New Expo for South Africa township entrepreneurs

 Township Business Investment Summit and Expo also known as #ToBISE is a platform that aim to connect township entrepreneurs with opportunities that are being offered by corporate South Africa. The event will be hosted on the 6th – 7th of June at the Soweto Theatre. 

Township entrepreneurs are faced with many challenges in them not having access to information, opportunities, resources, funding and more importantly markets. Access to procurement opportunities and supply chain of both private sectors and government departments will be a great leap in supporting the township entrepreneurs. 

eKasi Entrepreneurs and 0360 aim to bring about 500 innovative businesses from the township to engage and discuss pertinent issues facing and affecting township business. The discussion will include 

– research findings into the township businesses and state of being 

– Innovative solutions into solving some of the challenges 

– Digitalizing the township economy,  

– Innovative investment through Enterprise Supplier Development & Socio Economic Development Programmes, 

– Incubation VS Co-Working VS Co-production spaces, 

– Corporate SA Investing in Township Businesses – Case Studies. Pros and Cons of ACCESSING funding from Funding institutions, 

– Alternative methods of funding – Cooperative Banks and Crowd-funding changing the way we access finance, industry specific funding etc) 

– Pitching challenges for township businesses – carefully selected businesses to pitch 

Entrepreneurs are invited to attend the event to ensure that they engage with industry leaders, procurement managers, supply chain managers, corporate buyers, investors and support institutions. 

Some of the speakers include Mayor Herman Mashaba, Director General of the Department of Trade and industry Mr Sipho Zikode, Township Entrepreneurs like Max Lichaba just to list a few. 

Essentially the summit and expo aim at unearthing great businesses from the townships and in so doing creating a developmental pathway for them to succeed with their ventures – this pathways is developed by having a detailed diagnostic into their business and finding gaps that are needed for their business to grow – eKasi Entrepreneurs and 0360 ensure that the township entrepreneurs are plugged into different procurement opportunities of different private sectors that they partner with. Some of the partners include Gauteng Economic Development, The Masisizane Fund, 1life Insurance, The City of Johannesburg, The Department of Trade and Industry, Tshimologong Digital Precinct, The BEE Commission, Bowmans Law, My SME Tools just to list a few. 

eKasi Entrepreneurs and 0360 has engaged with many stakeholders across South Africa in trying to understand innovative solutions and implementation plan for challenges that are face by township entrepreneurs. 

Event Details 

6 – 7 June, 8am – 5pm 

Soweto Theatre, Jabulani, Soweto 

Corporate can partner with the summit and expo as well as partner in developing long term developmental projects for township entrepreneurs. 

Exhibitions stands are available for both corporate and entrepreneurs – email 

Tickets on sale at R150 for each day or R250 for a 2 days pass from 

Tickets can also be found at the following stores • Edgars • Edgars Active • Edgars Connect • Jet • Jet Mart • CNA • Spar • Samsung • Choppies 

City fintech firm to pitch for funding in Africa contest

Nairobi-based fintech firm Data Integrated, specialising in developing customised end-to-end enterprise payment solutions for SMEs, is set to pitch to global investors with a chance for clinching Sh5 million ($50,000) equity investment.

Data Integrated is among four finalists from Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa declared regional winners in the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) Africa challenge 2018.

They will face off at the finals in Cape Town, South Africa on June 20, during the MEST Africa summit.

MEST is a pan-African training programme, seed fund and incubator for technology entrepreneurs in Africa, providing critical skills training in software development, business and communications.

It was launched in 2008 by Meltwater Foundation, headquartered in Accra, with presence in Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa and Ivory Coast.

GHL Bank, one of the MEST Africa summit sponsors through its CEO Dominic Adu said technology, innovation and global competition the world over are disrupting traditional businesses.

“As more traditional jobs are eroded, innovative start-ups will be the key contributing factor to curbing unemployment and protecting our lifestyles and livelihoods as a nation and continent,” said Mr Adu in a statement.

