StartupGuy

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Born: 29th July 19XX


April 24, 2018 StartupGuy0

Johannesburg, 12 April 2018Consultancy.org, a global platform for the international consulting industry, has made a foray into the South African market. The launch of Consultancy.co.za expands the startup’s online footprint to cover Africa’s most important market for consulting services.

With an estimated size of around $1.3 billion, South Africa is Africa’s largest management consulting market by revenue, accounting for over half of the continent’s overall industry. South Africa’s advisory market has seen growth in recent years, advancing the maturity of the industry in both services and operations, with the majority of the globe’s top 50 consulting firms being active in the country today.

“South Africa is one of the more mature consulting industries in the world, and one that is set to gain importance as Africa grows its population and prosperity in the coming decades,” says Larry Zeenny, co-founder of Consultancy.org. “With the launch of a dedicated platform for the South African market, we aim at becoming the market’s preferred online portal for reference, serving the interests of consultants – both external and internal advisors – job seekers and students, as well as clients of consulting firms.”

Besides providing visitors with the latest news of the industry, Consultancy.co.za will facilitate the matching process for candidates seeking jobs at the top of the industry by providing an overview of consultancy jobs in South Africa. Further, a research team with a track record at strategy consulting firms and the Big Four will conduct proprietary research on the market, as well as work with consultancies on analysis and thought leadership.

Launched in 2017, Consultancy.org works with over 150 leading consulting firms globally, with a number of high-profile names committing their support to the South African platform as founding partners. “We are proud to partner with many of the top names in the industry, and look forward to representing their interests in South Africa,” says Zeenny. Among the companies that are part of Consultancy.org’s roster of clients are Accenture, Bain & Company, Boston Consulting Group, Deloitte, EY, FTI Consulting, KPMG, McKinsey & Company and PwC.

The launch in South Africa builds on successful consulting platforms in Europe and follows shortly after Consultancy.org launched across four regions: Asia, the Middle East, India and Latin America. Next month, the global startup will launch in the US and Canada, among others. “Partnering with the industry’s leaders, our mission is to become the globe’s premier network of platforms for the consultancy profession. Adding South Africa to our footprint is an important next step in realising that ambition,” says Zeenny.

About Consultancy.co.za
Consultancy.co.za is an online platform for South Africa’s advisory and consulting industry. The website presents the latest news and trends in the sector, follows the developments and publications of consulting firms across industries and functional areas and provides an overview of career opportunities for professionals interested in working in consultancy. Consultancy.co.za is a part of Consultancy.org, a global network of consulting platforms with a presence on six continents.

Follow Consultancy.in on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.



February 27, 2018 StartupGuy0
Although entrepreneurs consider themselves fiercely independent, the reality is that entrepreneurs have to pay certain homage to the political climate in which they operate. Read more to find out how politics affects the decisions of aspiring entrepreneurs.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has reshuffled his Cabinet. He said he needed to balance stability and continuity with renewal and economic recovery. David Mabuza will be deputy president.
Below is a table that lays out the changes he made. No changes in the Small Business Development, Economic Development as well as Trade & Industry Departments.
MINISTRY OLD MINISTER   NEW MINISTER
AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY & FISHERIES Zokwana
ARTS AND CULTURE Mthethwa
BASIC EDUCATION Motshekga
COMMUNICATIONS Kubayi Mokonyane
COOPERATIVE GOVERNANCE Van Rooyen Mkhize (Z)
DEFENCE AND MILITARY VETERANS Mapisa-Nqakula
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT Patel
ENERGY Mahlobo Radebe
ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS Molewa
FINANCE Gigaba Nene
HEALTH Motsoaledi
HIGHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING Mkhize Pandor
HOME AFFAIRS Dlodlo Gigaba
HUMAN SETTLEMENTS Sisulu Mfeketo
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION Nkoana-Mashabane Sisulu
JUSTICE AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES Masutha
LABOUR Oliphant
MINERAL RESOURCES Zwane Mantashe
POLICE Mbalula Cele
PUBLIC ENTERPRISES Brown Gordhan
PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION Muthambi Dlodlo
PUBLIC WORKS Nhleko Nxesi
RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND LAND REFORM Nkwinti Nkoana-Mashabane
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY Pandor Kubayi-Ngubane
SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Zulu
SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT Dlamini Shabangu
SPORT AND RECREATION Nxesi Xasa
STATE SECURITY Bongo Duba
TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND POSTAL SERVICES Cwele
TOURISM Xasa Hanekom
TRADE AND INDUSTRY Davies
TRANSPORT Maswanganyi Nzimande
WATER AND SANITATION Mokonyane Nkwinti
WOMEN IN THE PRESIDENCY Shabangu
THE PRESIDENCY Radebe Dlamini-Zuma (PME) /Dlamini (Women)

