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Ventureburn

  • Looking beyond the fear factor when selling cloud software to startups

    A common misperception is that SMEs using old software could put their companies at risk and that such solutions are based on databases considered to be “antiquated”. Most big service providers maintain a range of platforms – cloud, server and desktop - based on technologies ranging from legacy to cutting-edge. It’s good practice to support customers using your older software as best you can. Even with vendors trying to frighten them into buying new software, many businesses know that these security risks are reasonably small once you quantify them. Read more on Ventureburn.

  • Finding promise and consistency in turbulent times: lessons from the EU

    The first quarter of 2016 has proven grim for a number of leading markets, most starkly for the European Union. A year ago, the EU grappled with Greece’s sovereign debt crises and that country’s potential exit from the economic bloc. Instead of light at the end of the tunnel, the EU is now faced with the possibility of the UK renegotiating its membership terms — or perhaps leaving the governing consortium entirely. Read more on Ventureburn.

  • What’s going on with M4JAM?

    This is interesting. WeChat users signed up to microjobbing service M4JAM were on Monday greeted with a message telling them to cash out all the money from their wallets before 31 March. The only reason given for the request, is that “M4JAM is in the process of restructuring the business”. When asked if he was willing to comment on the message, which appears to have been rushed out, M4JAM founder Andre Hugo told Ventureburn that he was about to board a plane and would be able to comment tomorrow.

  • Fostering entrepreneurial learning in the formative years is vital

    In South Africa, most of the focus on entrepreneurship is happening too late. Not all cultures have benefitted from dining room table discussions, or seeing it positively in action through family members. For many, exposure comes too late, and this means that solid foundations are not set early enough and therefore the impact is lessened. Entrepreneurship should be encouraged and fostered from a high school level. There are a few privileged schools that do include it in the curriculum, but the reach needs to be far beyond that. Read more on Ventureburn.

  • Fundamo Diaries — Keeping faith during dark times [Part 4]

    The following article is part of a series of extracts from South African entrepreneur Hannes Van Rensburg’s upcoming book, "Cash In, Cash Out". The founder and CEO of the fintech company Fundamo, van Rensburg recalls the events that have helped shape the world’s mobile banking industry as we know it as well as those leading up to the company’s exit to Visa for a whopping US$110-million. In this, the final article in the series, van Rensburg recalls the time he was at a Christian outreach programme in 2007, and was forced to decide between two keen investors that would help...

  • The 6 biggest obstacles startups face in Africa

    Emerging businesses in Africa overwhelmingly fuel the economy and provide the majority of local jobs. Globalization has presented African entrepreneurs with a unique opportunity to expand their services and offerings worldwide at a scale that has never been available before. However, though globalization provides them with countless opportunities, business owners have several challenges to overcome that are mostly exclusive to Africa. Startups have six main obstacles to overcome: Limited access to financing, weak infrastructure, inconsistent government regulations, globalization, minimal assistance from the government, and cross-border payments. Read more on Ventureburn.

  • How your ecommerce company can oust Amazon

    Ecommerce is in vogue. According to eMarketer, it will account for almost nine percent of total retail sales by 2018, up from 5.9% in 2014. And by 2019, ecommerce spend is set to surpass US$3 trillion. But with Amazon currently snatching "23% market share of online retail sales," it may seem like a behemoth to beat. Customers go straight to the site for everything from laundry detergent to sports memorabilia. And with thousands of options for each product, Amazon is killing the search game. It was brilliant from the get-go at building reviews, crafting fresh content, and creating SEM-friendly product...

  • Fundamo Diaries — Raising capital for an African startup [Part 3]

    The following article is part of a series of extracts from South African entrepreneur Hannes Van Rensburg’s upcoming book, “Cash In, Cash Out”. The founder and CEO of the fintech company, Fundamo, recalls the events that have helped shape the world’s mobile banking industry as we know it as well as those leading up to the company’s exit to Visa for a whopping US$110-million. In this article, Van Rensburg takes us through his journey in Europe, looking for investors in Fundamo. While there were many precious lessons to be learnt for the entrepreneur, Van Rensburg recalls the difficulties faced by...

  • Exclusive: Sendr delivers SA’s next big courier startup

    South African-based startup Sendr wants to deliver your packages in a flash. Its on-demand service means parcels can be delivered in an hour. "We're an Uber of parcels, documents and small items. We see ourselves as a personal concierge service," says co-founder and CEO of Sendr, Neo Lekgabo (pictured above centre). Sendr is based around a delivery app. The customer books a collection and the company handles the rest, including insurance for all items that are transported. Where this startup stands out from the rest is its utilisation of a one-time password (OTP) system. In order for any delivery to take place, the...

  • Taking your startup global? Here’s how to harness the power of an international network

    It’s one thing having to establish a reputable and trustworthy brand in the country of origin, but doing so on an international level is a daunting task, even for the most adept business owner. Building sustainable business relationships in an international market often proves to be a tricky task, even for those with access to their own private jet and having the luxury to travel abroad every couple of weeks. Howard Blake has found ways to navigate these difficulties and has come out on top, having built a powerhouse international network that supports and believes in his business.

  • Streamlining processes: how to improve business relations

    The cool thing about streamlining your business is that, well, you can make more money if you do so. You can save yourself time and labor. You can move to a more automated system that allows for growth and you can keep your customers satisfied. All in one fell swoop, as they say. Is this some magic formula that’s been kept in a vaulted dungeon somewhere all these years? Is this some basic business principle that’s been around forever and is now just been given a fancy, new name? Is this just a way to sell you some software?

  • 4 new ecommerce trends you should be aware of

    There are a lot of different ways to earn money online. In fact, many traditional jobs are now transitioning to a virtual environment, which means that the methods a person can use to earn money via the web are almost endless. Of course, some methods are easier to break into than others. For example, one of the fastest and most straightforward ways to earn money via the internet is through trading and investments. Read more on Ventureburn.

  • 4 things to consider before crowdfunding your startup

    The market has been flooded with positive news about crowdfunding and how it is displacing the traditional venture capital market with great rapidity. This is a trend that is likely to continue, although it does represent only a small fragment of the market. The fact is that crowdfunding still has a long way to go in terms of displacing the venture funding market. A big mistake that one can make is going straight to crowdfunding and believing that is will give you the same coverage that a traditional fundraising campaign will have. This article is designed to provide you...

  • Fundamo Dairies — Building real solutions for big clients [Part 2]

    The following article is the second in a series of extracts from South African entrepreneur Hannes Van Rensburg’s upcoming book, Cash In, Cash Out. The founder and CEO of the fintech company, Fundamo, recalls the events that have helped shape the world’s mobile banking industry as we know it as well as those leading up to the company’s exit to Visa for a whopping US$110-million. In this article, Van Rensburg details the events when Fundamo hauled in its first big blue-chip client — the biggest bank in Africa. This was arguably one of the biggest validations in the company’s history. The...

  • Sink or swim: keep your startup afloat in 5 ways

    Every entrepreneur’s dream is to launch a startup that breaks growth records and becomes an industry leader. Growth is the whole point, right? But like the old proverb goes, be careful what you wish for. Rapid growth comes with plenty of pitfalls, any one of which can ruin your business if you’re not prepared for it. Look past the Silicon Valley success stories, and you’ll see a valley floor strewn with shrunken shapes and dried bones of startups that grew too fast and collapsed under their own weight. Read more on Ventureburn.