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Forge Academy invites African tech startups to enter SMME Showcase –

Forge Academy is taking applications for their SMME Showcase for tech startups and small and medium-sized enterprises on 30 June 2021.

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Joburg-based Forge Academy will host an SMME Showcase for tech startups and small and medium-sized enterprises on 30 June 2021. The event will be hosted on their premises at The Gantry in Fourways, Gauteng.

Applications now open for SMME Showcase

Nokia and the ICT SMME Chamber have partnered with Forge Academy for this event, which will focus on the development and growth of the SMME tech sector in South Africa. The showcase offers tech SMMEs and startups an opportunity to present their business ideas to the panel of judges, who will select six winners. The top six will exhibit their concepts at the Forge Academy Digital Street Festival on 18 November 2021 at Montecasino in Fourways, Gauteng.

The SMME Showcase

“We are on a drive to assist small and medium-sized micro-enterprises operating in the tech sector to gain exposure and to grow their businesses. The showcase will select some of the most forward-thinking and innovative tech start-ups and secure them a place to exhibit their businesses at the Digital Street Festival later in the year. The Festival will offer great exposure to potential investors who may be interested in injecting some capital to accelerate their growth,” says Arthur Wade Anderson, CEO of Forge Academy.

Selected participants will take part in a three-minute pitch challenge followed by a fireside Q&A with the judging panel.

The event will focus on shedding light on SMMEs and tech startups that are addressing social issues such as skills training, connectivity, transport, municipal services and employment.

In addition to presenting at the Digital Street Festival, the winners will receive digital marketing consultations, purchase order funding and invaluable opportunities to network with investors, as well as coaching and incubation sessions hosted at Forge Academy.

Muzi Makhaye, Executive Chairperson of the ICT SMME Chamber, comments:
“The ever-increasing rate of unemployment in South Africa, particularly amongst the youth has long been one of the most pressing socio-economic problems and should represent a dire warning to us all. We can ignore this warning at our own peril. More so, some young work-seekers are not sufficiently educated and do not have the skill sets that employers and the marketplace demand. Therefore, if entrepreneurs are encouraged and supported, like with the SMME Showcase opportunity, each tech startup can then be positioned to become successful and resolve the joblessness problem for a number of young people,”

Complete this application form to enter your business into the 2021 SMME Showcase.

Read more: Social & Inclusive Business Camp calls for African entrepreneurs
Read more: New edutech platform launches for SA teachers and students

Featured image: Felipe Furtado via Unsplash

Source: https://ventureburn.com/2021/06/forge-academy-invites-african-tech-startups-to-enter-smme-showcase/

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1K1V and Crossfin acquire multinational enterprise software company Sybrin –

Sybrin is a leading software solution provider helping predominantly financial services providers digitally transform and automate their business processes.

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One Thousand & One Voices (1K1V), a private equity fund, in partnership with diversified FinTech investment holding company Crossfin Technology Holdings (Crossfin) and investor Isaac Mophatlane, have acquired Sybrin Group of Companies (Sybrin) for R410-million.

The acquisition will enable Sybrin to expand globally into fintech and regtech markets

The transactions means that Sybrin will be carved out from publicly traded EOH, one of Africa’s largest technology service providers.

Sybrin is a leading software solution provider helping predominantly financial services providers digitally transform and automate their business processes.

The company also integrates its software solutions into the core banking systems of middle-market and large banks, with current clients including Citibank, Nedbank, and Old Mutual. Sybrin has a footprint across 17 countries in Africa, the Middle East, the United Kingdom, and Eastern Europe.

Dean Sparrow, CEO, and co-founder of Crossfin comments on the acquisition.

“We are excited to be partnering with 1K1V, together with Isaac, a stalwart in the African ICT sector, in investing in Sybrin and working collaboratively with Sybrin’s management team. Sybrin has become a leading enterprise software solutions provider and its focus on FinTech and RegTech, underpinned by rapid enterprise application development and delivery, makes it extremely complementary with other companies in the Crossfin portfolio. We are confident in the growth opportunity of a technology-led financial services sector globally and see considerable cross-selling opportunities within Sybrin’s customer base and across the diverse African countries in which it already has an existing presence.”

Read more: Educational initiative launches to upskill unemployed locals
Read more: Absa opens procurement portal to streamline supplier diversity

Featured image: Cytonn Photography via Unsplash

Sybrin is a leading software solution provider helping predominantly financial services providers digitally transform and automate their business processes.