Paxful Announces Expansion into Africa With New Startup Incubator

Paxful has scheduled the incubator hub’s launch for fall 2018, and has appointed Chuta Chimezie to lead the hub as the company’s regional director of Africa.

The company said Chimezie is an experienced member of the blockchain community, having founded the advocacy group Blockchain Nigeria User Group. The new regional director has also written a reference text for African regulators titled, Seizing Opportunities in Blockchain and Digital Currency Revolution.

As the regional director of Africa, Chimezie will lead the charge in building the incubation hub, as well as raising brand awareness and creation educational content for Paxful.

Part of the reason the company chose Nigeria to build this incubator has to do with its demographics. According to a press release, Nigeria commands the highest number of Paxful users in Africa.

“Paxful’s initiatives have not only helped those in great need here,” Chimezie told press, “but are also helping African entrepreneurs achieve their full potential.”

Regarding the hub, Chimezie said: “the incubator is simply a starting point to help driven entrepreneurs in an industry that has shattered boundaries all over the world.”

Recently, Bitsonline interviewed the company’s co-founder, Artur Schaback. In addition to being a founding member of Paxful, Schaback boasts a record of successful bitcoin investing, claiming the cryptocurrency has made him a millionaire.

Using Schaback’s knowledge and experience in succeeding with bitcoin investment, the incubator will work to help other would-be investors get the information and experience they need to make education decisions regarding investing in bitcoin and starting blockchain-based companies.

In his interview with Bitsonline, Schaback said regarding the popularity of peer-to-peer bitcoin services:

“Peer-to-peer marketplaces provide a cryptocurrency escrow service that allows people to buy bitcoin directly from other people with any payment method imaginable.”

Regarding the Nigerian project, Schaback said he wants to help blockchain businesses become successful while the industry is still on the ground floor.

“The real wave of bitcoin entrepreneurs and revolutionary blockchain projects has yet to emerge,” Schaback said.

“Paxful will do everything we can to empower the Africa Cheetah generation.”

With that ethos in mind, Schaback’s company now marches into Africa, led by Chimezie, with the goal of fostering innovation and success in the blockchain space.

Rising costs in China make entrepreneurs look to Vietnam

‘People are starting to wonder if doing business in China is worth it.’ African nations have been turning to Vietnam as the business environment in China becomes increasingly more difficult. African businesses started flooding to Guangzhou City after China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.

Migration from Africa has risen as China “has stepped up its diplomatic links and investments with the continent,” the newspaper explained.

In 2009, local media put the African population in Guangzhou at 100,000, including those who had overstayed their visas, it said.

Guangzhou draws merchants who come to buy goods such as jewelry and electronics in bulk, which they ship back to their homelands.

A part of the city has even been given the name “Little Africa.”

But things have changed.

The city’s African population had dropped to 10,344 in February last year, citing the municipal bureau of public security as saying, though Liang Yucheng, a professor of social sciences and humanities at Sun Yat-sen University, told the newspaper that there were still nearly 20,000 African traders in Guangzhou.

Felly Mwamba, a leader of the Congolese community in Guangzhou, said one of the main reasons for this was rising costs, listing visa fees air tickets and other living expenses.

“Most African trade with China is basic goods, like clothes, shoes, electrical appliances and low-end smartphones. Prices, logistics and living costs are all soaring in China,” a Kenyan trader identified as Don said.

“Every day among the African community in Guangzhou, more and more have people started talking about going home or exploring new markets like India, Vietnam and Cambodia,” he said.

The other reason for the falling African population in Guangzhou, as pointed out by Xinhua news agency in January, is that “police have tightened enforcement on illegal immigration.”

Long-time African residents told that they have seen their compatriots lapse into “illegal” status after struggling with visa renewal requirements.

Nigerians must submit criminal record checks for all work and student visas, and no African countries are eligible for 72-hour or 144-hour transit visa exemptions, unlike visitors from many other nations.

“My friend had to go home to give fingerprints for a criminal record check. A return flight costs USD2,000. By the time he got all his documents in order, his visa had expired,” said Akubakarr Sajor Barrie, director of an import-export company.

