Local bank launches innovative digital hub for SMEs

Local bank launches innovative digital hub for SMEs




Local bank launches innovative digital hub for SMEs

South African financial service provider Nedbank has launched the ‘Nedbank Business Hub’, an initiative that includes an online business portal that offers business clients a one-stop-shop for all financial-related services. 

Nedbank launches Nedbank Business Hub

Ian Carter, Divisional Executive of CIB Transaction Services: Electronic Banking, Payments and Enablement explains that the platform reaffirms the bank’s commitment to digital transformation in the financial services industry. 

“At Nedbank, we understand that the way of doing business has fundamentally changed and that fast, high-quality decision-making is critical for ongoing growth and sustainability. Ultimately, entrepreneurs and business owners are looking for banking tools that provide them with choice, simplicity, and convenience,” he said. 

The Nedbank Business Hub

The platform will provide business and client service managers with access to a wide range of products and financial service offerings. The launch of the portal forms part of Nedbank’s aim to drive digital transformation within the financial services sector. 

It is accessible to all Nedbank business clients across CIB, Business Banking, and Small Business Services.

Users will be able to apply for new products, submit and track service requests through the self-service option or with assisted support from the bank. 

The service is launching at a pivotal time where there is a shift towards digital services and contactless methods to conduct business transactions. 

Poovendran Naidoo, Executive Head of Business Banking Business Integration highlights this in his statement. 

 “In a post-pandemic world in which remote services are paramount, the Business Hub provides clients with a holistic, simple and secure, digital banking experience at their fingertips.”

Users are assured that the platform has been equipped with the necessary security measures, ensuring that there is authentication and access mechanisms put in place such as the Nedbank Business Authenticator app. This provides clients with peace of mind that their financial service requests and processes are carried out safely. 

“At Nedbank, not only do we listen to clients’ requirements, but we also anticipate what it is they need to make their businesses thrive – reduced complexity, increased efficiency, and greater control. Our Business Hub is all about client-centricity, setting the bar for relevance and improving service levels,” adds Naidoo.

Read more: SA startup DigsConnect partners with Student.com to expand globally

Featured image: Poovendran Naidoo, Executive Head of Business Banking Business Integration  (Supplied)

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Anzisha Prize reveals top 26 entrepreneurs for 2021 

Anzisha Prize reveals top 26 entrepreneurs for 2021 




Anzisha Prize reveals top 26 entrepreneurs for 2021 

The Anzisha Programme, created in a partnership between Mastercard Foundation and the African Leadership Academy, has announced its top 26 entrepreneurs that have been selected to participate in a new three-year Anzisha Prize Fellowship.

Twenty six African entrepreneurs have been selected for Ansizha Prize fellowship 

In addition, the 26 selected entrepreneurs will receive over $5000 in funding and over $15 000 worth in venture building support services over the three-year fellowship period. All the selected entrepreneurs are between the age of 18 -22, reaffirming Anzisha Prize’s commitment to supporting young entrepreneurs. 

Josh Adler, Executive Director of the Anzisha Prize comments on the announcement of the new fellowship programme’s participants. 

“We’ve seen clearly that a transition from secondary or tertiary education directly into sustainable entrepreneurship requires both financial and learning support. Through our long-term partnership with the Mastercard Foundation, we’re thrilled to not only announce an increase in the number of fellowships we can offer each year but also in the monetary support each venture will receive.”

All the 26 selected participants will take part in a virtual induction bootcamp for 10 days and is an introduction to the start of the fellowship.

According to reports, the top 26 were selected from hundreds of applications received from across the African continent. Each participant and application underwent rigorous evaluation. 

Applications were received from a number of African countries including Mali, Togo, South Africa and Madagascar with many applicants offering services, products and solutions in the sectors of health, education, agriculture, manufacturing, energy and beauty. 

Since its inception, the programme has grown in strides offering opportunities to budding young entrepreneurs. This is displayed by the increased number of top 26 selected this year compared to only 12 entrepreneurs selected in 2011. 

“Our fellowship offering has essentially been reframed as an alternative or accompaniment to university education for entrepreneurs in this age group. The grand prizes, which recognized achievement prior to selection as a fellow, will now recognize excellence from young entrepreneurs who role model job creation, venture growth, storytelling, and process improvements during their fellowship,” adds Adler. 

