
Together, we must make sure, that by 2030, we have created a South Africa where, in the word of the National Development Plan:
We are traders.
We are inventors.
We are workers.
We create companies.
We set up stalls.
We are studious.
We are gardeners.
We feel a call to serve.
We make things.
Out of our homes we create objects of value.
We invest and reap good returns for our efforts.
We travel to trade beyond our borders,
carrying our values with us.
We respect ability, competence and talent.
Now our economy is growing.
Our prosperity is increasing.
We are energised by our resourcefulness.
I wish you all a successful Global Entrepreneurship Week.
From here, we must agree that entrepreneurship will occupy the centre of our national discourse.
To defeat poverty, unemployment and inequality, entrepreneurship must be part of the daily conversations in our homes, around the dinner table, in community halls and classrooms, and on radio stations.
This is a country and a continent alive with possibility.
We are looking to the entrepreneurs of Africa to unleash the potential of our people and realise that potential.
I thank you.
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Global Entrepreneurship Week South Africa

Global Entrepreneurship Week


This week is Global Entrepreneurship Week. There are a number of events running this week, and all the details can be found by clicking here.

Below is a listing of events that are planned, visit the official GEW South Africa website for more details on bookings.

TitleCityProvince Event DateEvent Type
Get Funding ReadySouth AfricaNovember 29, 2016Workshop
Get Funding ReadyjohannesburgSouth AfricaNovember 29, 2016Workshop
Get Funding Ready!JohannesburgSouth AfricaNovember 29, 2016Workshop
positioning your SMME to compete GloballySouth AfricaNovember 28, 2016Seminar
The BlackOut Year End: Long Table DinnerSouth AfricaNovember 25, 2016Networking
To The Point Session: Downtime for Entrepreneurs (SALSA Dance)South AfricaNovember 24, 2016Other
To The Point Session: Downtime for Entrepreneurs (SALSA DANCE Session)South AfricaNovember 24, 2016Other
To The Point Session: Downtime for EntrepreneursSouth AfricaNovember 24, 2016Other
#SMEScaleUpJohannesburgGautengSouth AfricaNovember 23, 2016Seminar
I AM AN ENTREPRENEUR - Global Entrepreneurship Week 2016JohannesburgGautengSouth AfricaNovember 19, 2016Seminar
Creating Food For The FutureSouth AfricaNovember 17, 2016Roundtable
Simodisa #VentureTrainSouth AfricaNovember 17, 2016 to November 18, 2016Networking
Vision to 2030 Entrepreneur Summitcape townWestern CapeSouth AfricaNovember 17, 2016Conference
Contribution Compass: Maximising Your Leadership as an EntrepreneurJohannesburgSouth AfricaNovember 17, 2016Seminar
Why Entrepreneurs need a board?South AfricaNovember 16, 2016Class
EEEEC 2030 - Experience Economy Entrepreneurs Event Challenge 2030South AfricaNovember 16, 2016Networking
FundEX 2016South AfricaNovember 16, 2016Conference
Platinum Innovation Expo and ConferenceMafikengNorth WestSouth AfricaNovember 16, 2016 to November 19, 2016Expo
FuckUp NightSouth AfricaNovember 15, 2016Other
South Africa's Great Entrepreneurs SeriesSouth AfricaNovember 14, 2016 to November 18, 2016Seminar
Idea Space FairJohannesburgGautengSouth AfricaNovember 14, 2016Workshop
GEW 2016 South Africa hosted by Propella in partnership with Microsoft SME4AfrikaSouth AfricaNovember 14, 2016 to November 18, 2016Conference

National Gazelles programme -Open for Applications

national gazellesDoes your business meet the following criteria?

  • Minimum two years actively in business (i.e. trading)
  • Minimum two full time employees (can include business owners)
  • Turnover of at least R1-m in last financial year
  • Evidence that you have a financial management system in place

If yes, than the government initiative called National Gazelles may just be the opportunity you need to take your business to the next level.

The National Gazelles is a national SME growth accelerator funded by Seda and the Department of Small Business Development. Currently in a three-year pilot, the programme aims to identify and support SMEs with growth potential across 10 priority industry sectors aligned with the National development Plan and Seda’s SME strategy. SMEs are identified through an annual call for applications, with selection done independently by private and public sector partners.
The programme aims to assist each business to operate as closely as possible to its maximum potential. Growth acceleration support is guided by a detailed business diagnostic and growth strategy, and includes a R1-million growth grant for equipment and capacity-building, facilitated access to finance, productivity and business advice, business skills development and more.
Become involved in this programme in three ways:
  1. Apply to become a Gazelle
  2. Nominate a company
  3. Join the mailing list if you will be eligible in the future.