“For a small business owner, this is really hard. People are starting to wonder if doing business in China is worth it and they’re going to countries like Turkey and Vietnam instead,” he was quoted as saying.

Official data from the labor ministry showed the number of foreign workers in Vietnam grew by more than 12,600 in 2004 to 83,500 in 2015, and 93 percent of them are legal.

Those foreigners come from 110 different markets, and most of them are from China, South Korea, and Taiwan.

Vietnam was named among the top 10 destinations for expats in a ranking released in March to aim at guiding the world’s rising number of modern nomads.

The country was placed ninth on the InterNations’ 2018 Expat Insider survey, climbing three spots from last year.

More than four in five expats, or 81 percent, described the Vietnamese people as welcoming, and 73 percent said it was easy to settle down in the country, the survey found.

Of the expats questioned, 56 percent said they had found it easy to make friends with locals, and 16 percent said they planned to stay forever.

The Breaking Down Borders Africa Youth Initiative

The Breaking Down Borders Africa Youth Initiative in collaboration with Brand South Africa will be bringing another chapter of this year’s Africa Youth Summit.

Brand South Africa’s Ntombi Ntanzi had a quick Q&A session with Founder of Breaking Down Borders Africa Initiative Paul Modjadji on its 2018 Summit.

Ntombi Ntanzi(NN): What is the Breaking Down Borders Africa Initiative about?

Paul Modjadji(PM): The Breaking Down Borders Africa Initiative is a Pan-African platform that seeks to unite young African change makers. By creating platforms for these young leaders to act in concert. It hopes to break down the barriers that prevent collaborations among young African social and commercial entrepreneurs across the continent.

This was born out of the realization, made during the inaugural Breaking Down Borders Africa Tour, that there was a desire to trade on ideas, methods and initiatives among young Africans, but there was bureaucracy that prevented this. The result was the Breaking Down Borders Africa Youth Summit which is a think tank and networking platform like no other – targeted at young leaders and curated by young leaders, all from Africa.

NN:   What opportunities are there for young people participating in the initiative?

PM: The summit is a networking and solutions gathering platform that targets young people from the continent, even if they don’t currently live on the continent. We link these young people with established thinkers in various industries (commerce, academia, politics, etc) who can assist in elevating them and their work efforts;

The objective of the summit is to empower young entrepreneurs, be they social or commercial entrepreneurs, to take their work to the next level and start trading from ideas and materials across the continent. We also highlight to the wider community, the issues faced by young Africans and the possible solutions to these issues as envisaged by these young Africans;

NN:       How has the initiative been received?

PM: The reception has been positive from the youth who have taken part in the inaugural Summit and those who have indicated interest in the second edition. There has been support from both government and the general public who fall outside the target market. Most of these people and institutions recognize the need for this platform and that’s why they support it.

NN:       What is the initiative all about in 2018?

PM: In line with the theme for the Nelson Mandela centenary, the theme for 2018 Breaking Down Borders Africa Youth Summit is “African Youth: Building our legacy” – and this year is about creating a platform where we work towards a lasting legacy as young people.

This year the Summit wishes to result in a document that can inform policy which may be adopted by the AU and various signatory governments. This we believe is our own legacy as a platform.

NN:       How do people sign up and participate?

PM:  To sign up, people must visit our website

African Agri-Tech Ecosystem Grows 110% In Last Two Years

The African agri-tech space is booming, with the number of startups operating in the market growing 110% over the past two years, and over USD19 million invested into the sector in that period.

The Agrinnovating for Africa: Exploring the African Agri-Tech Startup Ecosystem Report 2018, released today by Disrupt Africa, records 82 agri-tech startups in operation across Africa by the start of 2018, with 52% of these ventures launched in the past two years.

The report tracks annual startup activity in the agri-tech space as early as 2010, but finds this activity remained limited until the end of 2015. The current boom began in 2016, and over the following two years 43 new ventures launched across Africa.