Selected participants

  • Constant Ayihounoun, Benin, 21 – Constant is the founder of Agreco Sarl, a company that produces organic fertilizers and pesticides. 
  • Sergio Tabe Ashu, Cameroon, 21 – Sergio is the founder of Excel Academy, which provides private home tutoring services to K-12 students and national exam preparatory classes for senior secondary school students.
  • Hebrey Issa Abraham, Cameroon, 21 – Hebrey is the founder of DATA, which produces and sells vegetables. 
  • Krys Elfried Digbehi, Côte D’Ivoire, 18 – Krys is the founder of Yeyiba Restaurants. The venture cooks and sells African and European dishes to local colleges, high schools, and universities. 
  • Victoire Bakunzi, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), 21 – Victoire is the founder of Basuyi business that produces African-style jackets and tunics. 
  • Oumar Diogo Sow, Guinea, 22 – Oumar is the founder of Felian Trading Limited. The business cultivates rice and cassava. 
  • Martin Sure Ondiwa, Kenya, 21 – Martin is the founder of Greenfarms, a company that produces and sells fresh fruits to consumers and vendors. 
  • Tsantatiana Fideranaharilala Rakotoarimanga, Madagascar, 22 – Tsantatiana is the founder of Dream Study Agency. The agency helps students in Madagascar apply to universities abroad. 
  • Mahefarivo Thierry Andrianarinoa, Madagascar, 21 – Mahefarivo and two of his friends founded Coufé Madagascar. Coufé is a fashion brand that specializes in embroidered, customizable t-shirts that are handmade by women detained in prison.
  • Martin Masiya, Malawi, 21 – Martin is the founder of Sollys Energy, which distributes solar lamps and solar lanterns using a Pay-As-You-Go model for customers in semi-urban and rural areas. 
  • Adama Kanté, Mali, 22 – Adama is the founder of Food Sante, which is a production and processing company for agrifood products. 
  • Ali Ould Mohamed, Mali, 18 – Ali is the founder of Créa-Couture, a clothing company that sells a variety of products such as pants, skirts, shirts, and suits for men and women. 
  • Renata Silva, Namibia, 19 – Renata is the founder of RS Clothing Brand, which sells trendy clothes to young people between the ages of 15-25. 
  • Eneyi Oshi, Nigeria, 19 – Eneyi is the founder of Maatalous Nasah. The business farms chickens, fish, and eggs to sell to urban dwellers through an e-commerce web application called Farmisphere.
  • Esther Akin-Ajayi, Nigeria, 19 – Esther is the founder of Jemai Interiors, which sells furniture pieces and architectural materials. They also render interior designs and offer 3D visualization services to other architectural companies and individuals. 
  • Oluwadamilola Akinosun, Nigeria, 22 – Damilola is one of the founders of Grant Master, an online marketplace that connects ambitious organizations that are in need of debt-free and equity- free funding. The organizations in need are connected with grant writers. 
  • Grace Okezie, Nigeria, 22 – Grace is the founder of Royal Graced Baking Company, which bakes and sells healthy snacks and foods to customers. 
  • Rebecca Samuella Kalokoh, Sierra Leone, 20 – Rebecca is the founder of Grace Venture Natural Products, which extracts oils from seeds, herbs, and fruits to produce natural cosmetics that are sold in the local markets of Sierra Leone. 
  • Amadu Deen Bah, Sierra Leone, 21 – Amadu is the founder of Caballay Investment, which produces paper bags and bags for packaging that are sold to local businesses. 
  • Masello Mokhoro, South Africa, 22 – Masello is the founder of Starlicious Enterprises. She grows day-old broiler chicks and pigs and sells them to individuals in her community. 
  • Doroles Mihanjo, Tanzania, 20 – Dolores is the founder of Maktaba. The business sells educational documents such as past papers, notes, and online content books to parents, schools, and teachers. 
  • Rebecca Taboukouna, Togo, 22 – Rebecca is the founder of RBK Pearls, which manufactures and sells beaded accessories. 
  • Jovia Nassuna Kintu, Uganda, 21 – Jovia manufactures and sells affordable organic shampoo, conditioner, and other hair products. She founded Kia Cosmetics to provide women with an alternative to haircare products containing chemical additives. 
  • Viola Kataike, Uganda, 21 – Viola founded her venture in 2020 to impact the lives of refugee communities. A Hand for a Refugee trains members of Kyangwali refugee camp in growing and harvesting passion fruit. 
  • Munyaradzi Makosa, Zimbabwe, 21 – Munyaradzi Makosa is the founder of Farmhut Africa, an online marketplace designed to connect farmers in rural Zimbabwe directly to the market. 
  • Tafadzwa Chikwereti, Zimbabwe, 21 – Tafadzwa launched Murimi Electronic Agriculture using artificial intelligence and machine learning. The business helps financial institutions to process loans faster, and farmers to ascertain their financial health. 

