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      Startup news for emerging markets
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      Digital industry jobs for the anti 9 to 5!


  • 5 lessons on Nigeria’s ecommerce space from HouseholdMax

    Last Friday, I attended the official launch of HouseholdMax Online, Nigeria’s premier domestic item ecommerce site. It was an entirely new experience for me to see a Nigerian homegrown ecommerce company launching big. It made me realise there are some serious lessons for startups and ecommerce stakeholders in the country and by extension, other parts of Africa. For those who don't know, HouseholdMax is not a conventional African ecommerce startup. It doesn't complain about having no money to spend, few investors and the usual rhetoric. Read more on Ventureburn.

  • Unique market, unique startup – what can we learn from the UAE’s gurus?

    Every country has its fair share of small businesses and startups. This trend is only increasing as more people become equipped with the knowledge, tools, and specific skills required to run their own businesses. While starting your own business is considered a spectacular idea, one of the fundamental steps you need to take is to ideally come up with an original idea and develop a competitive advantage.

  • Nigeria’s Talking Bookz wants to become Africa’s top audiobook store

    Last week was a great one for Nigerian startups -- for the second year in a row, they filled up more slots at DEMO Africa than any other African country. If that wasn't enough, one of the eight startups representing Nigeria at the continental event quickly followed up with seed investment from the co-founder of one of Africa’s leading hotel booking platforms, Jovago. Read more on Ventureburn.

  • Have you got the brains to be an entrepreneur?

    I would like you to do a small quiz built by a person I admire a lot: Dan Ariely, the behavioural scientist. The quiz was designed to assess one's ability to make government policy and take corporate decisions. But I believe it is at least as appropriate to assess your ability to be an entrepreneur. Here's the deal: Take this Dan Ariely quiz. When you finish, read Dan's feedback. Return to this page and get some insight on its relevance to entrepreneurs and startups. Read more on Ventureburn.

  • Magento, Shopify, WooCommerce: which ecommerce platform works for you?

    Online portals are a must for every business model now. Being online can bring great benefits to new business owners who want to get their hands dirty, so to speak, and offer their products to a wider audience. The decision build an online store is therefore a natural one. The really difficult part is choosing the best ecommerce platform? And if you're a non technical person, well that only makes the task more daunting. Read more on Ventureburn.

  • Inside Nigeria’s bustling startup world — where the real ‘hustlers’ live

    Earlier this week, Ventureburn unveiled DEMO Africa’s top 30 startups for 2015. While attention is being given to Ivory Coast whose startup scene is making its debut this year on the DEMO Africa stage, the fact that no one was surprised to see Nigeria having more startups than any other country this year, just like last year, is giving credence to the notion that the startup ecosystem in Nigeria is booming. And it’s not just because of Nigeria’s large population. Read more on Ventureburn.

  • 6 tips for kickstarting your first ecommerce site

    Joining the world of electronic commerce may seem daunting if you’re running a small business, but it is easier than ever to get up-and-running with a digital storefront. And with consumers looking for online convenience, allowing them to browse, order and pay online can give your business an edge in a competitive market. Here are a few ideas on how to get started: 1. Begin with a business plan Read more on Ventureburn.

  • Meet NicheStreem: SA’s curated streaming service for music lovers

    Just two blocks up the road from where she pitched her latest startup at Seedstars World recently, sits the headquarters of NicheStreem -- entrepreneur Catherine Lückhoff's curious South African music streaming service Nichestreem. Launched in March this year, NicheStreem has developed a technology that enables it to cater for unique, curated music streams for specific markets around the globe and looks set to make waves in the global online music industry, one niche community at a time. Read more on Ventureburn.

  • Machine learning startup DataProphet hones in on profitable call centre industry

    Machine learning is a complicated subject. First experimented with by computer scientist Arthur Samuel back in 1956, the American eventually managed to build a program that could beat him at a game of checkers. As badass as that was, it doesn’t really compare to the advancements we’ve witnessed over the past few years. Today, tech like Google’s self-driving cars and Microsoft’s near real-time voice translation are frequently making the headlines on tech sites. A rebranded form of artificial intelligence, these intelligent pattern recognition algorithms could revolutionise the way we work in practically every industry. Read more on Ventureburn.

  • Got a small business? Here are 5 tips to help make it sustainable

    Almost 50 years ago, when Emma Meyer started Auto Number Plates with her now late husband Nico, the couple only had determination on their side. By focusing on the details, the company has flourished -- helping two of their five children open their own small businesses. To this day, 86-year-old Meyer still completes a full day’s work at the shop every day. Here, she shares her insights on how SMEs can attain sustainability: Read more on Ventureburn.

  • Silent Hill’s spiritual successor? Why ‘Allison Road’ could be the next indie masterpiece

    I have always been a sucker for the dramatic, suspenseful and mysterious and the upcoming horror game, Allison Road, seems to be hitting every one of these chords pitch perfect. Currently in development by the six-man UK-based indie developing studio, Lilith Ltd., the game is already seen as "the spiritual successor to Silent Hill". Unfortunately, I am not too familiar with the Silent Hill franchise but after seeing the PT demo I could easily understand the comparison. Read more on Ventureburn.

  • Why communities work best for innovation in Africa

    With more and more South African entrepreneurs starting businesses in response to the country’s unique challenges, it’s no wonder that, out of the 30 entrepreneurs on Forbes’s recent Africa’s Most Promising Entrepreneurs list, seven come from South Africa. If innovation is the key to unlocking solutions for South Africa, what are we doing to nurture it? The business of small businesses in South Africa is booming. Startups are popping up everywhere with innovative, outside-of-the-box business ideas that answer the ever-growing need for practical, viable solutions in energy, tech, education, payments and more. Read more on Ventureburn.

  • Cape Town rising: the natural ground for tech entrepreneurs?

    A decade ago, no one in South Africa knew what the terms angel and tech startups meant. People were progressively adjusting to a new democracy led by the awe-inspiring Nelson Mandela. The government’s focus was on breaking down the barriers of racism and apartheid, not investing in risky ventures. But some individuals, like Justin Stanford and Vinny Lingham, anticipated the tech wave. We spoke to Stanford, 31, who explained to us how this dynamic duo set up the entrepreneurial ecosystem in South Africa. Read more on Ventureburn.

  • Does iGrow Academy have what it takes to help educate the masses on a budget?

    The youth bears the brunt of of South Africa's unemployment crises. Ranked third highest in the world, a 2014 report by the World Economic Forum reckons that more than 50% of young South Africans between 15 and 24 are unemployed. Founder of iGrow Academy Jared Koning estimates that one of the main reasons for this discrepancy is due to a disconnect between the primary and tertiary education sectors. The entrepreneur estimates that there are over 400 000 matrics each year of which 67% do not have the access to higher education. Read more on Ventureburn.

  • How to make the most of startup life (even if your manager sucks)

    Managers. We all have to deal with some version of them. Even the companies claiming they have a flat organisation structure. There’s always someone you report to. There’s always someone who, if you’re lucky, you look up to. And if you’re not, well, that’s an entirely different story altogether. I didn’t always work at a startup. My first job was at a big corporation and the development team at my location consisted of 100 odd people, divided into teams that reported to a team lead (TL) and TL's that reported to a project lead (PL) and PLs that reported to...