Understanding the Impact of Politics on Entrepreneurship

Congratulations, you have figured out that you have what it takes to become an entrepreneur and you have done your homework and prepared a well-developed business case. Leading economists are praising you as “the backbone of the economy” who will lead the jobs recovery with a wave of new hirings. So what else do you need to consider in pursuit of your entrepreneurial dream? Taking into account the current political climate is a good place to start to determine whether governmental policies coming through the pipeline will be supportive or end up breaking the newly-hailed backbone of the entrepreneur.
Because many entrepreneurs run small businesses, political decisions usually have a greater percentage impact on the company’s bottom line. For example, the Ministry of Finance announced a VAT hike with 1% point during the Budget Speech.
For startup companies, the effect of cost drivers and regulatory requirements can be overwhelming as entrepreneurs try to also balance time demands of branding and building a customer base with complying with financial and regulatory requirements.
How Politics Touches the Concerns of the Entrepreneur.
Every entrepreneur faces challenges that can affect their future success in growing their business. Startup Mzansi has identified the most common concerns as reported on its monthly survey of the economic trends for small businesses. Many of these concerns have a political component that entrepreneurs need to be aware of:
Inflation – primarily controlled by the interest rate policies set by the Reserve Bank.
Poor sales – generally attributable to economic conditions which can be the focus of governmental stimulus.
Interest rates – a product of the monetary policies of the Reserve Bank.
Cost of labor – increased through mandates and legal requirements for employee benefits.
Government regulation and red tape – touches many areas of operating a small business, including licensure, certification, and permitting processes.
Competition from large businesses – alleviated in part by government programs directed to help small businesses gain traction and compete more effectively, including rewarding a certain percentage of government contracts to companies that qualify as small businesses.
Quality of labor – partly attributable to politics directed to funding and supporting educational and training initiatives.
Cost and availability of insurance – directly related to the integral role politics plays in determining insurance coverage, benefits, and limits in such areas as health care, workers compensation, and unemployment insurance.
How Politics Can Send Sunshine or a Cloud over Entrepreneurship
The effects of politics on entrepreneurship can be either a ray of sunshine or a dark cloud hanging over the prospects of the ultimate success of the entrepreneur’s venture. Political stances on taxes, regulatory reform, immigration, intellectual property rights, and funding for social and educational programs weigh heavily on the decisions of entrepreneurs to hire employees, expand capital spending, increase inventories, and apply for credit.
Entrepreneurs need to stay on top of the political agendas aimed to boost entrepreneurship through investment tax credits, capital expenditure deductions, and incentives to promote lending to small businesses.
Dark clouds from politics can sweep in at any time and have bad or unintended consequences. Sometimes even good intended policies fall short of their objectives. For example, government policies to stimulate lending to small businesses can be ineffective because the government fails to recognize that loan demand is down not because of the lack of credit but because small businesses are not applying for loans for the want of customers. Other potential dark clouds that entrepreneurs need to keep a lookout for on the horizon are political decisions regarding tax cuts, cap and trade, and value added taxes (VAT) to reduce the rising budget deficit. However, for the entrepreneur, the biggest challenge in laying out their business plan is managing the uncertainty and cloudy conditions that politics can generate.


February 9, 2018 StartupGuy0

The UNICEF Innovation Fund is looking to back early stage startups developing block chain based solutions with “the potential to benefit humanity”, offering up to US$90,000 in equity-free investment.

UNICEF has called for applications from startups developing software solutions on open block chains, and seeking seed finance of between US$50,000 and US$90,000.

Applicants must have a working, open source prototype – or be willing to make it open-source -, and showing promising results.  Areas of particular interest are smart contracts; analyzing data; tokens; and mining – although the opportunity is not limited to these.

“We are interested in companies that use distributed ledger tech in new, groundbreaking, ways that are scalable, and globally applicable,” UNICEF said.

Solutions must have the potential to positively impact the lives of children.

In addition to seed funding, UNICEF will provide technical assistance from the UNICEF Ventures team, which includes a dedicated blockchain lead and computer science team hosting and sharing data platforms.  Selected startups will also work with expert mentors, and be connected to UNICEF’s network in order to assist in scaling and maximising impact.

Applications are open here, until February 28.

This article was first published onDisrupt Africa



January 27, 2018 StartupGuy0

Johannesburg South Africa, 26 January 2018 – In an industry first, Schneider Electric has introduced the first cloud-enabled uninterruptible power supply (UPS) for distributed IT environments, which offers SMEs the ability to stay connected to the technology and information that powers their business and proactively and effectively manage the health of their UPS systems.