The research shows that while Kenya was the early pioneer of the African agri-tech sector, accelerating interest in West Africa over the past two years means this region now dominates the market; and is home to two of the top three agri-tech ecosystems on the continent.Currently, Kenya and Nigeria tie in first place as the top two agri-tech markets on the continent; while Ghana places third. Together, these three countries account for over 60 per cent of agri-tech startups active in Africa.

Over the course of this period, over USD19 million has been invested into African agri-tech startups; with annual fundraising figures growing rapidly. The amount of funding raised in 2017 grew by over 121% on the total for 2016.

“The scope for innovation in the agricultural sphere is vast – a refreshed take on the sector could unlock huge value for the whole of Africa. That’s why this report is so exciting – it shines a light on the extent to which the continent’s entrepreneurs are already disrupting the agricultural industry. Behind the scenes, there has been formidable acceleration in the agri-tech market recently, and it is one of the most interesting spaces to watch in Africa today,” said Gabriella Mulligan, co-founder of Disrupt Africa.

“Everyone knows how important the agricultural sector is across Africa, but until very recently it remained relatively untouched by tech innovators. That is suddenly changing as entrepreneurs and investors realise the scale of the challenges facing farmers, and spot opportunities to reach huge addressable markets. Our latest report tells you all you need to know if you want to get involved in this still very nascent space,” said Tom Jackson, Disrupt Africa co-founder.

Startups are particularly involved in applying e-commerce to the agriculture industry, with this type of agri-focused e-commerce platform accounting for 32.9% of startups. Information and knowledge sharing platforms are also popular; while a substantial number of entrepreneurs are focused on delivering fintech solutions for farmers.  A total of six sub-sectors are examined in the report.For more information or to purchase the report please visit

Why Entrepreneurs are like Mothers

Once an idea has been created inside an entrepreneur, that idea will grow and grow and will have to come out. There is no physical way that the idea can stay inside. Sometimes the ideas are stillborn or aborted but they always come out.

The idea that are born are then nurtured by the entrepreneur. Day in and day out, the idea is nourished, protected and provided with the best environment the entrepreneur can create for the idea to flourish. Entrepreneurs speak about their ideas with pride and this continuous and all-encompaning passion for the idea often makes family members and friends role their eyes as the idea is the only topic that the entrepreneur speaks about. Wait till entrepreneurs get together then there is never a space for any other conversation other then the entrepreneur sharing the joys and milestones of their ideas.

Entrepreneurs often give up on many other opportunities as they are so committed and dedicated to their idea and often the idea doesn’t seem to care or acknowledge the sacrifice of the entrepreneur.

The idea just seems to want all the entrepreneurs attention and time. Always asking for more. More money, more time and more focus, selfishly looking towards its own survival and growth.

This does not concern the entrepreneur as they continue forward, looking for the right opportunities and friends for their ideas. Sacrificing so their idea can be located a the best address and have the best things.

This is written in honour of all Moms out there and to the entrepreneurs who exhibit such similar traits to Moms.

International Coaching Week

The best way to discover this is to experience coaching firsthand. Since 1999, this belief has fuelled International Coaching Week (ICW), a week-long celebration that educates the public about the value of working with a professional coach and acknowledges the results and progress made through the coaching process. This year, ICW is May 7-13, 2018.

We believe that local events can contribute to a massive global impact. Every year, local ICF Chapters (morethan 130 chapters in 70 countries around the world) and coaches celebrate ICW by offering a variety of activities and pro-bono services in their local communities to share coaching’s positive impact.

About International Coach Federation (ICF)

The ICF is a nonprofit organisation dedicated to professional coaching. As of April 2017, ICF has approximately 30,000 members in 140 countries.

The ICF is the only globally recognised coaching certification and South African coaches have and are assisting individuals, teams and organisations all over the globe.

ICF South Africa Chapter have been honoured with the Recognition of ‘High Performing Chapter” 2017 at the ICF Global Leaders Forum in Vancouver in March 2018.