Source: https://ventureburn.com/2021/06/1k1v-and-crossfin-acquire-multinational-enterprise-software-company-sybrin/

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SAB Foundation Tholoana Enterprise Programme graduates create new jobs –

68 businesses within the SAB Foundation Tholoana Enterprise Programme collectively recorded a 31% increase in turnover growth and created 169 new jobs.

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According to reports, 68 businesses within the SAB Foundation Tholoana Enterprise Programme collectively recorded a 31% increase in turnover growth, created 169 new jobs, and sustained 483 jobs. This indicates that the programme is positively assisting SMEs in their growth even during the pandemic.

SAB Foundation Tholoana Enterprise Programme graduates create new jobs

Bridgit Evans, Director of the SAB Foundation highlights the importance of supporting entrepreneurial growth in the country and the exponential growth displayed by the programme’s participating entrepreneurs.

“Entrepreneurs are crucial to the growth of our economy, and developing them is essential to create jobs and uplift historically disadvantaged members of our society. During one of the toughest economic times in recent history, we have been inspired by these entrepreneurs who made the commitment, and in many cases, pivoted their businesses, to not only survive, but indeed in many cases, grow. Seeing them being able to flourish gives us hope for the SME sector and we were both amazed and inspired to find that 100% of them survived last year. It shows that with mentorship and guidance entrepreneurs can be given the tools and the confidence to build sustainable business and create jobs.”

Recognising SMEs

Graduates of the programme were recognised for their achievements at a ceremony held earlier this month.

The grand prize, the Tholoana Award, was awarded to Sabelo Lindani, the owner of Contour Enviro Group based in Somerset West, Western Cape. Sabelo Throughout the programme, Sabelo demonstrated commitment to driving his business forward, experienced exceptional growth performance (92%), and showed potential for future growth.

The Contour Training Academy (CTA) specialises in environmental support services, such as capacity development and environmental consulting. Sabelo’s team manage quality management administration, environmental education and provide project assistance in the environmental and tourism sectors.

Lindani comments on receiving the award.

“It’s been an incredible journey for me. Entrepreneurship is exciting and scary at the same time. The assistance and support we received on the programme helped us refocus. What really helped me was having a mentor who would not let me give up, even when I wanted to. The growth in my business has been wonderful. We started on the programme with three employees and now we have 55,”

According to the SAB Foundation Tholoana Enterprise Programme, all 68 of the participating businesses generated jobs and grew during the pandemic.

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Featured image: (Supplied)

Source: https://ventureburn.com/2021/05/sab-foundation-tholoana-enterprise-programme-graduates-create-new-jobs/

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Catalyst Fund releases report on investor due diligence

Global Tech accelerator Catalyst Fund has released a new report on remote due diligence and inclusion opportunities for investors.

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Global Tech accelerator Catalyst Fund has released a new report on remote due diligence and inclusive opportunities for investors.

The company released the report, titled Remote Due Diligence Guide, on 25 May.

The report offers insight into remote due diligence best practices used by investors in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic

It also identifies key fintech product areas that have the potential for recovery and tips on how investors can evaluate startups better.

“We created this guide to share what we and our community have learned over the last 12 months about remote due diligence and the next opportunity areas for inclusive fintech, as we look hopefully ahead toward the new normal, and continue to invest in founders with the potential for transformative impact,” Catalyst Fund Managing Director, Maelis Carraro said in a statement.

Key insights from the Catalyst Fund report

The report compiled insights from more than 75 members of Catalyst Fund’s Circle of Investors. It also included critical input from three fintech investors, namely; Accion Venture Lab, Flourish Ventures, and Quona Capital.

The report that effective remote due diligence should focus on startup teams, product, market, and financials.

While insurtech has seen a steady increase in the sector, nearly a quarter of new initiatives do not survive. This is due to problems with customer acquisition not enacting cost-effective service delivery.

In addition, the report found evidence that households respond to past incidents by saving more. To counter this, startups should focus on building trust, keeping their customers, and generating revenue.

“Savings and investments are a good use case to build financial education and awareness,” Johan Bosini of Quona Capital said.

“Having savings can prevent someone from needing an expensive loan and prevent the need to make quick, uninformed decisions in a crowded lending market that may have detrimental effects when savings are low.”

You can download and read the Catalyst Fund Remote Due Diligence Guide here.

Read more: Entrepreneurs, what type of ‘pitcher’ are you?
Read more: CrazyLabs gaming accelerator launched in Cape Town

Featured image: Charles Forerunner via Unsplash

It also identifies key fintech product areas that have the potential for recovery and tips on how investors can evaluate startups better.

Source: https://ventureburn.com/2021/05/catalyst-fund-releases-report-on-investor-due-diligence/

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