UPS battery failure on any piece of equipment is undesirable, but on the most business-critical technology it could mean catastrophic business delays and profit loss. To compound the criticality, today’s IoT-enabled world means these devices are usually supporting onsite and remote edge environments that must function at the same level of availability and security as the largest and most mission critical data centres.

Smart-UPS with APC SmartConnect is aimed at small and medium sized businesses that have limited IT staff and resources and will prove vulnerable during power outages, load shedding spikes or distribution problems, so commonly experienced in South Africa. These crises are expected to worsen, as the aging electrical distribution infrastructure needs replacement in many provinces.

Portfolio of solutions
Available as a standard feature with select models in APC’s industry-leading Smart-UPS portfolio of solutions, SmartConnect delivers the power reliability, security and certainty that SMBs need.

SmartConnect leverages the Schneider Electric cloud-enabled EcoStruxure IT architecture to:

Gather and send data about the health and status of a customer’s UPS devices including battery replacement, warranty renewal and UPS performance notifications.
Provide a secure, cloud-based web portal where customers can view the status of their UPS, accessible from any internet-connected device.

Send customisable automatic notifications, firmware notification updates and advanced troubleshooting support, through an easy-to-use remote monitoring interface.

Deploy right out of the box – no configuration required – making it easy for even non-technical users to install.

Empowering service providers
SmartConnect cloud-powered technology also enables managed service providers (MSPs) to expand their offerings to deliver remote UPS monitoring for SME clients. This provides MSPs with a greater opportunity to serve their customers better through value-added power infrastructure services, while generating new revenue streams, all with minimal effort and no additional cost.

MSPs can easily integrate SmartConnect with leading remote monitoring and management solutions such as ConnectWise Automate and Kaseya, or via a mobile ready web portal, so they can manage customer portfolios from a single platform. No coding, Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) traps, or software agents are required, meaning MSPs can quickly deploy their services and begin generating revenue.



January 23, 2018 StartupGuy0

Digital Health Cape Town (DHCT), has announced the finalists for its inaugural Accelerator Programme. The accelerator-which aims to bolster local eHealth innovation-selected 8 digital health startups among a potpourri of applications.

The selected finalists have each developed innovative eHealth solutions that address real-world problems.

They are:

Dr William Mapham: Vula Mobile – Vula is a referral platform which links health workers to specialists in tertiary hospitals.

Dr Anuschka Coovadia: HealthAtHome – HealthAtHome aims to provide high quality, affordable, patient-centric care to patients in the convenience of their homes.

Brighton Khumalo: ConnecTB – ConnecTB is a web tool allows administrators, supervisors and directly observed therapy (DOT) providers register and monitor TB patients.

Dr Musaed Abrahams: Aviro Health – The Aviro ART Treatment Mentor app helps nurses in primary care settings to efficiently treat HIV patients.

Petrus Van Niekerk: Udok – Online Booking – Udok has digital solutions that allow doctors to interact remotely with patients, facilitate treatment and monitor care.

Nicole Van Der Merwe: GeneCare Molecular Genetics – GeneCare’s platform will deliver high-quality exercise programmes, educational video-coaching, and access to customised diet plans.

Suretha Erasmus: GC Network – GC Network’s Pregnancy Screening app informs individuals of their risk for a chromosome abnormality in their pregnancy, provides detailed information of available prenatal tests and empowers them to make informed decisions.

Vere Shaba: RAR Group VRHEALTH – VRHealth is a safe, virtual environment where those admitted in rehabilitation centres for substance abuse can develop new behavioural patterns in a realistic, immersive virtual world.

The eHealth startup finalists will take part in a 10-week programme starting on 23rd January 2018. As part of the programme, they will receive mentoring and in-person sessions with eHealth systems experts and engage in product design discussions with key opinion leaders.

Dr Niri Naidoo, Clinical and Operations Executive at Bankmed and Corporate Mentor in the DHCT Accelerator Programme said: “We are excited to be part of the DHCT Accelerator Programme which brings together great minds to shape the future of the African healthcare landscape. Such programmes provide the collaboration and thinking that are the ingredients to creating a new healthcare innovation ecosystem, where we do anything but business as usual.”



January 23, 2018 StartupGuy0

Africa’s biggest mobile operator, MTN, is aiming to become Africa’s biggest digital bank, leveraging scale, network, brand, infrastructure and distribution. MTN is seeking to challenge rival Vodacom as Africa’s biggest digital bank by tripling its customer numbers within three years.

The ambitious  strategy was revealed by MTN CEO Rob Shuter yesterday during the Deloitte Africa in 2018 Outlook conference in Woodmead.

The company is encouraged by the progress made by its Mobile Money offering in other geographies that it operates in. This is despite MTN Mobile Money failing to gain traction in the South African market, with the telco eventually killing it off in 2016 due to lack of commercial viability.