ZipZap – Low cost portable credit card machine

One of the most frequent requests I receive from entrepreneurs is around low-cost point of sales options. ZipZap looks like a good option, and we asksed ZipZap some questions.



ZipZap looks like an excellent product. Our readers might not know about what ZipZap does. Please give us your elevator pitch?

ZipZap is a portable credit card machine – or mPOS as it’s known – that works wherever you do business. This means that you can take payment with a debit or credit card anywhere, any time. ZipZap works with your smartphone or tablet through a free app that links to a separate secure card reader, and you can have several ZipZap devices linked to one bank account. There are three different payment options on offer to best suit your pocket and cash flow, and the transaction fees are the cheapest on the market.


How does this benefit businesses in South Africa?

ZipZap’s philosophy is all about growing small businesses by giving them a mobile, cost-effective payment solution. After investing in a mPOS device businesses generally report a higher turnover because they no longer turn customers without cash away. They’re also able to reduce bad debt because they don’t have to chase after EFT payments, which ultimately results in better cash flow.

How is it different from products being offered by large banks?

Our products are similar, but what sets us apart is the lowest transaction fees, various payment options, and our latest offer – South Africa’s first free mPOS device for businesses who’s turnover exceeds R25 000 per month in MasterCard or Visa card swipes. You can bank with any South African bank and you do not need a merchant account – we will open one on your behalf and handle all the admin. We also believe that our caring and attentive view to customer service is a big differentiator for us.

Do you have any plans of partnering with larger financial institutions?

ZipZap offers a white label solution to any organisation or financial institution wanting to offer a mPOS solution to their customers. We can provide a complete mPOS solution that includes app development and deployment, card readers, transaction processing, technical support and a customer call centre; all off the back of our tried-and-tested technology and back-end services.

What would the ideal business look like to benefit from ZipZap?

ZipZap has thousands of happy customers that include markets, doctors, health and sports professionals, artisans, retailers, bakeries, hairdressers, beauty salons, micro-breweries, B&Bs, restaurants and many more. If you are a mobile business, don’t want to rely on a fixed point-of-sale terminal or would like a back-up for your traditional POS, ZipZap can benefit you.

Let’s talk money. What does it cost to get started with ZipZap? How is payment processing charged?

We offer three different payment options. All transaction fees are 2,75% (Ex VAT).

Free ZipZap

  • Free ZipZap (worth R1599 ex VAT) if your MasterCard and Visa card transactions exceed R25 000 per month
  • No activation fees
  • No monthly rental fees*
  • 24 month contract (month-to-month thereafter)

* If your MasterCard and Visa card transactions are lower than R25 000 in any month, you will be charged a rental fee of R150 for that month

Buy a ZipZap

  • Pay the once-off fee of R1 599.00 by credit card or via EFT
  • No monthly rental fees

Rent a ZipZap

  • R150 per month
  • No activation fees
  • 24 month contract charged in arrears (month-to-month thereafter)
  • No rental fee if your MasterCard and Visa card transactions exceed R25 000 in any month

If possible, could you provide us with a couple of companies that are using ZipZap?

ZipZap encourages customers to share their mPOS stories. Click here to read one of our many happy customer stories.

For more information visit


The rise of Artisan entrepreneurs in South Africa – and what it takes to succeed

Editors Note: This article written by Stephen Cohen of SAGE is an important one, talking about a trend that is increasingly not a trend – it is becoming part of our eveyday. The promise of artisan entrepreneur is a tempting one  – earn a living, grow a business and do what you love. But, as Cohen shows fullfilling this promise to yourself will require smarts, and hardwork.

The rise of Artisan entrepreneurs in South Africa – and what it takes to succeed

Around the world – from the trendy east of London to the hipster capital of Montreal’s Mile End – the so-called ‘flat white economy’ continues to rise. It comprises the thousands upon thousands of artisan entrepreneurs selling craft beers, ethically sourced coffee and organic, gourmet foods to consumers who crave healthy, sustainable and authentic eating experiences.

Artisan entrepreneurs started their rise after the 2008 recession. Just consider the fact that nearly one in five beers consumed in the US today is a craft brand, or that specialist coffee shops sales in the US have tripled to nearly $50 billion since 2002. And the trend has been picked up in South Africa, with more and more Small & Medium Businesses across the country serving customers with locally sourced ‘farm to table’ food and handcrafted products.