Read more: LaunchLab calls for submissions for ACE Africa Circular Business Showcase

Featured image: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via Unsplash 

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Cape Town tech startup creates innovative food-related platform 

Cape Town tech startup creates innovative food-related platform 




Cape Town tech startup creates innovative food-related platform 

Based in the Mother City, KnowItWorld, a local tech startup, has created a platform that provides users with detailed information about food items.

KnowItWorld is an innovative local tech startup that has created a food info platform

According to reports, the tech startup has recently secured its second round of funding from an undisclosed investor but this brings the total value of the company to R20-million.

KnowItWorld

Founded in 2019 by entrepreneurial duo Abhijit Nath and Matthew Gearing, KnowItWorld is a platform that enables users to know all the details about food items they intend to purchase or have purchased by simply scanning the barcode or searching for the item on the platform. 

According to reports, since its launch, the platform has garnered a large following on Instagram with over 51 000 followers and 6 500 subscribers utilising the platform. 

The Covid-19 pandemic has spiked an increase in personal health and the app provides valuable information to users on what they are consuming. 

Gearing provides insight into what led to the creation of the platform.

“In an age where information is so readily available, there is still a lack of transparency around what is in the food we eat. Through our research, we found that people lacked a clear and concise pathway to the information they needed. Thus, we created a product that presents food data in a simple, personalised and informative way.”

How does it work?

Through the platform, users can view products based on their own personal nutritional needs and also discover valuable information about what foods may impact their health. Products from retails such as Woolworths and restaurants such as Kauai are available on the platform. Users are able to compare prices, nutritional information, calories and more. 

Facebook, KnowItWorld

Abhijit provides insight into what else the platform is capable of providing for its users. 

“The technology behind Knowit was developed over two years. The software works by capturing basic or raw attributes via our data generation process and organize these individual data points to form Master Attributes. This process allows us to apply our final and most important stage, data customization.” 

The tech startup has partnered with local shopping retailer Quench, allowing consumers on the Quench platform to find out more about the products offered and their food composition. 

“We want Knowit to form part of all South Africans daily rituals. We envisioned ourselves to be a single app that allows users to browse and shop at any store from the comfort of their home. We want all food brands to commit to food transparency as all South Africans have the right to know what is in their food products.”, concludes the founders. 

Read more:

Featured image: Maddi Bazzocco via Unsplash 

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Rwandan fintech startup selected for prestigious accelerator programme 

Rwandan fintech startup selected for prestigious accelerator programme 




Rwandan fintech startup selected for prestigious accelerator programme 

African fintech Payday has been selected to join the renowned Techstars Toronto Accelerator programme and is the first Rwandan startup to be selected to participate.

Payday selected to participate in Techstars Toronto Accelerator

Favour Ori CEO of Payday comments on the selection and taking part in the programme.

 “Joining Techstars will be a game-changer for us. This is an opportunity to work with and learn from outstanding mentors, as well as to leverage their experience, skills, and network to create a platform where all Africans, regardless of location, can enjoy financial inclusion”

Hosted by Techstars, an operational investment company that assists founders and early-stage entrepreneurs to scale and grow their concept into a thriving business. 

The accelerator programme will be conducted over a three-month period and aims to provide participants with various skills, resources and the opportunity to network and connect with potential investors.

Sunil Sharma, Managing Director of Techstars Toronto provides insight into why Payday was selected for the accelerator programme.

“Moreover, Payday has engineered a financial product that Africans need across the continent, and the recent traction they are seeing makes us believe that this is the start of something massive.” 

Payday

Founded in 2021 by entrepreneur Favour Ori, Payday has soared since its official launch in July reportedly processing over $1.4-million in transactions.

The newly established fintech platform and services enable users to send and receive money globally. This service allows users to be paid by foreign employees and clients along with the service of virtual mastercards.

Payday aims to provide a one-stop fintech service for its users allowing them to move money freely globally. 

Read more: LaunchLab calls for submissions for ACE Africa Circular Business Showcase

Featured image: Payday, Supplied

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South African clean-tech start up secures investment

South African clean-tech start up secures investment




South African clean-tech start up secures investment

Johannesburg-based clean-tech startup Brayfoil Technologies has secured an undisclosed amount of funding from Katapult Ocean. In addition, the innovative tech startup has been selected to participate in the Katapult ocean accelerator programme that will start at the end of this year. 

Brayfoil Technologies secures undisclosed amount of investment funding

Matthew Bray, Co-Founder & CEO of Brayfoil Technologies comments on the funding secured and being selected to take part in the prestigious accelerator.

 “We’re immensely proud to be a part of the Katapult family, they are one of the Top 50 climate investors in the world and we look forward to scaling an African-born technology with their support.”