MTN Mobile Money allows anyone with a mobile  to send and receive money quickly, safely, affordably and conveniently.

“The core  service that we have decided to put our money on is Mobile Money,” said Shuter. “Mobile Money is really about leveraging the strength of the brand and leveraging the strength of the distribution because we have built a huge informal distribution network for prepaid airtime to bring customers into a transactional banking system.”

He pointed out that MTN has deployed Mobile Money across 14 markets and “if we look at our 30-day active users, which is the most important matric, we are growing by half a million customers a month. I think that’s pretty cool and today we are sitting at 21 million subscribers.

“We are a new age transactional banking provider and it’s a very big imperative for us, and the key thing we want to do is to scale it rapidly.”

According to Shuter, MTN wants to build Mobile Money into a 60 million customer business in the next three to four years.

“We will be the largest bank in Africa, leveraging scale, network, brand, infrastructure and distribution,” he noted.

MORE OPPORTUNITIES

Detailing the company’s other plans, Shuter said he is upbeat about the economies of Africa and the Middle East, where the telco has operations.

“We are very optimistic about what we see. For us, we see more opportunities than challenges. We see the need to focus on our core geographies and this is partially because this is where we see the growth. We see Asia-Pacific as the fastest growing economy but Middle East and Africa are also following suit.”

MTN looks at the market in terms of three core customer segments – consumer, enterprise and wholesale, Shuter pointed out.

“If we look at consumer, what’s quite inspiring for us, looking at our geographies, is we have a population of about 650 million people across the 22 markets we operate in. In the next three to four years, that 650 million people is going to grow to 700 million people. An increase of 50 million people is the same as adding another South Africa to the portfolio.

“So that gives us a lot of opportunity, actually still in the traditional voice business – SIM penetration, voice, handsets, SMS, etc.”

The three biggest markets for MTN are SA, Nigeria and Iran, Shuter said, adding the economic conditions are improving. “In Nigeria, oil prices are coming back and inflation is coming under control. South Africa is also witnessing winds of change politically, while Iran is a market that is opening up, particularly to Europe, despite the rhetoric that we hear from the US.”

He said the other aspect that defines the market is the low-level of Internet and digital services.

“So there are a lot of positives in the consumer side of the business. If we are looking at the market size, we are looking at R500 billion to R600 billion in all the geographies that we operate in; that’s about two-thirds of the market. If you want to be successful for the long run in our industry, you have to be very well-positioned in the consumer market in terms of brand, products, network, technology, resources, etc.”

ENTERPRISE PUSH

Regarding the enterprise market, Shuter said it’s valued at R210 billion and growing 8% year-on-year.

“For sure, we have to be successful in the consumer segment because that’s the biggest segment but for an operator like us, a push in the enterprise sector can make a very big difference. It’s a large market with decent growth.

“In fact, of that R210 billion market, about 60% is just in pure connectivity and most of that is purely mobile. On top of that, there is rapid adoption of new technologies like unified communications, machine-to-machine, Internet of things and connected devices.”

Speaking about the R30 billion wholesale market, Shuter said MTN is looking to tap into services like roaming to boost its revenue.

“Wholesale is about telcos selling to telcos. So telcos and mobile operators across those geographies build networks in-country but they still need to connect to other networks and they need to find a way to get their traffic either up into the sky to satellites or to the edge of Africa and connect it to an undersea cable for international traffic. So we are also looking to take advantage of this.”



December 19, 2017 StartupGuy0

The Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) in collaboration with the ZA Domain Names Authority (ZADNA) and ZA Central Registry (ZACR) now offers domain name registration for any registered company, close corporation or co-operative. This collaboration currently only offer .co.za domains with a plan to include other top level domains in the future. The co.za domain name registration costs R51.30 which all goes to the regulator of domain names, ZADNA. Please note that CIPC cannot use any funds you might have available on your CIPC virtual account; you will need either a debit or credit card to register a domain.

Also, CIPC does not offer hosting, only domain name registration. Domains registered through this partnership will have to be transferred to an accredited registrar within a year (365 days) to avoid deregistration. A list of accredited registrars will be sent to you once you’ve registered a domain name.

All domain names registered through CIPC must be linked to existing companies, therefore you must have a registered company before you can start with this process.

“We welcome this type of collaboration between government entities so as to improve the processes of enabling entrepreneurship in the country.”,  said Sandile Shabangu, the CEO of Startup Mzansi Foundation NPC.

“We have specifically developed the StartupApp so as to assist entrepreneurs navigate the diverse world of entrepreneurship and start and grow their businesses with the best resources available.”

Also see: StartupApp – South Africa’s one-stop shop for startups