This award is given in recognition of the contributions of ICF South Africa’s growth, innovation and creativity in projects, events, hosting a conference and an International event, and for contributing to Professional and Social development of Coaching in South Africa and in Africa.

Where can Women Entrepreneurs in South Africa apply for funding?

Although not the major barrier to starting almost any business, research also shows that women continue to face barriers such as a lack of capital in order to succeed in business. In order to deal with this, a number of funding programmes have been established in order to support women entrepreneurs. Here are a few of them:

Business Partners Women in Business Fund

The Business Partners Limited Women in Business Fund is aimed at assisting women entrepreneurs start their entrepreneurial journey on a strong note by increasing their access to finance. In order to qualify, you need to be an entrepreneur, who wishes to start, expand or buy an existing business. The business entity must have 50% of women as shareholders with the applicant woman being in an operations and management role in the business.

Identity Development Fund

The Identity Development Fund is a leading organization that provides innovative financial and non-financial support services to black-owned, women-owned and youth-owned businesses. IDF is focused on unlocking value in the entrepreneurial sector through fund management services for institutional and corporate investors.

Isivande Women’s Fund

Isivande Women’s Fund is an exclusive fund aimed at accelerating women’s economic empowerment. This fund offers customised loans from a minimum of R30,000 to a maximum of R2 million. To be eligible, your business must be operational for six months; your business must offer social impact with employment creation and must have early stage capital for expansions and growth.

Women Entrepreneurship Fund (WEF)

The Women’s Entrepreneurship Fund was established by the Industrial Development Corporation. This fund uniquely combines crowdfunding and capacity building. In order to qualify, a business must have at least 50% female shareholding interest, a solid, fundable business plan to start or expand within an identified market and the business plan needs to include financial plans detailing: capital expenditure, working capital requirements, resourcing and operational involvement.

You can also check out the major banks as well as large enterprise development programs.





Lagos Chamber of Commerce celebrates CNBC Africa as ‘Best Business Television’

The award which aims to acknowledge the very best of business journalism comes in recognition of the network’s efforts to highlight the narrative of Africa’s growth and the opportunities present in the continent

The Lagos Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI) has presented CNBC Africa the 2018 award for “Best Business Television”. The award, which aims to acknowledge the very best of business journalism, comes in recognition of the network’s efforts to highlight the narrative of Africa’s growth and the opportunities present on the continent.

“The objective of the annual awards is to recognise, celebrate and promote private and public institutions that have exhibited the core values of best business practices, growth through innovations, business sustainability and have positively impacted the society. This award is the outcome of a painstaking selection process from numerous entries received for this award category and backed by feedback from industry/market intelligence,” Vincent Nwani, the chambers director of advocacy & research, said.

He added that the distinct blend of pan African and international content and keen focus on economic news led CNBC Africa to emerge as the undisputed winner of this award.

CNBC Africa commenced its African journey in 2007- and has since then, grown to be a dependable network for actionable business and financial information. The detailed coverage provided by the channel across markets and sectors, makes it a reliable source of information to the African business community.

With a viewership crossing 23 million households on DSTV, Startimes Nigeria, Canal Plus and Kwese TV, across 48 African countries- CNBC Africa bridges the gap between CEO’s, entrepreneurs, government, the business community and the average man. The channel has state-of-the-art infrastructure and studios in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kigali and Johannesburg, and imbibes a PAN African spirit unique to itself.

Frederic Vandevyver, executive director for West Africa, collected the award on behalf of CNBC Africa and expressed his gratitude for the honour.

Vandevyver noted that CNBC Africa remains committed to creating value and empowering people by accurately and passionately telling Africa’s business story first.

“To get an award in Lagos, which in my opinion is one of the most vibrant economic and business cities in Africa, means a lot. I want to dedicate this award to the team working here in West Africa. They work 24 hours, 7 days a week to ensure that we cover all the business news in the best way possible. This award goes to them.”

The network aims to be Africa’s business channel of choice across the continent – focused on aggressively growing its viewership by making the channel more accessible to the average African, this award does provide more momentum and encouragement to channel to achieve its dream.