Brayfoil Technologies

Founded in 2017, Brayfoil technologies is a clean-tech startup that has created a compliant structure and morphed aerofoil research and design. The tech startup has done this by creating and implementing cutting-edge technologies for efficiency gains and cost reductions. 

The tech startup works with research institutes and corporate clients to implement morphing technology in the design, testing and manufacture of products in renewable energy and other industries. 

Catering to companies that are utilising renewable energy systems such as wind turbines, Brayfoil technologies are able to help companies reduce their cost by utilising biomimicry-inspired compliant structures that “change shape like bird’s wings”. The clean-tech startup aims to enable larger turbines and lower the cost of energy.

Shailin Moodley, Lead Aeronautical Engineer at Brayfoil Technologies provides further insight into this. 

“The future of the energy transition relies on enabling technologies to bring down costs and increase outputs, which is exactly what we are building.” 

Read more: Cape Town biotech startup secures investment funding

Featured image: Supplied, Brayfoil Technologies 

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Cape Town biotech startup secures investment funding

Cape Town biotech startup secures investment funding




Cape Town biotech startup secures investment funding

Based in Cape Town, BixBio, an African genomics startup has secured an undisclosed amount of investment funding from the  Illumina Accelerator.

BixBio has secured an undisclosed amount in investment funding

Not only has the tech startup secured an investment but it has also been selected as one of seven new genomic companies to join the third global funding cycle of the Illumina Accelerator

The accelerator is focused on supporting entrepreneurs and startups that are focused on establishing innovative products and solutions in the genomic medical sector.

As part of the accelerator, the selected seven genomic companies receive access to seed investment funding and access to Illumina sequencing systems and reagents. In addition, they are provided with business guidance, genomics expertise, and fully operational lab space adjacent to Illumina’s campuses in Cambridge, UK or the San Francisco Bay Area.

According to reports, BixBio will be spending the next six months in Cambridge, benefitting from the Illumina Accelerator’s expertise, networks and global reach.

This marks the second investment that the innovative local biotech startup has secured after initially receiving funding from One Bio Venture Studio.

BixBio

Founded in 2020 by entrepreneurial duo bioinformatician, James Ross and molecular biologist, Tyronne McCrindle, BixBio is a biotech startup that is focused on unlocking the potential of diverse genetic data to further develop and grow the sector of precision medicine.

BioBix utilises its proprietary AI platform to curate and establish large genetic data sets which will assist and improve the identification of disease-causing genetic variants and novel drug targets.

This provides an effective solution to the existing tedious search for disease-causing genetic variants and novel drug targets. This solution helps pharma companies develop drugs. 

Read more: Nigerian e-commerce startup secures $1.8-million in funding 

Featured image: Supplied 

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LaunchLab calls for submissions for ACE Africa Circular Business Showcase

LaunchLab calls for submissions for ACE Africa Circular Business Showcase




LaunchLab calls for submissions for ACE Africa Circular Business Showcase

Stellenbosch University LaunchLab (SU LL) has put out a call for submissions for the ACE Africa Circular Business Showcase competition.

The pitch competition forms part of the ACE Africa project, which aims to support circular economy businesses in Africa.

It will let individuals and businesses from across the continent showcase their ideas and products.

ACE Africa Circular Business Showcase 2021 competition details

LaunchLab is looking for individuals or businesses with commercial ideas that commit to circular innovation in health, food, and climate.

Individuals that are eligible to enter must reside in Africa and be willing to become an ACE Africa Entrepreneur and enter one of SU LL’s incubation programmes.

Eligible businesses must be operating in Africa.

They must contribute to the circular economy, have and/or sell a Minimum Viable Product (MVP), have at least one full-time team member and have been working on the venture for more than six months.

Following a selection process, the competition will shortlist the top participants and select eight to 16 finalists.

The participants will then pitch to a panel of judges and potential investors at an online live event on 30 November. Each of them will have three minutes to pitch their idea or business, followed by a three-minute Q&A session.

There are prizes for both pitching businesses and individuals up for grabs.

The business that wins first place will receive R25 000, a spot in an SU LL incubation programme, and a one-hour mentoring session with an incubation team.

Businesses in second and third place will receive R15 000 and R10 000 respectively and each a spots in a programme.

The winning entrepreneur will receive R5 000 and attend a one-hour mentoring session with an incubation team. Along with the second and third place winners, they will also attend a one-hour customer discovery workshop.

Businesses and entrepreneurs can enter the competition and submit their ideas on the signup website.

The deadline for submissions is 23:59 on 7 November.

Read more: Stellenbosch University, UTF invest R7 million in healthtech startup BioCODE

Read more: AfricArena to host fifth annual summit in Cape Town

Featured image: Surface via Unsplash

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